Community Designated as “Low Risk” By State
GLOUCESTER — Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken and Public Health Director Karin Carroll report that the City of Gloucester is now designated as a “green” or low risk community by the state, indicating fewer positive COVID-19 tests in the community over the past two weeks.
This new status comes as the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has updated how risk designations are calculated to better reflect COVID-19 caseload in relation to population.
According to public health data released on Friday, Nov. 6, there have been 26 new confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Gloucester over the past two weeks. Gloucester’s average daily incidence rate, which the state uses to calculate risk determinations, has decreased to 6.5 per 100,000 residents, down from last week’s rate of 19.
Prior to this week, Gloucester had been designated as a high risk or “red” community for twoweeks.
“Our City has done a great job at reducing the number of positive cases, and I’d like to thank Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and the Massachusetts DPH for facilitating free COVID-19 testing opportunities to help us stop the spread,” Mayor Romeo Theken said. “I’d also like to thank the numerous City employees who have stepped up, not only recently but since this pandemic began. It’s been a long road and we’re far from done, but I’m very proud of our community and urge everyone to continue to be vigilant to stop the spread here in Gloucester.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Gloucester has recorded 463 total cases, including 9 active cases. Of the total cases, 428 have recovered and sadly 26 have died.
Gloucester officials are urging residents to continue the public health practices that have helped to reduce the spread of the virus in town all year, including the practice of social distancing, wearing a mask in public and frequent hand washing.
The City also is advising residents to consider compiling a checklist to plan and prepare for the event of a positive case of COVID-19 in their household.
“Similar to the way you might create an evacuation plan and stock away emergency supplies in the case of a fire or natural disaster, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and consider what you would do and the supplies you might need should a member of your household contract COVID-19,” Public Health Nurse Kelley Hiland said. “Thinking about this ahead of time will help you more quickly address the situation should it arise and reduce the window of possible exposure in your household, and may also make a tremendously stressful situation a little smoother for you and your family.”
“This list isn’t meant to be exhaustive, but we hope by reviewing the information below, households in Gloucester have a chance to prepare should someone you live with contract COVID-19,” Public Health Director Carroll said. “Everyone’s needs are slightly different, so please consider the plans and supplies the members of your family might need should someone you live with contract COVID-19.”
The Gloucester Health Department wishes to provide the following tips for creating a plan and creating a supply kit should a member of your household contract COVID-19:
- Identify a separate bedroom and bathroom, if space allows, where the individual with COVID-19 can isolate.
- Designate a separate, lined trash can the person with COVID-19 can use.
- Identify someone in your household who can serve as the caretaker of the sick individual. By identifying one person as the caretaker, this limits the interactions others will have with that individual and reduces the risk of spread. Identify a back-up caretaker in case the first person contracts COVID-19.
- Review tips for how to care for someone with COVID-19 at home and protect yourself from the virus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention here.
- Keep a kit of additional supplies you may need in the event a member of your household tests positive for COVID-19, such as:
- Hand soap
- Household disinfectants and other cleaning supplies. Review tips from the CDC on cleaning and disinfecting your household here.
- Spare face coverings
- Fever reducers with acetaminophen
- Spare trash bags
- Have a surgical mask available should the individual with COVID-19 need urgent medical attention. According to the Massachusetts DPH, they should wear a surgical mask if they need to leave the home for urgent medical care. Otherwise this person should stay home while they recover.
- Note: In the event an individual with COVID-19 must leave the house to seek urgent medical care, they are advised to avoid public transportation and use a personal vehicle or ambulance instead. Call ahead to your healthcare provider so that they know you are coming.
- Familiarize yourself with regional COVID-19 testing opportunities. All Massachusetts residents can get tested, at no cost and regardless of symptoms, in several communities with high numbers of COVID-19 cases through the state’s Stop the Spread program. To view a list of available testing locations and availability, click here.
- The CDC advises that you create an emergency contact list including family, friends, neighbors, carpool drivers, healthcare providers, teachers, employers, the local public health department and other community resources.
- Know which community resources are available to help you:
- The Open Door Food Pantry is delivering nutritious groceries to those in quarantine. To learn more, call 978-283-6776.
- Several local pharmacies will help make arrangements for the delivery of prescription medications to those in isolation or quarantine, including:
- CVS, 6 Thatcher Road. Phone: 978-283-7480
- CVS, Gloucester Crossing. Phone: 978-281-2450
- Walgreens, 201 East Main St. Phone: 978-283-7361
- Walgreens, 127 Eastern Ave. Phone: 978-281-2720
- The Gloucester Health Department has partnered with Children’s Friend and Family Services, a division of the Justice Resource Institute, to provide a dedicated representative for community members to contact for help when seeking mental health care. Assistance is free and available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 781-540-3329.
- Action Inc. can help members of the community by providing rental and housing assistance. To learn more about these services, call 978-282-1000 or email [email protected]. Action Inc. can also help with energy and heating assistance, and to learn more about these services call 978-281-3900 or email [email protected]. The nonprofit’s business hours are Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- The City of Gloucester, Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce and Action Inc. have partnered to form the Cape Ann Emergency Relief Fund in an effort to help hourly workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Certain criteria apply, and in order to be eligible, one must be a Cape Ann resident, an hourly wage worker or self-employed, have been working more than 10 hours per week prior to their layoff, have been furloughed or laid off due to COVID-19 or had hours reduced by more than 50%, be an adult over 18 years of age and meet gross annual income requirements. To learn more, visit their website here or call 978-282-1000 ext. 234.