I’m sharing the latest updates and reports on Covid-19 vaccinations and cases from the state, town, and schools this week.
Local Clinic update
This week, the Town updated information on its regional clinic in partnership with neighboring towns:
Southborough has partnered with area communities to set up a Regional Covid-19 Vaccination Clinic housed at the Westborough Doubletree Hotel located at 5400 Computer Drive. This new clinic opened on April 14, 2021.
See the most recent update here: https://www.town.northborough.ma.us/covid-19-coronavirus-information/pages/metrowest-westborough-regional-vaccination-site
LAST MINUTE APPOINTMENTS: In order to prevent wastage of vaccine, last minute vaccine appointments will be posted at the below link between 12:30pm and 2:00pm on scheduled clinic days which are currently Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. You must register for an appointment using the below link. The site will NOT accept walk-ins. You must be able to arrive at the scheduled appointment time as the clinic stops taking patients after 2pm. Please take the earliest time slot possible.
Anyone who lives or works in Massachusetts and is aged 18 or older is now eligible. Use this link to check on appointment availability:
If you try to register and there are no appointments available, openings were filled.
Click here to signup for email notifications and to be added to the standby call list for last minute appointments
Report on Vaccinated Residents
Last night, the Mass Dept of Public Health released the weekly report on vaccinations per town. As of April 20th, 61% of Southborough residents were at least partially vaccinated. That includes 84% of ages 65+ aand 79% of ages 50+.
Highlights by age group and gender, and progress on vaccinations by age group are in charts below:
(For more details on those groups, plus race/ethnicity, click here.)
Last night’s state report kept Southborough’s risk at yellow. The report lists 20 cases in two weeks leading up to April 17th.
There was improvement over the prior week. The Average Daily Incidence Rate per 100,000 was 14.8% (lower) and the % of tests confirmed positive was 0.94% (lower). See my tracking of the testing & positivity rates right.
The state kept all of our other immediate neighbors in yellow with us (Northborough, Marlborough, Westborough, Hopkinton, Framingham, and Ashland).
Circling one more level out, one secondary neighbor (Upton) is red. The rest are yellow except for two lower risk communities (Berlin and Sherborn).
The Town hasn’t updated its Covid-19 figures since Tuesday morning, April 20th. At that time, 10 cases were confirmed reported in the previous week, 28 in the 19 days prior.
The Town’s cumulative total over the course of the pandemic was increased to 481 cases with 41 cases labeled active. (For details, click on graphs up top and below.)
The Northborough-Southborough schools’ weekly Dashboard for April 12 -18 shows 6 new cases were confirmed across the districts, 293 over the course of the pandemic.
99 students/staff were isolated or quarantined last week. (A big drop from 209 the prior week.)
Participation in the screening program dropped last week. It remains well below the 80% goals.
Below are charts and info from the latest Dashboard and my tracking of their data since the start of the school year.
On Monday, the middle school and high school will join the lower grades in resuming full in-person learning. On Friday, the weekly email to parents included a message from the District Physician, Southborough’s Dr. Safdar Medina directed towards the Algonquin Regional community:
We are entering a critical phase in both our efforts to mitigate Covid-19 spread and in our mental health crisis afflicting so many of our adolescents. Cases of Covid-19 in our communities are highest at this time in this age group. At the same time, behavioral health clinicians and hospitals are overwhelmed with teens who are struggling with mental health conditions. Our high school faculty and administration continue to work tirelessly on both of these fronts.
The benefits of increasing in-person learning are obvious to us all. Our safety protocols have been shown to be effective in preventing in-school transmission and will be even more important when all of our students return for full in-person learning. However, the only sure way we can have a successful and meaningful last few months of our school year and positively impact the social and emotional well-being of our students is by doing our best to avoid situations outside of school, where our students may acquire Covid-19. It is also imperative to stay home and follow the public health rules if a student is identified as a close contact.
Every time there is a positive case, a significant number of students will end up in quarantine, something that has not had to happen thus far in the school year. While a distance of 3 feet with a mask mitigates spread, a close contact is considered to be anyone who is within 6 feet for a cumulative 15 minutes within 48 hours prior to a positive person’s illness onset or date of test. This will cause disruption for a large number of families and will lead to many students being unable to participate in the organized events planned by our school to help our children gain some sense of normalcy.
We encourage all students who are eligible to sign up for and receive the Covid-19 vaccine. Fully vaccinated students are not required to quarantine when exposed to Covid-19.
There is no doubt that for our teenagers, this has been a year where nothing has been normal. They want to get together and they want to go out and do things. As society, in general, begins to open up, there is a sense that we can let our guard down. However, the more we can do everything possible to prevent transmission and minimize risk and allow time for immunizations to continue, the more likely we are to return that sense of normalcy our kids are craving for. Most importantly, we want to make sure that they can enjoy the multitude of activities the faculty and staff have worked so hard to make safe and fun.