Mass. Covid-19 Clusters Contribute To State Wide Increase In Cases

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Covid-19 clusters are contributing to an increase of confirmed cases across Massachusetts, including a recent outbreak at a church in Fitchburg.

On Sunday the Massachusetts Department of Public Health recorded 1,139 new confirmed cases and 22 new deaths from the virus, marking a ninth straight day where the number of new cases is over one thousand.

Health officials say Covid-19 "cluster" outbreaks are contributing to the rise in cases. The Fitchburg Health Department announced on Sunday that nearly 150 cases were linked to services at Crossroads Community Church on or around Sunday, Oct. 18.

Officials are also trying to identify cases linked to hockey programs in the city, as contact tracers have identified more than 40 cases related to ice hockey in the area. This comes as the state recently ordered skating rinks in the Commonwealth to close, amid an uptick in cases.

The surge in the city has prompted officials to set up a free mobile Covid-19 testing site at the Coggshall Park Stonehouse, opening on Tuesday.

In other areas of Massachusetts, two Covid-19 clusters were also identified at private clubs in Winthrop, and in Newton, five employees tested positive for the virus at a physicians primary care center.

According to the most recent data from the Massachusetts weekly Covid-19 map, 120 cities and towns in the Commonwealth are now in the "red" zone, representing high-risk for Covid-19 transmission.

Across the country, the U.S. reports over 231,000 deaths from Covid-19 and over 9.2 million confirmed cases, according to the latest information from Johns Hopkins University.

WBZ NewsRadio's James Rojas (@JamesRojasWBZ) reports.

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