By: Eric Spagnoli
Although COVID-19 cases continue to rise, certain towns have adopted cautious optimism, as trends improve in some areas and some have received their first shipments of vaccines.
As of February 4th, Lawrence has reported 73 new positive cases, while the total number of COVID deaths stands at 220.
The office of Mayor Vasquez also announced last week that the city has established a call center for vaccination appointments.
The call center will provide citizens with assistance in English and Spanish. It is specifically aimed to help Lawrence residents aged 75 or older.
The city currently has a vaccination site at the South Lawrence East School, and officials are actively looking to open a second location.
Meanwhile, North Andover has only reported 8 new cases this month and 1 recovery as of February 4th. The total number of COVID deaths in this town remains steady at 81. The number of active cases stands at 125, a total of 2,099 residents have recovered from the virus so far.
Town employees have begun calling residents aged 75 or older to register them for vaccinations, the first shipments of which have arrived in the previous two weeks.
According to a report released by the office of Mayor Neil Perry on the city’s website, Methuen’s COVID trends continue to improve. The number of new cases between January 24 – 30 stands at 189, which is a 29% decrease from the previous week. In addition, the number of recoveries has exceeded the number of new cases for the third consecutive week, which is the city’s best weekly trend improvement since September, 2020.
Methuen also launched a vaccination clinic for residents aged 75 and over on February 6th. Despite the gradual improvement, the report warns citizens against overconfidence.
Mayor Perry says the demand for vaccines far outweighs the number of doses they have and will receive. Perry says that there is a waiting list and would like the state to provide more doses.
Methuen Village Holds Covid-19 Vaccine Clinic for Residents and Staff
On Thursday, January 21st, residents and staff of Methuen Village were able to get their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
The vaccines were administered by CVS Health/Omnicare through an arrangement between the healthcare company and Senior Living Residences of Braintree, MA, which manages Methuen Village.
“This was a very exciting day for our residents and our entire team, who have sacrificed so much during this pandemic” said Tracy Valletti, the community’s Executive Director. “We’re very thankful that Assisted Living communities are being prioritized to receive the vaccine, and we’re already looking forward to our next clinic in February!”
After receiving their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, each person was monitored by a nurse in a waiting area for fifteen minutes. During that time, the mood was upbeat. Many posed for photos or took selfies with their “I Got My Covid-19 Vaccine” stickers, and there was a whiteboard where individuals could share their reasons for getting vaccinated. Methuen Village had also set up a COVID-19 piñata for residents and staff to have a little bit of fun.
“It was a really special day for our entire community, and one we definitely won’t forget,” said Valletti.
Methuen Village is an Assisted Living and Compass Memory Support Community located in Methuen, MA. For more information, please visit www.MethuenVillage.com.
In Haverhill, the positivity rate amongst residents is 8.78%, which is down from 10.4% in the previous week.
According to an update posted to the city’s website, the number of new cases on February 1st was 22, while the total number of deaths stands at 97, and the total number of recoveries is 6,389.
The first 100 shots of the Moderna vaccines were delivered to Haverhill this week. Appointments to receive the vaccine were made available to citizens aged 75 or older on Wednesday. The first rounds of the vaccine were administered to these residents at the Citizens Center on Friday.
Dracut, on the other hand, has seen 233 new cases in the last 14 days as of February 4th. This puts the town’s total number of cases at 2,796.
These COVID statistics highlight the severity of the virus in certain cities and towns, while others, especially those who have received the vaccine, have cause to look forward to the future. The numbers of vaccinated residents will likely be available in the coming weeks.
Until then, standard COVID practices, such as social distancing and mask-wearing, remain in place.
Eric Spagnoli is a Senior English and Communication student at Saint Anselm College in Goffstown, NH. He is an aspiring journalist with a passion for sports, comedy, and public service. You can email him: espagnoli@Anselm.Edu ◊