Town manager reports dramatic increase in COVID-19

253

Rates increase particularly in younger residents

By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter

Shrewsbury – Town Manager Kevin Mizikar reported sobering news to the Board of Selectmen at their December 8 meeting. The number of positive COVID-19 cases have seen a dramatic up tick since October, with 526 new cases bringing the total now to 958 including 236 just in the past two weeks.

“Less than 19 [years of age] continues to be the highest growing area with 475 percent increase since the beginning of September…our oldest population continues to fare this surge better than the younger groups,” Mizikar stated.

“We remain in the yellow status which is the second highest category of risk,” he noted.

The daily incidence per 100,000 is 26.9 percent and the positivity rate of those being tested is 4.05 percent which is almost double from the Board’s last meeting. If that percentage reaches 5 percent then Shrewsbury will move into the red category.

“Unfortunately, since your last meeting we’ve been made award of four additional deaths which are indicated as COVID-19 as the cause,” he added.

“Given all those challenges the status of town buildings remain open by appointment only and we have solid guidance in place for employees through Jan. 15. However, we are contemplating changes to both…,” he said.

Per Gov. Charlie Baker’s announcement on Dec. 8 that the state will rollback to Phase 3, Step 1, effective Dec. 13, restaurants, gathering sizes, offices and gyms will be impacted.

As such, staffing at Town Hall will most likely be reduced to a maximum of 50 percent working in the building at any given time and employees will continue to be encouraged to work remotely when feasible.

Mizikar then shared that the town is planning for its role, if any, for the eventual distribution of the coronavirus vaccine.