Winthrop’s Incidence Rate is Fourth Highest in Mass.
WINTHROP — Town Manager Austin Faison and Health Director Meredith Hurley report that the Town of Winthrop has seen a rise in positive COVID-19 cases — many tied to clusters that have been identified — and continues to be designated by the commonwealth as a high risk community.
The state reports that here have been 96 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Winthrop over the past two weeks. Winthrop’s average daily incidence rate, which the state uses to calculate risk determinations, has risen to 36.4 per 100,000 residents. Anything above eight per 100,000 nets a high risk designation. Winthrop’s incidence rate is the fourth highest in Massachusetts.
According to the public health datareleased on Thursday, Oct. 29, the town’s designation remains “Red,” indicating a “high risk” in the community. Residents are urged to increasingly and aggressively practice social distancing, wear face coverings in public and limit their interactions with anyone who lives outside of their household.
Winthrop town officials have learned of multiple clusters which have led to a dramatic increase in the town’s incidence rate and overall cases.
Winthrop public health officials are investigating a cluster of cases that emerged this week, which has been traced to the Winthrop Golf Club. So far, contact tracing has identified at least six cases tied to individuals who visited the club over the course of Oct. 23-25. The Golf Club has notified its members who visited last weekend that they should get tested for COVID-19, and the town strongly urges those individuals to strictly limit their interactions with others until they are certain they do not have COVID-19.
Last weekend, town officials reported that at least 22 cases were tied to clusters at the Winthrop Elks and Pleasant Park Yacht Club.
“Residents need to be extremely cognizant of the risk of exposure in Winthrop, and be extraordinarily careful going forward to protect themselves, their friends and their loved ones,” Hurley said. “That means limiting their exposure to those outside their household, avoiding all gatherings, and wearing masks and practicing social distancing in all public settings.”
All community members, and especially those who visited places where clusters have been identified, are urged to take part in the free COVID-19 testing available at the McKenna Basketball Courts, 5 Walden St.
Testing is available at this site on the following days and times:
- Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 2-7 p.m. (drive-through)
- Tuesday and Thursday from 2-7 p.m. (walk-up)
Testing providers are able to provide information in English and Spanish.
A map of additional testing locations available in the state can be found here.
Massachusetts’ Stop the Spread testing initiative remains ongoing, and Winthrop residents are encouraged to get tested regardless of symptoms in order to better know their COVID-19 status.
COVID-19 prevention tips from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health include:
- Remember that an infected individual can spread COVID-19 before they have symptoms, which is why social distancing, maintaining a minimum of 6 feet from others, is critical.
- Those who must go out are urged to:
- Avoid gathering in groups
- Maintain 6 feet from people outside your household
- Do not shake hands or hug
- Wash your hands often
- Those who are at a high risk for COVID-19, including those over the age of 65 and with underlying health conditions, are advised to stay home and avoid non-essential tasks and errands
- Wear a mask in indoor and outdoor spaces where social distancing from people outside your household is not possible. This does not apply to those under the age of two and with underlying health conditions.
- Face coverings should:
- Cover the nose and mouth
- Fit snugly and comfortably against the side of the face
- Be secured with either ties or ear loops
- Permit breathing without difficulty
- Be able to be washed and machine dried without damage. Face masks should be washed regularly depending on the amount of use.
Winthrop residents are reminded to visit WinthropCOVID19.com, which serves as a dedicated town resource for information on the pandemic.
Those with questions about the COVID-19 situation in town are encouraged to call the COVID-19 information line at 617-539-5848 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, or email [email protected].