Covid cases remain near last week’s peak, schools issue warning
New covid cases topped 55 in the Tri-Town for the second straight week in the week leading up to Oct. 14, sustaining a peak not seen since last year’s holiday surge, before vaccinations became widespread.
Marion led the three towns with 29 new cases, followed by Mattapoisett with 20 and Rochester with 8. In total, 57 new cases were reported in the Tri-Town in the week leading up to Oct. 14, with many of them reportedly occurring in children.
"In Marion, we've seen a rise in positive covid tests, many of which are in children. While it appears that children are much less likely than older adults to get seriously ill from covid, serious illness or death is possible," Marion Board of Health Chair Dr. Edward Hoffer said. "Additionally, a child who doesn't show serious symptoms can still spread the virus to others, including other children or family members, and it remains vitally important that everyone follows the recommended preventative measures."
The increase in cases among children may help explain why cases have risen recently despite full-vaccination rates reaching 80% in both Marion and Mattapoisett, as covid vaccines have not yet been approved for children under 12 years old.
As of Oct. 7, the Old Rochester Regional School District had reported 71 confirmed covid cases in its schools since the school year began, 62 of which occurred in Tri-Town elementary schools. New schools data will be released on Friday, Oct. 15.
In early October, the district made the decision to transition one Center School second-grade class to remote learning for at least two weeks. No other classes have since been moved to remote learning.
On Wednesday, Oct. 13, the district released a statement asking students to maintain best practices as covid cases in the schools rise, like social distancing and mask wearing and parents to monitor their children for covid symptoms.
"We are urging all of our students, families and staff to continue following the necessary health and safety guidelines to ensure that we are able to maintain a safe and healthy learning environment,” said Superintendent Mike Nelson. “Adhering to these best practices is especially important as it will help allow our schools to continue learning in person this year."