Vigeant notes ‘progress made’ in COVID-19 fight but Marlborough faces ‘balancing act’

322

City is in fourth week of ‘red zone’; 79 cases currently active; schools to go remote Oct. 19

Mayor Arthur Vigeant speaks as Public Health Director John Garside and School Supt. Michael Bergeron look on.
photo/Bonnie Adams

By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor

Marlborough – Noting that progress had been made in the fight against COVID-19 but that the city was still considered in the “red zone,” Mayor Arthur Vigeant urged residents to continue to practice social distancing measures, especially as the colder months will soon be here.

“We currently have 79 cases throughout the city which is still reasonable,” he said in remarks made at an Oct. 15 press conference, “but there’s still a lot of work to be done. It’s definitely a balancing act. It’s more important than ever for everyone to do their part.”

Vigeant was joined by Public Health Director John Garside and School Supt. Michael Bergeron.

Since February, there have been 1,346 cases in the city, Garside said, of which 1,195 recovered and 72 residents died from the virus. The city is currently in the fourth week of being in the high risk “red zone”, which is defined as communities that have a 14 day average daily incidence rate of new COVID cases greater than 8 cases/100,000 people. The city, according to Garside, is currently at 19.9/100,000 people.

“We’ve seen a shift in the age distribution of our active cases,” he added. “The 5-19-year-old age group  make up the largest percentage whereas folks over 60 years of age is lower than any time during the pandemic.”

Nearly two thirds of the city have been tested for COVID-19, Vigeant noted, which although was “great,” does not necessarily mean they will not get infected in the future.

Because the city’s numbers continue to stay in the red zone, the Marlborough School Committee, at the recommendation of Bergeron, voted to have all schools switch to remote learning starting Monday, Oct. 19.

In his comments at the press conference, Bergeron noted that there is not currently a “widespread transmission in any of the schools.”

But increased numbers of positive cases in the community would lead to additional staff and students needing to be quarantined, which in turn would make hybrid models difficult to maintain, he said, especially for families with children in different grades.

“Notification of positive cases to parents were leading to multiple requests at each school to switch from hybrid to remote learning,” he added.

Food service delivery to students in need will resume on Oct. 19. Families requesting technical support can contact their child’s school and those who need child care can contact the Boys & Girls Club.

Garside also noted that residents can contact the Board of Health for information on receiving a flu shot this year. Most of the free clinics have passed but the BOH can direct residents to resources, he said.

Vigeant said that he has approved Halloween to go forward for those families who wish to go trick or treating this year on Saturday, Oct. 31.

“Masks or face coverings are a necessity with a costume of course. No mask, no treats. Residents who wish not to participate are advised to leave their outdoor lights off,” he said. “Please respect those residents who don’t wish to participate.”

For more information visit  https://city-of-marlborough-coronavirus-response-marlboroughma.hub.arcgis.com/ or call the BOH at 508-460-3751.