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Covid-19 cases jump 365 since Dec. 1, increasing 612 after Oct. 14

UPDATED: The Dec. 31 town update shows that Covid-19 cases jumped 365 since Dec. 1, to 995 -- up 612 from Oct. 14. Deaths remain at 61. See daily counts going back to March here, under cumulative cases) >> See all numbers by clicking on View more tables >>  Here's an explanation about how to read these numbers >>

Covid-19 image The age breakdown of cases reported through Dec. 31:

19 and under 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70-79 80 and over Total cases
125 149 133 114 167 103 87 117   995

View Massachusetts case numbers here >> 

Gov. Baker announced new restrictions on Dec. 22. For two weeks starting Saturday, Dec. 26, he said capacity limits will be lowered to 25 percent for most industries. Indoor and outdoor gathering limits will be reduced to 25 people outside and 10 people inside, including for events.

He said if we can all agree to do the things that slow the spread over the next two weeks, it will helps us build the bridge we all need to the new vaccine. Nothing announced Dec. 22 affects anything associated with K-12 education and that guidance is already in place.

The 25-percent capacity applies to restaurants and personal services, theaters and performance venues, casinos, office spaces, places of worship, retail, driving and flight school, golf facilities for indoor spaces, libraries, lodging, arcades and indoor recreation centers, fitness and health clubs, museums, cultural facilities and guided tours. Workers and staff will NOT count toward the occupancy count for restaurants, personal services, places of worship and retail businesses such as grocery stores.

Arlington joins regional effort to curb the spread of Covid-19
New guidance for gyms, fitness centers, bars and movie theaters started Dec. 16.
Town officials continue to monitor the spread of the novel coronavirus, Covid-19, daily and coordinate regionally to make the best decisions for the safety of all our residents.

Pointing to the town's public Covid-19 dashboard, a town notice says Arlington case counts have grown at an alarming rate the past two months, with 66 cases in October, 181 cases in November and 169 cases as of Dec. 13. The City of Boston also reports that the percentage of occupied adult non-surge ICU beds at Boston hospitals is at 90 percent as of Dec. 10. Because of this increase, with more expected, the Town of Arlington joins the City of Boston and issues new guidance to help curb the spread of Covid-19.

“The state’s reopening plan was developed with consideration to urban and suburban areas,” said Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine in a Dec. 14 email. “We would prefer the state issue these advisories, but understand they may be bound by other pressures. In absence of statewide advisories, Arlington, as a dense suburb, will work with our regional neighbors to develop guidance to reduce the spread of the virus.”

Effective Wednesday, Dec. 16

  • Indoor recreational and athletic facilities will be closed (does not include Ed Burns Arena).
  • Fitness and health clubs will be closed.
  • Museums will be closed.
  • Movie theaters will be closed.
  • Indoor event spaces closed (meeting rooms, private party rooms, social clubs).
  • Sightseeing and other organized tours closed.
  • Outdoor theaters/performance spaces limited to 25 persons. Indoor private gathers, still at 10 persons.
  • No bar seating inside restaurants.

Arlington continues to follow the state's Reopening Massachusetts Plan, but will supplement the Plan with additional advisories as public health data dictate. Mayors and city leaders from Massachusetts are joining Boston and Arlington in announcing similar restrictions in their cities and towns, including Somerville, Newton, Brockton, Lynn, Melrose, and Winthrop. 

Effective Dec. 13, Statewide Rollback to Phase 3, Step 1:  The Baker-Polito administration announced Dec. 8 that effective Sunday, Dec. 13, all communities in Massachusetts will return to Step 1 of Phase 3, of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan.

This will reduce indoor capacities across a broad range of sectors of the economy and tighten several other workplace restrictions. The administration announced the roll-back to respond to an increase in new Covid-19 infections and hospitalizations since the Thanksgiving holiday that is straining the health-care system in Massachusetts.

The return to Step 1 will also require the closure of certain businesses designated as Step 2 industries. These include indoor performance venues and certain high-contact indoor recreational businesses. In addition, capacity limits will be reduced to 40 percent statewide for most industries, and the limit on outdoor gatherings will be reduced statewide from 100 persons to 50 persons. Additional safety measures will be applied to restaurant dining as well.

These new measures are designed to prevent infection and viral spread, especially in indoor settings. They will create stronger mask compliance, more social distancing, and limits to the time spent with people outside of your immediate household.

The administration also announced additional guidance for certain sectors including restaurants, office spaces and gyms, to address activities where mask wearing is not possible at all times. Read the full release at mass.gov

State moves Arlington into higher-risk status: Arlington jumps to a 1.39 percent positivity rate from 0.80 percent Nov. 12, moving the town from green to yellow on the state Department of Public Health dashboard

Not feeling well? Get tested: Arlington’s Health Department continues to urge residents to avoid holding or attending social gatherings, either inside or outside. If you are not feeling well, stay home and find a free testing site at mass.gov/stopthespread. If you receive a contact tracing call, answering the call will help stop the spread of Covid-19.

A window in Arlington tells the story in April 2020. / Marjorie Howard photoA window at Sunrise in March 2020. / Marjorie Howard Accounting for some deaths: The Boston Globe has reported that Ellen McDonald, a guardian to Norma Ricci, 92, said her friend’s assisted-living residence, Sunrise of Arlington, told her April 1 that a nurse who worked on Ricci’s floor had been infected. A week later, McDonald was told Ricci was rushed to Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, with no mention of coronavirus.

The next day, Mount Auburn called to say Ricci had Covid-19. McDonald donned full protective garb to visit her friend on Easter. Ricci died April 15, according to a DeVito Funeral Home notice, which lacks an obituary. 

McDonald told the Globe that Sunrise nurses told her many residents were coughing and some staffers had stopped coming to work, without official word from management. In a statement, Sunrise Senior Living told The Globe that nine residents of its Arlington facility have died and 25 have tested positive. The statement said Sunrise has regularly updated residents and families by phone and e-mail. It quoted a regional vice president, Thomas Kessler, as saying, “Communication has always been a source of pride at Sunrise of Arlington.”

9th local death identified

Among the Covid-19 deaths so far reported among town residents since early March, YourArlington has identified an ninth from obituaries. A listing at Boston.com shows  Helen T. Metros died Dec. 12 from the virus in Pittsfield.

8th local death identified

Among the Covid-19 deaths so far reported among town residents since early March, YourArlington has identified an eighth from obituaries. A listing at Boston.com shows Vincent A. Aliberti died July 12 from the virus.

6th, 7th local deaths identified

Among the Covid-19 deaths so far reported among town residents, YourArlington has identified a sixth and seventh from obituaries. Listings at Boston.com show that Joan M. Mockel and Danile F. Morrison recently succumbed to the virus.

5th local death identified

Among the 19 Covid-19 deaths so far reported among town residents, YourArlington has identified a fifth, Vincie Teresa DeRose (Militello), as reported by the Gloucester Times. 

The fourth was Alfred "Fred" Iannacone. YourArlington reported a third death, occurring April 14 at Sunrise Assisted Living. A source confirmed the virus victim was Theodore S. Wayne. Since the end of March, two others have died in town from coronavirus: A Globe death notice identifies the first as James K. Power on March 30. A second death here was reported March 31, without details. 

Town issues "Wear A Face Covering in Public" advisory; continue to heed state’s stay-at-home advisory. Only run essential errands.
In addition to the current Stay at Home advisory by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, starting immediately, the Town of Arlington is issuing a townwide advisory that all residents wear a face covering when in public.

This advisory applies to anyone age 2 or older when in any public indoor or outdoor space. Indoor public spaces include stores and common areas in multi-unit homes. Outdoor areas include sidewalks, parks, trails, and the bike path. All persons including joggers and cyclists must comply.

This ongoing town statement continues: "We continue to believe this number may provide a false sense of security to residents as numbers in the region and across the state increase at a rapid rate. Public health officials remind all residents, regardless of age, to stay at home and away from anyone who does not live in your house, including relatives. If you have to go out to conduct a necessary errand, like grocery shopping, picking up medication, or checking in on a neighbor who may need assistance, it is crucial you practice social distancing and keep 6 feet away from others."

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance information: The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program is now accepting applications; this program provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals who are unable to work because of a Covid-19 related reason, but are not eligible for regular or extended unemployment benefits. This includes the self-employed, independent contractors, workers with limited work history, and others. Individuals can review eligibility scenarios here and apply for PUA here.

Nursing Home Family Resource Line: The state has launched a dedicated hotline that will connect family members of nursing home and rest home residents with information and resources they seek. Created so that family and community members have one central contact that they can reach out to if they have questions or concerns about the care their loved one is receiving during the Covid-19 outbreak. The line is staffed from 9 AM – 5 PM, seven days a week. Staff will coordinate across state agencies to help callers find answers to their questions. Families and community members can call the line at (617) 660-5399.

CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings when in public: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies). Wearing a cloth face covering is not a substitute for social distancing, but an extra measure while you are running essential errands to minimize the spread of the virus. The CDC provides instructions on how to make your own cloth face covering.

For the national picture, see this U.S. map showing numbers from all counties >>

The town is also accepting donations of cloth face coverings, to local seniors, as well as PPE equipment for first responders and healthcare professionals.

List of businesses currently open in Arlington: The listings will be updated at least once daily. Please contact businesses directly before placing and order or going to their establishment to confirm that they are open, as the information on this list is subject to change.  See the list here >>

Additional resources for businesses and nonprofits may be found on the Business & Nonprofit Resourcepage. but should not comngregate in groups. 


Tracking Covid-19 via Johns Hopkins site


Oct. 26 to Nov. 30, 2020: Town Covid-19 tracking
Sept. 14 to Oct. 23, 2020: Town Covid-19 tracking
Aug. 3 to Sept. 11, 2020: Town Covid-19 tracking
June 25 to Aug. 1, 2020: Town Covid-19 tracking
Town Covid-19 tracking: June 1-25, 2020
May 18 through 29, 2020: Daily town Covid-19 deaths up 4; Town Day canceled
April 27-May 1, 2020: Covid-19 cases in town rise 5, as deaths hold at 23
April 22-26, 2020: Ongoing records of town updates, related info
April 17-21, 2020: Cases drop by 1, as death total remains; Baker extends school closings
April 13-17, 2020: Cases in town rise to 105, from 99 Wednesday; 3rd death identified
April 2-10, 2020: Cases in town rise to 67, from 45 Wednesday
March 30-April 1, 2020: Arlington Covid-19 deaths stand at 2, as cases rise to 23
March 23-27, 2020:12 positive town cases of Covid-19 remain firm; Baker announces travel restrictions
March 20-23, 2020: Presumptive Covid-19 cases rise to 7; public urged to stay at home; testing in Heights
March 15, 2020: Playgrounds closed, Town Hall restricted after 4 Covid-19 cases cited
March 13-15, 2020: Possible postponement of town election pushes candidates to go virtual
March 12, 2020: Town's public schools among 6 districts closing for two weeks
March 11, 2020: In face of threat, town suspends Senior Center programs, postpones library events
March 8, 2012: 2nd resident tests negative for Covid-19
Feb. 28-March 6, 2020: Coronavirus risk remains low in town, health office says in 2nd update


This news announcement was published Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020. The orginal copy was written by Joan Roman, town webmaster, with editing and additions by Bob Sprague. Updated Dec. 2 through 31.

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