Mask up Melrose

Apr 1, 2021 by

Published April 2, 2021

MELROSE —Even as more residents become vaccinated, Melrose is seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases, in step with the rest of Massachusetts and the nation. Mayor Paul Brodeur joins Health Director Ruth Clay and Representative Kate Lipper-Garabedian in encouraging residents to continue doing their part in curbing the spread of the virus.

All three officials are imploring the public to continue the tried-and-true mitigation efforts: diligent mask-wearing, practicing social distancing, hand washing, getting tested regularly, and cooperating with contact tracers.

“We are now in the second year of a global health crisis and people are tired,” said Mayor Brodeur. “I get it, and I empathize. But we have to remain vigilant. There are many opportunities to get tested regularly. For example, the Stop the Spread site at Square One Mall in Saugus is free and rarely has lines.”

The numbers are clear: as of writing this, the case load has increased 20 percent across Massachusetts in the last week, in spite of steadily increasing vaccination rates across the commonwealth. These statistics could be harbingers of a fourth surge unless we all take the numbers seriously and tighten up our efforts to curb the spread.

“As Dr. Fauci said, we are at a corner but we haven’t turned it and I think that’s important for us to reinforce as we head into a holiday weekend in which people understandably would like to see loved ones and spend time together,” said Representative Kate Lipper-Garabedian of the 32 Middlesex District. “But we are seeing very concerning trends in Massachusetts with respect to our case load.”

Ruth Clay, Melrose Health Director, stated that the concerning trend is due in great part to folks being tired of both the restrictions and the pandemic generally.

“As much as we’d like to think we’re out of the woods, there are still people in the hospital on ventilators, there are still people dying every day from COVID,” said Clay. “Even if you’re vaccinated, you could still be transmitting to somebody else. For all our sakes, we need to hold on longer so we can get through this pandemic.”

There is growing concern that vaccination efforts will be in vain because of new, more infectious, strains of the virus such as from Brazil, South Africa, and most recently Israel, but so far all vaccines appear to be effective against them.

“So far, current evidence indicates that vaccination protects against the new variants,” Mayor Brodeur said. “But the best way to prevent new strains from emerging is to stop giving the virus bodies to mutate in. We do that by continuing the strategies we know work: regular testing, masking, social distancing, hand washing, and complying with contact tracers. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: #MaskUpMelrose.”

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