GLOUCESTER — Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken and Public Health Director Karin Carroll report that the City of Gloucester has seen a significant rise in COVID-19 cases this week.
Since yesterday, there have been 32 new positive cases of COVID-19 identified among Gloucester residents — the highest rate of new daily cases in the community since the pandemic began. On Tuesday, there were 17 confirmed and one probable cases of the virus reported to the City, and today, as of 3:30 p.m., there were nine confirmed and five probable new cases reported.
There are currently 65 active cases of COVID-19 in Gloucester. There have been 624 cases of the virus in the community since the pandemic began (564 confirmed cases and 60 probable cases). Of those who have had the virus in the community, 533 people have recovered and there have been 26 COVID-19 related deaths.
The Gloucester Health Department is seeing significant, widespread community transmission of the virus. The City of Gloucester is also aware of widespread transmission from recent data gathered from wastewater testing.
“Social gatherings are having a direct and deeply concerning impact on the number of cases of COVID-19 we are seeing in the city right now,” Mayor Romeo Theken said. “Our residents should be avoiding unnecessary social gatherings with those from outside your household, especially indoors. Never forget: even if you feel fine, even if you have no symptoms, you might be carrying this virus and exposing others.”
“It has been a long year since this pandemic began, but this is not the time to loosen up on your efforts to stay healthy and stop the spread of the virus,” Carroll said. “More than ever, we need our community to wear a mask, practice social distancing and stay home if you feel sick.”
Beverly and Addison Gilbert Hospitals are also seeing an increase in hospitalizations of those with the virus.
“We have been caring for an increasing number of COVID-positive patients in recent weeks, and we are deeply proud of all of our dedicated caregivers and staff, who continue to rise to meet the challenges of this pandemic,” said Cynthia Cafasso Donaldson, Vice President of Beverly and Addison Gilbert Hospitals. “Every member of our community has an important role to play in helping to contain the spread of this virus. We can keep each other safe and healthy by staying 6 feet apart from others whenever possible, wearing a mask, and practicing good hand hygiene.”
Gloucester’s contact tracing team is working diligently to contact all of the newly identified cases of COVID-19 and to contact all of their close contacts so that those individuals may quarantine and get tested. If you are not contacted by a member of Gloucester’s contact tracing team you have not been identified as a close contact.
However, all residents are reminded that if they feel sick, are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 or believe they may have been exposed to the virus, they should stay home, call their primary care physician and get tested.
Residents are reminded that COVID-19 testing is free through the state’s Stop the Spread initiative, and the nearest testing site is in Salem. For more information on testing locations and availability, click here. Additional COVID-19 testing locations can be located through a map created by the state, linked here. If you are asymptomatic and have not been identified as a close contact of someone who has an active, positive case of COVID-19, there may be a fee for testing at a site that is not within the Stop the Spread program.