More than 20 new cases of the novel coronavirus in Winthrop, Massachusetts, are being tied to COVID clusters in town, health officials said Saturday.
Winthrop residents are being urged to get tested for the virus after two case clusters were identified, Public Health Director Meredith Hurley said in a press release.
As of Saturday, at least 22 new cases of COVID-19 had been tied to social events at the Winthrop Elks, located at 191 Washington Ave., and the Pleasant Park Yacht Club, located at 562 Pleasant Street, Hurley said.
“Beginning this last Wednesday, we started to notice a marked increase in cases being reported here,” Hurley said. "Some of them also are families that were at both of the clubs, or one of the clubs. And they live in the same household. They travel in the same car.”
Both facilities have shut down for 36 hours, and health officials are asking anyone who visited either place from Oct. 15 through Oct. 18 to self-quarantine and get tested for COVID-19.
“It’s vital that anyone who visited either establishment during that time period to get tested as soon as possible and stay home until you receive your results,” Hurley said. “We take matters like this seriously, and will continue to work diligently with state public health officials to complete the contact tracing process.”
The community at large is urged to take part in the free COVID-19 testing available at the McKenna Basketball Courts, located at 5 Walden St.
Testing at this location is available:
- Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 2 p.m. - 7 p.m. (drive-through)
- Tuesday and Thursday from 2 p.m. - 7 p.m. (walk-up)
Or, click here to find a COVID-19 testing site near you.
“All residents are asked to get tested if they have not already so that we can have a better understanding of how many cases there currently are in the community,” Hurley said. “This information will be vital as we create a plan to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our town."
Town officials are also asking anyone who leaves their home to wear a face mask or covering and to practice social distancing. Most importantly, Hurley said, stay home if you feel sick or are experiencing any symptoms whatsoever.
Winthrop residents with questions about the coronavirus situation in town are encouraged to the COVID-19 information line at 617-539-5848 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, or email COVID19info@town.winthrop.ma.us.
Winthrop is one of nearly 80 communities in the state that has been designated as in the red zone, meaning it is at the highest risk for transmitting COVID-19, according to the DPH’s weekly report released Thursday.
The average daily incidence rate for the Town of Winthrop per 100,000 residents is 10.6, data showed. Any number over 8 leads to a “red” designation.
See the weekly Massachusetts town-by-town coronavirus risk map here.
More on Coronavirus in Mass.
Saturday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported eight new deaths and an additional 1,128 coronavirus cases, marking the first time the state has crossed the 1,000 case mark since May 24, and the most cases in a single day in the commonwealth since May 16, when 1,152 new cases were confirmed.
There have now been 9,616 confirmed deaths and 146,023 cases, according to the Department of Public Health.
Here are some COVID-19 prevention tips from the state's DPH:
- Remember that an infected individual can spread COVID-19 before they have symptoms, which is why social distancing, maintaining a minimum of six feet from others, is critical.
- Those who must go out are urged to: avoid gathering in groups; maintain six feet from people outside your household; do not shake hands or hug; and wash your hands often.
- Those who are at a high risk for COVID-19, including those over the age of 65 and with underlying health conditions, are advised to stay home and avoid non-essential tasks and errands.
- Wear a mask in indoor and outdoor spaces where social distancing from people outside your household is not possible. This does not apply to those under the age of two and with underlying health conditions.
- Face coverings should: cover the nose and mouth; fit snugly and comfortably against the side of the face; be secured with either ties or ear loops; permit breathing without difficulty; be able to be washed and machine dried without damage (Face masks should be washed regularly depending on the amount of use).