New record for weekly Covid cases in Dartmouth

Dec 4, 2020

Coronavirus cases in Dartmouth have hit another all-time high as the town experiences a record surge, with double the number of cases as during the previous peak in the spring.

The town remains “in the red” — or at high risk of transmission — according to state data released on Dec. 3.

On Dec. 4, the Board of Health reported 156 new cases this week — up from 129 the week before, and two times the 78 cases reported at the peak of the spring outbreak in May.

There have now been 1,131 cases in Dartmouth since the start of the pandemic.

Town hall is now open to the public again after the building was closed from Nov. 20 through Dec. 3 due to “widespread community transmission,” according to Town Administrator Shawn MacInnes.

State data puts Dartmouth among 97 other municipalities at higher risk for contracting the virus due to the town’s 14-day average daily case rate of over 47 per 100,000 people and a percent positive test rate of 6.29%.

The town’s weekly numbers do not include the number of residents who have died from the illness thus far, although a statement from the Board of Health noted the mortality rate will be updated next week.

Public Health Director Chris Michaud has stressed that residents should take all necessary precautions to reduce the risk of transmission, reminding them that just 15 minutes of contact accumulated over 24 hours can transmit the virus.

“All of this is for the purpose of reducing transmission,” he said at the start of the November surge. “We have to reduce transmission. It’s out of control. We’re too high right now, and every week we’re going up.”

Meanwhile UMass Dartmouth reports ten new positive Covid cases from Monday through Wednesday — the last three days for which data is available. The university has reported an average of nearly six new cases per day since Nov. 16.

As of Dec. 3, Massachusetts has 49,225 estimated active Covid-19 cases, with 10,637 confirmed coronavirus-related deaths reported. There have been 21,368 cases in Bristol County since the start of the pandemic.