Covid case count reaches new heights

Jan 13, 2022

New cases of Covid-19 have skyrocketed to new heights in Dartmouth.

In the past two weeks, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health confirmed 1149 cases in town — an increase of 529 from the state’s previous report.

According to state data, Dartmouth had a daily average incidence rate of 221.2 per 100,000 people and a 21.92% positivity rate — the highest totals since the state began listing data in 2020.

The state also reported 197 cases within all six of Dartmouth’s public schools between Jan. 6 and 12.

Due to the ongoing surge, students in Dartmouth will need to continue masking up until at least the end of February, the state’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced Monday.

Under the mandate, which had previously been set to expire on Jan. 15, students ages 5 and older are required to wear masks except when eating, drinking or during mask breaks while inside school buildings.

The department noted that school officials will continue to be able to lift the mask requirement if they can demonstrate that at least 80% of all students and staff in a school building are vaccinated.

Unvaccinated students and staff would still be required to continue wearing masks.

As cases continue to rise, town officials are strongly encouraging residents to get vaccinated if they have not already.

“We know that the vaccine is working very well,” Public Health Director Chris Michaud said at a recent Select Board meeting. “If you haven’t been vaccinated, please talk to your general practitioner — if you’re not a doctor, you really don’t belong talking about what a vaccine may do.”

People aged 5 or older who live, work or study in Massachusetts are eligible to be vaccinated against Covid-19. Those over the age of 18 can sign up to receive any vaccine, but those ages 5 to 17 can only get the Pfizer vaccine.

As of Jan. 6, 64% of Dartmouth residents have received at least a first vaccination dose. That amounts to 23,868 people. More than half of all residents — 57% — are fully vaccinated against the virus.

Those eligible for the vaccine can find appointments at providers around the state using the state’s website

Vaccinations also continue at the clinic being operated by Southcoast Health at the VF Outlet. Clinics will be operated Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Patients can book their shots by signing up through their MyChart account or by visiting

Health officials recommend all Massachusetts residents 16 and up get their booster as soon as possible.

Residents are eligible to get a booster five months after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or two months after receiving the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Centers for Disease Control recommendations allow for mixing and matching of different booster doses.

According to Southcoast Health, only 3% of hospitalized Covid-positive patients in its hospitals are fully vaccinated and boosted and that unvaccinated residents are 31 times more likely to become infected than fully vaccinated residents who have gotten a booster shot.