Photo: COVID-19 numbers have flattened in Belmont
Just as the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic is sweeping over the country, the coronavirus has all but vanished from Belmont.
In the month between June 12 and July 10, the Massachusetts Department of Health confirmed only two new positive cases of COVID-19 in Belmont residents – now at 231 – while deaths have remained steady at 60 since the third week of May, said Wesley Chin, Belmont Health Department director who announced this updated data at Monday’s Select Board remote meeting.
Chin told the board that it was the town’s residents strictly following health rules and advice – from wearing masks to avoiding crowds and washing hands – has flattened the coronavirus curve in Belmont.
“I just want to … recognize the hard work and sacrifice of all Belmont residents,” said Chin.
“I know that the past four moths have been a really challenging time for all of us in many different ways. We’ve been asked to change our way of life and to make sacrifices that sometimes doesn’t make sense to us at first, but ultimately it’s been a really good thing for the community,” he told the Board.
Chin said the town’s adherence to public health guidelines has resulted in Belmont’s positive testing rate – calculated by dividing the positive case number by the number of residents tested – to stay under 10 percent for the first six months of the year. And since the beginning of July, the positive tests rate has taken a significant drop to under one percent, an accomplishment town residents “should take a moment to just recognize and be proud of,” said Chin.
Unfortunately, said Chin, those numbers don’t mean our way of life can return to normal. “[We have] to encourage people to continue to engage in socially distancing and, please, wear face masks.”
Belmont’s accomplishment comes as the state has entered Phase Three in the reopening of the state from the impact of COVID-19, with more businesses and offices – movie theaters, gyms, non-contact outdoor sports – given the green light to open.