By Stuart Foster, Contributing Writer
MARLBOROUGH – Mayor Arthur Vigeant told the Marlborough City Council June 7 that the number of active local COVID-19 cases and tests is shrinking as city residents continue to receive their vaccinations.
Testing rates fall as vaccinations increase
As of June 7, Vigeant said Marlborough only had five active COVID-19 cases, while 705 vaccines had been administered in the last week at the Marriott Hotel in town. He added that the city also performed 533 COVID-19 tests at the hospital in the previous week as part of the Stop the Spread campaign, which he said will continue through September.
“We were doing 1,900 [tests] a day, and now we’re doing 500 a week, so it’s substantially lower,” Vigeant said.
Of all Marlborough residents, Vigeant said that 65 percent had received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 52 percent had been fully vaccinated. He said that those numbers generally hold when broken down by demographics. Among Marlborough’s Hispanic population, 65 percent of people have also received at least one dose. However, only 45 percent of Hispanic residents are fully vaccinated.
He added that for residents over the age of 65, at least 88 percent have received one dose while 79 percent are fully vaccinated.
“We’ll probably end up somewhere around 70 percent completely vaccinated when all is said and done,” Vigeant said, acknowledging some continued vaccine hesitancy. “There’s going to be a lot of people that say ‘I just don’t feel like I need it,’ which is their prerogative, and that’s fine.”
Out of the five active coronavirus cases, Vigeant said that only one is in the city’s schools.
Schools eye second vaccination clinic
Vigeant noted that Marlborough’s schools held a clinic for high school and middle school students to get their vaccinations and reminded the community that a second clinic would take place later this month. He added that if a student wasn’t available to receive a dose at the first clinic, they could get one at that second clinic to start their immunization process.
As previous restrictions had limited vaccine availability, for Marlborough residents aged 12 to 19, 66 percent have received at least one dose. Twenty-six percent were fully vaccinated.
“That will obviously go up substantially after next week when they have their clinics in the schools,” Vigeant said.
Marriott Hotel vaccination clinic to close
Vigeant said the city would continue to run the vaccination clinic at the Marriott Hotel through June. Afterward, it will find another arrangement.
He said he guesses that the city will push people to receive vaccinations at Walgreens, CVS and Bouvier pharmacies.
In-person municipal meetings to resume
Additionally, virtual meetings for the city government will end next week on June 15, with doors reopening to the public for City Council meetings following that date.
“We’re going to work to see if we can still record the meetings and work into that as the process changes, but we need everyone, all the boards and commissions and everyone, back in their meeting places,” Vigeant said.
He also added that this year’s Labor Day Parade will be moving forward, albeit likely with smaller attendance than usual, with an announcement to follow in the coming days.
All these discussions come after Marlborough Hospital recently relocated its coronavirus testing operation from the New England Sports Center to its own campus.
In line with the drop-off in testing volume Vigeant mentioned, the hospital has been able to downsize the program’s overall footprint.