Belmont Records First Covid Death In 9 Months As Positive Cases Spike

Photo: The latest update of Covid in Belmont

A resident died two week ago due to the Covid-19 virus, the first Belmont victim since March, as the number of positive cases in town and across the nation are approaching all-time highs over the holiday season.

The death occurred during the week of Dec. 10-17, the first fatality linked to the coronavirus since March 19 when two Belmontians succumbed to the virus.

The deaths comes as the number of positive Covid cases have skyrocketed to near record numbers not seen since the worst days of the pandemic in January 2021. Belmont recorded 106 new positive cases in the week ending on Dec. 24, up from 61 in the pervious week. There has been 1,741 confirmed Covid-19 cases in Belmont since the first cases in the pandemic were reported in March 2020. Currently, Belmont and Middlesex County remains at “high risk” for the spread of Covid according to guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“I wish I could say we’re in a better place but we continue to in the wrong direction like much of the states,” said Wesley Chin, Belmont’s Health director, pointing to the Omicron variant of Covid-19 which is sweeping across the country. The Washington Post reported top US health officials warned that the country “will probably see record numbers” of cases as the new variant “spreads rapidly.”

Of the new cases in Belmont, 57 percent are breakthrough which is an infection that occurs to a fully vaccinated person, said Chin. A further 8 percent of those infected involve those who have received a booster, or third, shot.

The one piece of good news during this surge is that hospitalizations of those infected is quite low. “This month we’ve learned of two hospitalizations,” said Chin, with most people being able to be treated at home with mild to moderate symptoms.

“The takeaway message is it seems like the booster shots are helping, so we want to encourage people to get their … shots,” said Chin.

The Health Department is holding a “booster” clinic on Tuesday, Dec. 28 at Beth El Temple Center geared for students between 16 and 17 years old who are now eligible for the shot.

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