More than 100 new covid cases in town this week as spike continues

Dec 3, 2021

New covid cases are continuing to spike in Wareham, with 103 new cases in town over the last week — up from 87 last week and more than double the new case count reported the week before that.

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 2,655 covid-19 cases in Wareham.

The last time Wareham reported roughly this many new cases of covid-19 in one week was in January 2021, before vaccines were made more widely available.

Cases among students in Wareham Schools are down slightly this week. As of Dec. 1, a total of 23 students had tested positive during the week, with 37 more in quarantine. The bulk of student cases — 10 — are high school students. Three Decas students were positive, as were two at Minot Forest and eight at the Middle School.

Three staff members tested positive, while one was in quarantine — all at Wareham High School.

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. 

Vaccination rate

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

According to the state’s Dec. 3 data, 61 percent of Wareham residents have received at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine. That amounts to 14,835 people. 

Wareham reported that 55 percent of its residents — 13,252 people — are fully vaccinated.

Vaccination rates in Wareham are lower among younger people. 91 percent of those 75 years or older have had at least one dose of the vaccine, along with more than 95 percent of those ages 65 to 74 years old. 

Among those aged 50 to 64, 75 percent have had at least one dose. For those 30 to 49, that number is just 57 percent.

Wareham residents in their 20s are even less likely to be vaccinated, with only 52 percent having had at least one dose.

Teens aged 16 to 19 are vaccinated at a similar rate, with 48 percent having had at least one dose.

Children aged 12 to 15 are vaccinated at a lower rate, with 39 percent having had at least one dose.

Just nine percent of 5 to 11-year-olds have had at least one dose.

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

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.