New cases increase amid delta variant surge
New cases of Covid-19 are continuing to surge in Dartmouth.
The Department of Public Health reported 91 new cases of the virus in town over the past two weeks — a nearly 60% increase from the 57 in last week’s report.
According to state data, the town has a 14-day incidence rate of 17.5 per 100,000 residents and a positivity rate of 4.25%. Despite the increase, Dartmouth is still classified as “gray” in the state’s Covid-19 risk reporting — the lowest risk level.
The increase comes as school officials opted to keep the district’s mask mandate in effect to start the upcoming school year. With the resurgence of Covid and its more contagious delta variant, the fall mask requirement had been supported by Public Health Director Chris Michaud.
As cases continue to increase, Michaud encouraged residents to follow safety protocols, such as social distancing and wearing face coverings.
The most important thing people can do, he said, is to get vaccinated. He encouraged people to look at the issue from a “patriotic perspective’’ by “doing the right thing for everybody.’’
As of Aug. 12, the state reports that 55% of residents residents have received at least a first dose. That amounts to 20,381 people — up 163 from the previous week.
Only 49% are fully vaccinated against the virus.
In contrast, larger municipalities like Attleboro and Taunton have first dose rates of 61% and 59% respectively.
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.
Those interested in getting vaccinated can also sign up for shots at Southcoast Health clinics or its wellness van as by contacting your provider or visiting www.southcoast.org/covid-19-vaccine-scheduling.
Appointments and walk-ins remain also 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 vaxfinder.mass.gov.
Residents can also get a shot at CVS at 548 Dartmouth St. and Stop & Shop at 25 Faunce Corner Road.
The Covid-19 vaccine is free, and individuals do not need insurance or an ID to get the vaccine.
For additional information about the available Covid-19 vaccines, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/, or talk to your doctor.