Health officials urge vaccinations as new cases increase

Sep 24, 2021

Transmission of Covid-19 continues to rise in Dartmouth as town officials continue to urge residents to get vaccinated.

In its latest report, the state’s Department of Public health confirmed 182 cases in town over the past two weeks — the highest new case case count since mid February, when the town was classified as “yellow” per the state’s Covid-19 risk reporting. 

According to state data, Dartmouth had a 14-day average daily incidence rate of 35 per 100,000 people and a 5.76% positivity rate.

The state also reported 15 cases in Dartmouth’s public schools between Sept. 16 and 22 — 14 students and one staff member.

At a recent Board of Health meeting, Public Health Director Chris Michaud said the increase is likely due to “changes in behavior” compared to the early summer, when cases were at their lowest in town.

The main changes, Michaud noted, are students returning to school full time, along with more people congregating indoors as the season changes.

“Those seem to be the trigger points that really influence the plateaus,” he said.

Absent any state intervention, the pubic health director said he expects the number of new Covid cases to continue trending upward.

“It’s not good,” he said. “We know that people are still falling sick with very serious consequences.”

The main concern local health officials had was with the town’s vaccination rate.

As of Sept. 16, the state reports that 57% of Dartmouth residents have received at least a first vaccination dose. That amounts to 21,266 people. 

More than half of all residents — 52% — are fully vaccinated against the virus. 

Michaud said that while vaccinations are high among the residents aged 65 and older — with more than 80% of those 65 to 74 and 75 plus being fully vaccinated — numbers continue to lag for younger Dartmouth residents.

According to state data, only 32% of those aged 16 to 19 and 20 to 29 have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine.

Board of Health member Dr. Christian Pope noted that area hospitals are once again “overrun and busy,” particularly with younger Coved-Positive patients.

“These tend to be the unvaccinated population,” he said.

People aged 12 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 12 to 17 can only get the Pfizer vaccine. 

Appointments and walk-ins remain available at the former Circuit City Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Thursdays from 2 to 7 p.m. To schedule an appointment, visit

The state has also set up a call center for those who are unable to access the vaccine appointment website or who have trouble navigating the complex online system.

Residents can also get a shot at CVS at 548 Dartmouth St., Stop & Shop at 25 Faunce Corner Road, and at Southcoast Health clinics or its wellness van.

Those with compromised immune systems can receive a third dose of Pfizer or Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine through Southcoast Health.

Third doses are offered at 49 State Road in Dartmouth on Wednesdays. Patients can also get a dose at Truesdale Health on President Avenue in Fall River on Tuesdays, and Rosebrook Southcoast Physician Services on Rosebrook Way in Wareham on Thursdays.

Immunocompromised residents interested in getting their third shot can sign up through their MyChart account or by visiting

Since the start of the pandemic, Dartmouth has seen 3,172 confirmed cases of Covid-19.