Town’s covid cases rise for the fifth consecutive week
Wareham saw 19 new cases of covid-19 over the past week, according to the state’s Aug. 5 Weekly Public Health Report.
This week marks the fifth straight week with increasing coronavirus cases in town.
The rise in the number of cases comes as the director of public health announced that people visiting town buildings would be expected to wear masks and the School Committee began discussing what covid-19 protocols would be in place for the upcoming school year.
Wareham’s average daily incidence rate increased from 9.7 to 10.3 cases per 100,000 people in the past 14 days. Given Wareham’s population, 10.3 cases per 100,000 people means there were about 2.37 new cases each day over the past two weeks.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 1,808 coronavirus cases in Wareham.
Opportunities to get vaccinated
People aged 12 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 12 to 17 can only get the Pfizer vaccine.
Local public health experts continue to encourage people to get the vaccine as soon as possible. The Southcoast Wellness Van will be at Rosebrook Farmer’s Market in Wareham from 3 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 12, to administer single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines (35 Rosebrook Place, Wareham).
Those eligible for the vaccine can find appointments at providers around the state using the state’s website vaxfinder.mass.gov.
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 two 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.
The town’s vaccination rate lags behind other Massachusetts communities. According to the state’s Aug. 5 data, only 53 percent of Wareham residents have received at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine. That amounts to 12,705 people — up 115 people from last week.
Only 48 percent of Wareham residents — 11,681 people — are fully vaccinated.
Of the 27 municipalities in Plymouth County reporting vaccination data to the state, Wareham has reported the second-lowest percentage of individuals with at least one dose. Only Middleborough had a lower percentage of individuals with at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine, at 51 percent.
Every other municipality in Plymouth County reported that at least 57 percent or more of its population had received at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine.
VaxMillions Giveaway incentive
In an effort to encourage more people to get vaccinated, the state has planned a VaxMillions Giveaway. Each week, two fully vaccinated Massachusetts residents will win big. One adult over the age of 18 will win $1 million, and one teen between the ages of 12 and 17 will win a $300,000 scholarship grant.
For more information or to enter, go to www.vaxmillionsgiveaway.com.
For additional information about the available covid-19 vaccines, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/ or talk to your doctor.
This story has been updated to include information about the town’s vaccination rate.