Covid cases decrease, but record surge continues

Jan 15, 2021

The results of the Covid holiday surge are still being felt in Dartmouth as the town reported 267 new cases in the week ending Jan. 15, down from a record-breaking 300 the week before.

Although down slightly, cases are still up 30% compared to the 207 reported on Jan. 1, as the winter surge from the holiday season continues. The town hasn’t seen weekly case numbers under three digits since mid-November.

Dartmouth residents have seen a total of 2,245 cases of the viral illness since the pandemic began last year.

State data as of Jan. 14 shows Dartmouth as having a 14-day average daily incidence rate at 113 per 100,000 people and a 13.6% positivity rate. 

The Dartmouth Public Schools delayed a return to hybrid in-person lessons until Jan. 19 for its elementary and Middle School students and until Feb. 1 for its High School students, while high school sports were postponed until Jan. 19.

Despite remaining remote since lessons began again on Jan. 4, schools reported 193 active Covid cases among students and staff, representing 5.4% of the student population. Of those, 66 cases are among students and staff at the high school.

Meanwhile vaccinations are ongoing for the town’s elderly residents and first responders.

According to Public Health Director Chris Michaud, the latter operation started off “quickly and smoothly” on Jan. 11.
He added that all residents, visitors, and workers in town should still implement Covid safety guidelines. 
“I want everyone to remember that we are at the beginning of the state’s phased vaccination plan, and it is still important to practice proven safety tactics like social distancing and wearing face coverings,” he said. 

The town has not reported any deaths attributed to Covid since a total of 55 virus-related deaths were reported on Dec. 11.

As of Jan. 14, Massachusetts has an estimated 93,597 active Covid-19 cases, with 13,231 coronavirus-related deaths reported. There have been 438,371 total confirmed cases in the commonwealth thus far, representing 6.5% of the population.