Slight decrease in new Covid cases
Following a more than 35% increase in new Covid cases, Dartmouth’s numbers are back on the decline.
This week, the town’s Board of Health reported 63 new cases of the virus — down from 76 the previous week.
According to state data, Dartmouth had a 14-day average daily incidence rate of 26 per 100,000 people and a 3.12% positivity rate in the two weeks ending April 15.
Dartmouth is still classified “yellow” per the state’s guidelines — the same category the town has fallen into since Feb. 18.
To qualify for the red, “high risk” category, the town would require an average of more than 10 cases per 100,000 people and a positive test rate of more than 5%. Previously, the state used the number of cases detected on average each day over two weeks to determine if Massachusetts' communities are at high risk for coronavirus transmission. The new list factors in population size and positive test rate.
The state also reports six positive student cases in Dartmouth’s public schools for the second week in a row.
On April 5, elementary schools saw all grade levels return to the classroom full time. Middle schoolers are expected to return fully on April 28.
Meanwhile, UMass Dartmouth reported 11 new cases this past week — 0.74% of the 1,491 tested.
At the Bristol County House of Correction, the state reports zero new cases among inmates and staff. Vaccinations continue to remain low at the Faunce Corner jail, with 233 inmates and 204 staff have gotten their first vaccination doses as of April 15 — meanwhile, 606 inmates and 355 staff have refused to get their shots.
Vaccinations continuing to rise across the county — with 36% of all residents getting a first dose and 22% getting their second jab.
Beginning April 19, anyone 16 and older will become eligible for a vaccination.
In preparation for the eligibility expansion, all Massachusetts residents can sign up to be notified when they become eligible to schedule an appointment at a mass vaccination site.
The state’s preregistration system launched on March 12, and Dartmouth residents can preregister at https://vaccinesignup.mass.gov/.
Anyone who cannot fill out the form online can ask a family member, companion or caregiver to fill it out, or call the state’s vaccination help line by dialing 211.
Vaccine supply and available appointments at the Southcoast Health VF Outlet site are dependent on the state and could vary from week to week.
Those interested in getting vaccinated at the VF Outlet can now sign up as slots are available either through their MyChart account or at www.southcoast.org/covid-19-vaccine-scheduling, which does not require a MyChart account.
Residents who are older who do not have access to a computer, and who may need assistance accessing the clinic, should contact the Dartmouth Council on Aging at (508) 999-4717.
As of April 16, Massachusetts has an estimated 35,478 active Covid-19 cases, with 17,087 coronavirus-related deaths reported since the pandemic began.
There have been 626,550 total confirmed cases in the commonwealth thus far, representing 9% of the population.
So far, 1,875,316 people in Massachusetts have been fully vaccinated.