Covid-19 cases on the rise in town with Thanksgiving around the corner

Nov 22, 2021

Heading into a holiday known for family gatherings, the number of new covid-19 cases in town increased slightly. Wareham saw 48 new covid-19 cases in the past week, according to the state’s Nov. 18 data. That’s 12 more cases in town than last week’s total of 36. 

Cases of covid-19 in Wareham schools remain on the rise this week as well. 

As of Nov. 17, Wareham Public Schools reported that two Decas Elementary students, two Minot Forest Elementary students, five Wareham Middle School students and four High School students had tested positive for covid-19. 

Some students were also quarantined, as of Nov. 17. One Decas student was quarantined, as were two students at Minot Forest, seven at the Middle School, and eight at the High School. 

In total, 13 Wareham Public School students had tested positive for covid-19 and 18 were quarantined. 

Five school staff members tested positive this week — two from Minot Elementary and three from Wareham High School. There are no staff members in quarantine.

Just last week, on Nov. 11, the district reported that 12 students and two school staff members had tested positive for covid-19. 

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 tool to find other locations offering vaccines for children. 

Wareham’s average daily incidence rate increased from 21.6 to 26.3 cases per 100,000 people in the past 14 days. Given Wareham’s population, 26.3 cases per 100,000 people means there were about 6.05 new cases each day over the past two weeks.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 2,465 covid-19 cases in Wareham.

Vaccination rate

Continuing the pattern of previous weeks, Wareham’s vaccination rate lags behind other Massachusetts communities. 

According to the state’s Nov. 18 data, 60 percent of Wareham residents have received at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine. That amounts to 14,503 people. 

This week, Wareham reported that 54 percent of its residents — 13,147 people — are fully vaccinated.

Of the 27 municipalities in Plymouth County reporting vaccination data to the state, Wareham has the second-lowest percentage of individuals with at least one dose of the vaccine — having surpassed only Middleborough, which still sits at 59 percent.

Every other municipality in Plymouth County reported that at least 66 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

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.