Dartmouth in the red for Covid cases, state data shows

Oct 8, 2020

Dartmouth is now a Covid-19 hotspot in Massachusetts, as state coronavirus data released on Oct. 7 listed the town “in the red” — meaning with a Covid-positive rate of more than eight per 100,000 people, it is in danger of being designated a “higher risk” community.

Data is based on case numbers over the two weeks ending Oct. 7. According to the state, there have been 42 positive cases during that time, bringing the town’s total case count to 508.

On the latest map, 40 towns and cities in Massachusetts are now “in the red.” If Dartmouth’s red-zone status continues for another two weeks, it must return to Step 1 of Phase 3 of the governor’s reopening plan.

Currently, the town is on Step 2 of the third phase, which allows fitting rooms in retail stores to open, a 50% capacity up to 250 people for both indoor and outdoor performance venues, and a 50% capacity for gyms, museums, and libraries, among other loosened restrictions.

Regardless of status, for all communities a maximum of 25 people is currently allowed at indoor gatherings, with a maximum of 50 people allowed at private outdoor gatherings.

In lower-risk communities, there is a maximum limit of 100 people gathered at outdoor events and in public settings, while higher-risk communities (those still in Step 1 of Phase 3) are limited to 50 people maximum at outdoor events.

Both Dartmouth and the state of Massachusetts — along with the rest of the country — are experiencing a resurgence of coronavirus cases this fall after the count remained low in the Northeast over the summer.

Many White House and Republican officials have tested positive after President Trump caught the illness last week. Patriots quarterback Cam Newton and cornerback Stephon Gilmore have also reportedly tested positive for Covid.  

Closer to home, one member of the Dartmouth High School community has tested positive, as Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bonny Gifford wrote in a letter to parents and staff on Oct. 4.

The high school is expected to resume part-time in-person lessons later this month.

Dartmouth has one of the highest testing rates in the state, with 2806 tests conducted over the 14-day period and 52 positive results.

According to town data released Sept. 25, Dartmouth had 18 new cases that week — which when coupled with the state data means that the number of positive cases on–week is almost certainly climbing.

Massachusetts has seen 133,868 Covid-19 cases as of Oct. 7, affecting nearly 2% of the population, with 9,342 deaths among confirmed cases. Bristol County has seen 10,423 cases to date.