Officials worried about current Covid surge

Jan 10, 2022

With Covid cases continuing to rise across Dartmouth, town officials are hoping to get things trending in the right direction.

At a Jan. 10 Select Board meeting, Public Health Director Chris Michaud noted that the town is seeing its highest totals since early 2021. According to the state’s most recent report, Dartmouth had 620 cases in town — an increase of 239 from the previous two week period.

“Right now, it’s bad,” he said. “I think that’s twice what we saw last year with the Christmas surge.”

One of the best ways to mitigate continued spread, Michaud said, is for residents to simply stay home if they’re feeling sick.

“That has always existed in years prior to 2020,” he said. 

Michaud also encouraged those who have not gotten a Covid-19 vaccination to get their shots.

“We know that the vaccine is working very well,” he said. “If you haven’t been vaccinated, please talk to your general practitioner — if you’re not a doctor, you really don’t belong talking about what a vaccine may do.”

Select Board Vice Chair David Tatelbaum agreed.

“With Omicron, it’s a shooting gallery as to when and if someone’s going to get Covid,” he said. 

The public health director noted that due to the surge, there have been “bottlenecks” at area testing sites, slowing their ability to get results out.

“It doesn’t matter how many noses that we can swab and send off to labs,” Michaud said. “If those labs aren’t returning results for four, five, six, [or] seven days — those results are really becoming  somewhat useless, they’re stale.”

At the same meeting, the board also voted to recommend that all municipal meetings be held remotely until at least Feb. 28.

“I know I was an advocate to open us up to in-person meetings as early as possible, but things have changed and our attitude has to change,” Tatelbaum said.