More than 120 new covid cases this week — breaking record for town’s previous weekly total
Wareham saw 121 new cases of covid-19 this past week — an unfortunate record-breaking total for the town.
The increase continues a recent trend of rising cases, and could take into account potential community spread from Thanksgiving gatherings.
Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 2,776 covid-19 cases in Wareham.
During the Select Board meeting on Dec. 7, Town Administrator Derek Sullivan reported three covid-19 related deaths — which he believed was the highest number of deaths in any one week since the start of the pandemic.
There have been 79 Wareham covid-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic, “so that three really jumps out,” he said.
As of Dec. 8, a total of 30 students in Wareham Schools had tested positive during the week, with 38 more in quarantine. The bulk of student cases — 10 — are high school students. Nine Decas students were positive, as were five at Minot Forest and six at the Middle School.
Four staff members tested positive, and five were in quarantine across the district.
Continuing the pattern of previous weeks, Wareham’s vaccination rate lags behind other Massachusetts communities.
According to the state’s Dec. 9 data, 61 percent of Wareham residents have received at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine.
Wareham reported that 55 percent of its residents — 13,301 people — are fully vaccinated.
Of the 27 municipalities in Plymouth County reporting vaccination data to the state, Wareham is tied for last place with Middleborough. Just 61 percent of residents in each town have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine.
Every other municipality in Plymouth County reported that at least 67 percent or more of its population had received at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine.
Opportunities to get vaccinated
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.
In Wareham, the CVS on Main Street (419 Main St.), the CVS on Cranberry Highway (2421 Cranberry Hwy Ste 110), the Walgreens on Marion Road (121 Marion Rd.) and the CVS in East Wareham (2992 Cranberry Hwy) offer covid vaccines for those ages 12 and up, either for walk-in visitors or by appointment.
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.