New cases, county vaccinations remain low

Mar 5, 2021

Coronavarius numbers continue to remain low in Dartmouth as the vaccination process goes on.

This week, the Board of Health reported 47 new instances of the viral illness — the first time the town has been below 50 new cases since October. 

According to the state’s weekly report, Dartmouth had a 14-day average daily incidence rate of 23.9 per 100,000 people and a 2.86% positivity rate in the two weeks ending March 4.

In Dartmouth’s public schools, the state reports six new cases in the past week.

Meanwhile, UMass Dartmouth reported five new cases — 0.37% of all those tested.

Despite the decline, Public Health Director Chris Michaud warned residents last month that “now is not the time to let down your guard.”

“There’s still a lot of uncertainty,” he added. “We’re not going to be getting the fully vaccinated numbers that we need to get.”

As clinics continue in town, vaccinations still lag behind the rest of the commonwealth. According to state data, only 14% of Bristol County residents have gotten a first dose as of March 4 — the only county to be under 15%. 

Just 6% of residents have gotten a second shot.

Bristol County was also among the last in the commonwealth for cumulative number of doses shipped to the county compared to population, at 13.9%. Only Plymouth County ranked lower with 13.3%

By contrast, Suffolk County has seen a rate of doses shipped per population of 73.3%.

The state had previously pulled doses of the vaccine from Dartmouth’s town-run clinic as well as Southcoast Health clinics that have since resumed.

Vaccination numbers also remain low at the Bristol County House of Correction. Only four new staffers have gotten first doses this week, with 16 inmates also getting their initial jabs.

Since the vaccination process began at the Dartmouth jail in January, Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Jonathan Darling noted that more inmates have warmed up to getting their first dose after seeing that there “have been no real issues” or adverse reactions reported by others.

“I think it’s human nature to see other people have gotten it and they were okay and want to do it,” he said. “Every week we have gotten more and more inmates who have accepted it.” 

As of March 5, Massachusetts has an estimated 27,382 active Covid-19 cases, with 15,992 coronavirus-related deaths reported since the pandemic began.

There have been 556,307 total confirmed cases in the commonwealth thus far, representing over 8% of the population.