BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts is pouring more resources into five communities that are being particularly hard hit by the coronavirus, Gov. Charlie Baker announced Thursday.
Chelsea, Everett, Lawrence, Lynn, and Revere have experienced persistent and dangerously high transmission rates, the Republican governor said at a Statehouse news conference.
“To take a more aggressive approach to dealing with COVID in cities and towns where cases are higher, we’ve launched a COVID-19 enforcement and intervention team,” he said. “And these teams have been working closely with leaders in high risk communities to help identify what’s causing the high rates of COVID and how the state and they can work together.”
The effort includes increased enforcement, outreach and education to inform people about what they can do to stop the spread of the virus and what resources are available to help them.
The state has set up a website, mass.gov/stopcovid19, and will advertise on billboards and social media in multiple languages, he said.
Revere, just north of Boston, had an average of more than 12 new confirmed coronavirus cases a day in August, about double the July rate, Mayor Brian Arrigo said. The city’s positive test rate is more than three times the state average.
The densely populated, working-class city has many residents who live in multifamily and multigenerational homes, he said.
“We continue to see clusters of cases emerge at single addresses,” he said.
The city has already canceled all public events and will hold school remotely this fall.
“It would be easy for us to throw up our hands and give up. But instead we have to dig in, and we have to do more,” he said. “We have to think of new ways to communicate with our residents. We have to think of new ways to bring awareness to the risk levels, and we have to bring new ways to implement new policies, encourage greater compliance with public health guidelines.”
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