Cases reach new highs in all three towns

Jan 15, 2021

Continuing a surge that began last week, Marion, Mattapoisett and Rochester each recorded their highest 14-day covid case count since the beginning of the pandemic. 

Cases soared in each of the three towns, according to state data released on Jan. 14, going from 38 to 58 in Marion, 61 to 75 in Mattapoisett and 49 to 81 in Rochester. 

Rochester’s two-week total of 81 cases is the highest any of the three towns has recorded. 

The highest total leading up to this week was last week’s 61-case total in Mattapoisett. 

Rochester’s previous record was 56, reported in state data on Dec. 17. 

Marion reached record numbers in this week’s state data as well, reporting 58 cases, nine more than its previous high of 50 in November. 

The surge in cases comes as Mattapoisett sent its kindergarten, first and second grade students back to full in-person school on Jan. 19.

The schools are currently operating using a hybrid model, in which students split their time between learning remotely online and in person at school. 

Cases in the district have soared in recent weeks, with the total number of cases reported since schools reopened on Sept. 16 over doubling since Christmas. 

Before the holidays, the district had reported a total of 68 cases. As of Jan. 15, the total number of cases reported in the district is 139. 

Mattapoisett will be the first of the three towns to send any of its students back to full in-person school. A similar plan to the one adopted by Mattapoisett was brought to the Rochester School Committee in December. The committee chose to hold off on a decision regarding the plan until post-holiday covid numbers were more clear.

A surge in cases was widely anticipated by local, state and federal officials following the holidays. In preparation for the surge, Governor Charlie Baker implemented heightened covid restrictions, which reduce the capacity of all businesses to 25%. The restrictions were initially set to end on Jan. 10, but have been extended until at least Jan. 24.