WILMINGTON, MA — At this week’s Board of Selectmen Meeting, Fire Chief Bill Cavanaugh revealed that some of Wilmington’s public safety personnel were recently infected with COVID-19.
According to Cavanaugh, the Fire Department had 7 active positive cases, with an additional 7 firefighters forced to quarantine. Cavanaugh noted this represented nearly 1/3 of his roster. The Police Department had 5 active positive cases, with at least one additional case in Dispatch. Cavanaugh noted almost all firefighters and officers have already recovered and are back on the job.
In her bi-weekly update to Selectmen, Wilmington Health Director Shelly Newhouse reported that Wilmington currently has 51 active positive cases, with “well over 100” in quarantine. Trends include whole families getting infected and more 20 and 30-year-olds testing positive.
She also made it a point to encourage people who commute to work or school with non-family members to remember to wear masks.
“We’re rising in our numbers,” said Newhouse. “We’ll see what happens this week regarding the new metrics system. We may tip up to red.”
Newhouse noted she likes the state’s new metrics system that went into effect last week, which changed Wilmington’s status from red to yellow. She feels it’s more realistic and accurately reflects what’s happening in each community. She did note that Wilmington’s positivity rate (2.55%) remains higher than the state’s (1.7%).
In response to a question from the Board, Newhouse said that most residents are being cooperative when it comes to contact tracing, but it takes a lot of time for the Health Department to track folks down.
“Contact tracing is a tremendous amount of work for the Board of Health,” said Newhouse. “One case can take hours and hours to reach people. And the cases come in at 4am in the morning and 10am at night. 24 hours a day.”
There are currently no cases in any of Wilmington’s assisted living facilities or nursing homes, according to Newhouse.
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