Town suspends community testing after CDC recommendation

Covid-19 image

UPDATED Aug. 24: Arlington Health and Human Services last held rapid antigen testing for Covid-19 on Aug. 23 at the town's new community center, 27 Maple St. (formerly the Senior Center), for those who were symptomatic or who had been exposed to Covid-19. 

Two days later, the town announced that testing had been suspended.

"In early August, the CDC updated their Covid-19 recommendations, including the suspension of asymptomatic community testing. As such, the Arlington Health Department has suspended testing operations. We continue to monitor case trends and may resume operations as indicated," the news release said.

Experiencing symptoms or had an exposure? The Arlington Health Department has home test kits available free of charge. Call our office at 781-316-3170 to schedule a time to pick up a test.

The Aug. 11 update, the latest available, shows 6,721 cases of Covid-19 in town, an increase of 651 since June 28.

Deaths rose by one on Feb. 8, to 101, making 14 additional deaths since May 2021.

On March 14, deaths were listed at 84. The state issued a news release about the unexpected change. On March 16, total deaths rose by five, to 89. By March 24, the total had risen two, to 91. By May 3, the latest total was 93. By June 2, the total was 94. By June 28, the total rose to 99. By July 26, the total rose to 102.

Since May 19, 2021, when cases rose to 1,868, until July 6, when the case count was 1,875, Arlington has had its longest periods with few increases since the pandemic hit Arlington -- and YourArlington began reporting numbers almost daily, starting on March 6, 2020. 

Vaccines administered
Residents:
45,827 (earlier census)
At least 1 dose: 94%Fully vaccinated: 85%

See the percentage of those vaccinated in Arlington (one dose and both shots):

Data: Mass. Dept. of Public Health

 See daily counts going back to March 2020 here, under cumulative cases) >>

See all numbers by clicking on View more tables >> 

Here's an explanation about how to read these numbers >> 

 To see the age breakdown of cases, click here and scroll down to the chart >>  

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.”

10th local death identified

Joyce Dodge, a resident of Sunrise Assisted Living, Arlington, before she was taken to Mount Auburn Hospital last Christmas, tested positive and died there Jan. 8, according to a member of the family. There is no obituary.

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.

A window in Arlington tells the story in April 2020. / Marjorie Howard photoA window at Sunrise in March 2020. / Marjorie Howard 

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.

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


April-May 2022: Town Covid tracking
March 22: Town Covid tracking
February 2022: Town Covid tracking
January 2022: Town Covid tracking

November through December: Town Covid tracking
September through October: Town Covid tracking
June through August: Town Covid-19 tracking
May 1 through 31: Town Covid-19 tracking
April 1 through 30: Town Covid-19 tracking
March 1 through 31: Town Covid-19 tracking
Feb. 1 through 28: Town Covid-19 tracking
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 Wednesday, June 1, 2022, and updated Aug. 24. The orginal copy was written by Joan Roman, town webmaster, with editing and additions by Bob Sprague. Patch reports were included.   

 
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