New Covid cases surge past 100 in Dartmouth

Nov 13, 2020

Dartmouth is experiencing the largest surge in coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with more than 100 reported in the past week. 

In a statement published on Nov. 13, the town’s Board of Health reported 115 new cases this week— nearly double the amount of cases the week before and higher than the 78 cases reported at the worst of the spring outbreak in May. 

Covid-19 is once again claiming lives in Dartmouth, as the town has reported four more virus-related deaths this week for a total of 48 since the start of the pandemic.

At a Nov. 12 Board of Health meeting, Public Health Director Chris Michaud noted that when cases did surge in the spring, nearly half of them were in nursing homes, hospitals, and other congregate living facilities.

In the general community, he said there were generally 30 to 40 new cases  — now, it’s more than 100. Michaud notes that a lot of the current cases are “close contacts.”

“Every two weeks it seems like we’re doubling,” the Public Health Director added. “That’s concerning.” 

During a recent flu shot clinic, Michaud urged residents to remember to keep their social distance from each other as much as possible and to avoid large indoor gatherings.

 “The risk for transmission does not go away in your home if you have a gathering,” he said. “If you decide to have 40 people and they’re not keeping their distance or wearing masks, that’s a very risky event.” 

Most of all, Michaud stressed that if you feel sick, “stay home.” 

According to state data released on Nov. 12, Dartmouth has a fairly high average daily case rate of 29.8 per 100,000 people, nearly triple the required rate to be in the red zone.

But in the new system, the town would only reenter the red zone if it also reported a positive test percentage of 5% or higher. The state currently puts Dartmouth at 4.59% positive.

At the Nov. 12 meeting, Board of Health member Leslie McKinley expressed her displeasure with the state’s decision to alter the stoplight system and keep Dartmouth in the yellow, adding that it makes people less likely to pay attention to their pandemic practices. 

“I think being red really makes people stop and think before they take part in any informal social gatherings,” she said.

As of Nov. 13, Massachusetts has 27,431 estimated active Covid-19 cases, with 10,038 confirmed coronavirus-related deaths reported. There have been 15,394 cases in Bristol County since the start of the pandemic.