Town Covid cases rise to 371

Jun 6, 2020

Coronavirus cases in Dartmouth keep climbing as the town has seen 371 confirmed cases of the virus and 34 Covid-related deaths as of June 5, according to the town’s Board of Health.

A breakdown of the numbers shows that nearly 51 percent of the cases are in congregate living facilities, including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and the Bristol County House of Correction.

Bliss Corner nursing home Brandon Woods, one of the hardest hit facilities, still has more than 30 cases of Covid-19 in the aftermath of an outbreak that left 22 residents dead, according to data released by the state.

Meanwhile after two staff members tested positive in late April, the Autumn Glen assisted living facility has seen fourteen confirmed coronavirus cases.

Two other assisted living facilities, the Residence at Cedar Dell and the Cottages at Dartmouth Village, both have between one and ten Covid-19 cases.

During the height of the outbreak in late April, the Bliss Corner nursing home saw nearly 70 coronavirus cases housed in a separate quarantine unit, with 16 staff testing positive and seven residents dying in a matter of days.

The outbreak started with just two confirmed cases on April 10, a number that jumped to 18 within the week.

Widespread testing of residents and staff was conducted with help from a mobile testing unit provided by the Broad Institute, MIT, and the National Guard, and positive cases were immediately isolated, according to parent company CEO Frank Romano.

But it’s not all bad news. The rate of new cases in town appears to be slowing, with the surge hospital at UMass Dartmouth will be closed this past week, according to a spokesperson at Southcoast Health, who added that the hospital “thankfully” never had to be used.

Governor Charlie Baker announced on May 26 more field hospital closures as he said the surge “is behind us.”

Public Information Officer Kyle Costa said previously that the numbers are “consistent with what’s going on nationally.”

Costa noted, “This area in particular has done an amazing job staying on top of things...I think it’s a credit to everybody who’s listening to recommendations.”

He added that people should remain cautious and continue to follow state and CDC guidelines recommending regular hand washing, social distancing, and wearing a face covering in public.

“There could be an uptick, a second surge,” Costa said. “Being overly cautious is better than not being cautious enough. That’s the position that we’ve taken from day one and we’re gonna continue to do that until we beat this thing.”

There are 103,132 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Massachusetts as of June 6, with 7,635 in Bristol County. 7,289 people have died of the illness in the state.