Special to the Transcript
Town Manager Austin Faison and Public Health Director Meredith Hurley report that Winthrop has seen a rise in positive COVID-19 cases recently, and are urging the community to follow COVID-19 prevention guidance.
At this time, the town is still designated a high risk community by the Commonwealth. Since receiving this designation, the town has worked in close collaboration with the Department of Public Health to address the recent rise in the prevalence of the novel coronavirus in our community.
According to data shared by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health on Wednesday, there have been over 20 new confirmed positive cases of the virus in Winthrop over the past two weeks.
Winthrop Health officials believe that the numbers may be slightly lower than reported by DPH because the local numbers include a number of college students, attending school out of state, whose parents reside in Winthrop. Winthrop officials are working with DPH to correct the numbers to reflect current Winthrop residents.
As of Tuesday, Sept. 29, Winthrop has a reported total of 400 confirmed cases, 24 deceased, 15 isolated and 361 recovered.
All community members are urged to take part in the free COVID-19 testing now available at the McKenna Basketball Courts, 5 Walden St. Previously, free testing was being offered behind the E.B. Newton School.
Testing is available at this site on the following days and times:
â€¢ Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 2-7 p.m. (drive-through)
â€¢ Tuesday and Thursday from 2-7 p.m. (walk-up)
Testing providers are able to provide information in English and Spanish.
COVID-19 prevention tips from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health include:
â€¢ Remember that an infected individual can spread COVID-19 before they have symptoms, which is why social distancing, maintaining a minimum of six feet from others, is critical.
Those who must go out are urged to:
â€¢ Avoid gathering in groups
â€¢ Maintain six feet from people outside your household
â€¢ Do not shake hands or hug
â€¢ Wash your hands often
â€¢ 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
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ Face coverings should:
â€¢ Cover the nose and mouth
â€¢ Fit snugly and comfortably against the side of the face
â€¢ Be secured with either ties or ear loops
â€¢ Permit breathing without difficulty
â€¢ Be able to be washed and machine dried without damage. Face masks should be washed regularly depending on the amount of use.
For more information about COVID-19 prevention and symptoms, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website here and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health website.
Winthrop residents are reminded to visit WinthropCOVID19.com, which serves as a dedicated town resource for information on the pandemic.