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Zhen Ren Chuan 2021
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Signups for 75+ underway (state vows call center); Covid-19 cases rise by 51 since Jan. 22

UPDATED: The Jan. 29 town update shows that Covid-19 cases rose to 1,379 -- 51 higher than last Friday, 139 since Jan. 14 and 344 since Dec. 31. Deaths remained at 72.

Covid-19 imageSee 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 >> The age breakdown of cases reported through Jan. 29:

19 and under20-2930-3940-4950-5960-6970-7980 and overTotal cases
186 221 195 169 222 139 113 134   1,379

View Massachusetts case numbers here >> 

On Jan. 25, Gov. Baker said that people aged 75 and over will be eligible to get the Covid-19 vaccine starting Feb. 1, with signups beginning Jan. 27, and that there are to be 165 vaccination sites statewide by mid-February.

Patch reports Jan. 28 how the state is addressing the issues >> Baker promises call center, Globe reports >>

On Jan. 21, Gov. Baker announced he lifting a stay-at-home advisory and early business closings. More on Patch >>  

25% capacity limits and gathering limits extend to Feb. 8.
Effective 5 a.m. Jan. 25, early closing for certain businesses, stay at home order lifts.

As positive case rates and hospitalizations have stabilized from the second surge, Baker announced adjustments to the state’s reopening plan. Effective 5 a.m. Jan. 25, the order requiring stay at home advisory announced in November will be lifted. However, the 25-percent capacity limit adopted Dec. 16 will be in effect for another 2 weeks, until at least Feb. 8. Highlights of this order continue to be:

       - Most industries will be subject to a 2-percent capacity limit
       - Gathering limit will be 10 persons indoors, 25 persons outdoors.

Baker also discusses the opening of Gillette Stadium for a large-scale vaccination clinic now vaccinating all priority groups in Phase 1 and other details of the state’s vaccination plan. You may learn more about these plans, priority groups, and more at mass.gov/vaccine.

Read the full press release.

Added clinics planned: Arlington’s Health Department is anticipating the expansion of their ability to vaccinate additional priority groups in Phases 1 and 2. In anticipation of expanding their efforts, they have created a form in which Arlington residents can provide their information to be alerted if, and when, a vaccination clinic is available for their priority group. Submission of your information does not guarantee placement nor does it bound you to get vaccinated by the Health Department. It is only a mechanism to alert priority groups of possible Health Department run vaccination clinics. Depending on the priority group, it may be weeks before you hear from us. Please be patient. Submit your information.

Arlington to realign with state guidance Jan. 6
Fitness Centers, Gyms, Theaters, may reopen within current state guidance.
On Jan. 6 regional restrictions enacted by Arlington on Dec. 16 -- which included impacts to gyms, fitness centers, bars, movie theaters and other local businesses -- will be updated to align with the restrictions the state enacted on Dec. 22. Those restrictions are in effect until, at least, Sunday, Jan. 24. Highlights of the state restrictions include:

- Most industries will be subject to a 25% capacity limit
- Updated gathering limit will be 10 persons indoors, 25 persons outdoors.
- Since December 26th all hospitals have been directed to postpone or cancel all nonessential inpatient elective invasive procedures in order to maintain and increase inpatient capacity.
- No restaurant may sell or provide alcohol of any kind between the hours of 9:30 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.

Gov. Baker said Jan. 4 that a new field hospital was slated to open in Lowell at the UMass-Lowell recreation center. That facility, he said, will compliment another field hospital set up at the DCU Center in Worcester.

State Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders said, “You have to be registered with the Massachusetts immunization information system. You have to submit a completed unique Massachusetts Covid-19 vaccine program agreement. And you have to have a vaccination standing order by a physician in place, by a medical provider in place.”

Sudders also discussed recent adjustments officials have made to grant earlier access to the shot for people aged 75 and older. “In response to the Dec. 22 revised Covid-19 vaccine recommendations of the CDC’s advisory committee on immunization practice, otherwise known as ACIP, the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 advisory group convened on Dec. 23rd and 30th to discuss whether any changes to the previous recommendations were warranted,” Sudders said.

She said the advisory group “came to consensus on one single change to the current recommendations, taking into particular consideration ACIP’s highlighting of individuals aged 75 and older as being at particular risk of serious complications of Covid-19. Based on this recommendation of the Covid-19 advisory group, we are updating prioritization today so that individuals ages 75-plus are included in Phase 2, Group 1, along with individuals of all ages with two-plus comorbidities.” 

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.

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


Dec. 1 through 30, 2020: Town Covid-19 tracking
Feb. 28-March 6, 2020: Coronavirus risk remains low in town, health office says in 2nd update


This news announcement was published Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, and updated Jan. 5 through 29. The orginal copy was written by Joan Roman, town webmaster, with editing and additions by Bob Sprague. 

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