By Stuart Foster, Contributing Writer
MARLBOROUGH – Mayor Arthur Vigeant noted an uptick in local COVID-19 cases at a
Marlborough City Council meeting on Sept. 13.
Vigeant said that, as of that meeting, there were 85 active cases in Marlborough, with four cases in the hospital. He said that the number of local hospitalizations has fluctuated between zero and six over the past few weeks.
“One of those cases is a breakthrough case, which means they have been vaccinated in the past, so we are seeing a few of those pop through,” Vigeant said. “It’s not the severity in the breakthrough cases that we were seeing in the past, so that is important to note.”
Vigeant added that Stop the Spread testing clinics are continuing at Marlborough Hospital on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Vigeant also said that there will be further vaccination clinics in Marlborough schools, with one in the middle school approaching.
He continued, saying that Marlborough is on track to re-examine the school system’s mask policy soon, as the Department of Public Health (DPH) has stated that students can remove masks if 80 percent of the student body has been vaccinated.
He said that this is not currently being pushed to students, though, in case the DPH policy
There will also be a vaccination clinic at the Marlborough Food Truck Festival on Sept. 19,
“Come down, have a sandwich, have a beer, and get vaccinated, all in the same place,” Vigeant said. “Nothing better than this.”
City Councilor Mark Oram asked about the rate of vaccinations in city staff and Marlborough teachers.
Vigeant said the percentage of vaccinations for teachers is very high. He further noted that young children are having the largest percentage of COVID-19 rates as they are not eligible for vaccination.
“We are not doing any mandates,” Vigeant said of the city’s vaccination policy. “We are doing a lot of encouragement and pushing people as much as we can.”
City Councilor Samantha Perlman asked about the possibility of a return to remote access, enabling members of the public to participate remotely in public meetings due to resurgent concerns over COVID-19 infection.
Vigeant said that the meetings are currently being taped for anyone to watch them after the fact. He said, though, that there are no current plans to return to virtual meetings.
“We are going to have the open meetings just like they have always been,” Vigeant said.
“People can feel comfortable and come, they can wear a mask if they feel more comfortable.”
With flu season approaching, Vigeant also said that Marlborough would start flu shot clinics this month at the Marlborough Senior Center for those over 60-years of age.
Housing Authority residents will have their own flu shot clinic on Oct. 5 at 240 Main Street, while city employees will have one on Oct. 13.
There will be a further clinic at the Senior Center on Oct. 19 for any other city residents who want a flu shot.
Public health officials have heavily promoted flu shots throughout the pandemic as a means to not only avoid the flu but also to ease potential burdens on public health infrastructure like hospitals during COVID-19 surges.