Covid cases spike again in Tri-Town

Nov 28, 2021

New covid cases spiked again in the Tri-Town in the week leading up to Nov. 25 tying an early-October spike for the highest weekly case count since January. And recent waves have come despite extremely high vaccination rates in the Tri-Town, where about 88% of the total population has had at least a single dose of a covid vaccine.

The spike follows a covid outbreak that was detected recently at Mattapoisett’s Center School, leading the district to transfer one class to remote learning on Nov. 18.

The school had a total of 13 new covid cases in the week leading up to Nov. 19. However, the ORR School District did not report covid statistics this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

The class was scheduled to return to in-person education on Nov. 29, however, the Old Rochester Regional School District did not respond to repeated requests to confirm that they did return.

In the Tri-Town as a whole, Marion had 16 new cases, Mattapoisett had 36 and Rochester had 11. In total, the Tri-Town had 63 new cases of covid in the week leading up to Nov. 18, after tallying 38 the previous week, according to state covid data.

Over the last four weeks, the Tri-Town has averaged nearly 40 new cases per week.

Meanwhile, single-dose vaccination rates increased for the third straight week in all three towns.

The Centers for Disease Control recently announced that children between the ages of 5 and 11 are now eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine — the first covid-19 vaccine approved for that age group.

Parents and caregivers of young children can make an appointment with their pediatrician for their child to get vaccinated, or use the state’s vaxfinder.mass.gov tool to find other locations offering vaccines for children.

Marion’s single-dose vaccination rate reached 99% this week, after reporting 97% vaccination last week. Only 29 Marion residents have not received a covid vaccine, according to state data. The town’s full-vaccination percentage increased from 83% to 84%.

In Mattapoisett, the first-dose rate reached 95%, a 1% increase from the previous week. The full vaccination rate also rose by 1% to 83%.

Rochester vaccination rates have also increased this month, but not as quickly as the other towns. The single-dose rate is up to 72% while the full-vaccination rate sits at 64%.

State covid data is usually released every Thursday evening and ORR covid data is released every Friday evening.

Local public health experts continue to encourage people to get the vaccine as soon as possible — and the state is now offering in-home vaccinations for those unable to get to a vaccination site.

People aged 5 or older who live, work or study in Massachusetts are eligible to be vaccinated against covid-19. Those over the age of 18 can sign up to receive any vaccine, but those ages 5 to 17 can only get the Pfizer vaccine.

Those eligible for the vaccine can find appointments at providers around the state using the state’s website vaxfinder.mass.gov.

In-home vaccinations can be scheduled by calling 833-983-0485, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. English and Spanish speaking staff are on hand, and have access to translators for over 100 languages. In-home vaccinations are performed by medical professionals following public health guidelines and tailored to the needs of the patient.

In-home vaccinations are performed using the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, except for those ages 12 to 17, who would be offered the Pfizer vaccine. Scheduling is based on location, rather than on a first-come, first-served basis.

The state has also set up a call center for those who are unable to access the vaccine appointment website or who have trouble navigating the complex online system.

From 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, people can call 211 and navigate to the vaccine help line by pressing one when prompted. The call center has workers on staff who speak English and Spanish, and there are translators available to support residents in about 100 additional languages.