UPDATED, Aug. 30: The Aug. 30 Arlington update shows that Covid-19 cases rose 132, to 2,027, since July 19, and 72 since Aug. 9, as well as 13 since Friday. Deaths have stayed at 87 for more than two months.

Covid-19 image

Since May 19, when cases rose to 1,868, until July 6, when the count was 1,875, Arlington has had its longest periods with few increases since the pandemic hit Arlington and YourArlington began reporting numbers almost daily, on March 6, 2020. 

Effective Aug. 9, face coverings are required for all individuals aged 2 years and above in all Arlington municipal buildings public, except where an individual is unable to wear a face covering because of a medical condition or disability.

The requirement is made in an effort to protect town staff, visitors to town buildings and the community at large. The policy will remain in effect until a decrease in cases of Covid-19 is seen in Arlington and Middlesex County.

Arlington Health officials also encourage the public to wear masks when indoors (outside of your home) to help reduce the spread of the Covid-19, particularly the fast spreading Delta variant. Also continue to wash hands and social distance whenever possible. Read more about the Delta variant >> Read more town face-covering guidance >>

Updated state guidance released Friday, July 30, recommends — but does not require — unvaccinated students and fully vaccinated adults with a compromised immune system, or those who live with someone at heightened risk of severe coronavirus symptoms, mask up while indoors in response to the emerging highly contagious Delta variant.

YourArlington partner Patch reported that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education said that, in response to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention information on the variant this week, it is "strongly recommended" that all students in grade 6 or younger wear facemasks while inside schools when the new academic year begins in about a month.

The education department said the updated guidance "is a recommendation for districts, and individual districts should make decisions based on their own particular circumstances."

Vaccines administered
45,827 (earlier census)
At least 1 dose: 77%Fully vaccinated: 72%

Gov. Charlie Baker said the state will soon have its own updated guidance on mask-wearing in schools and other indoor spaces after his office reviews updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance released this week, but he ruled out instituting travel restrictions and appeared reluctant to reinstate any statewide protocols.

Calling any new mask requirement a "big decision," YourArlington partner Patch reported that Baker touted the state's relatively low coronavirus hospitalization and vaccination rates as he appeared to strike a contrast to steps that might be necessary in low-vaccination states experiencing a spike in cases of the Delta variant and in counties reinstituting indoor mask advisories and mandates.

"Massachusetts is in a much better position than the vast majority of states in this country with respect to how we deal with and how we're prepared to deal with Covid," he said while in Gloucester to discuss state funding for seawall and dam restoration projects Wednesday afternoon. "We have the second-lowest hospitalization rate for Covid in the United States. We've had the second-lowest rate for weeks. We have the second-highest vaccination rate." 

See the percentage of those vaccinated in Arlington (one dose and both shots):

Data: Mass. Dept. of Public Health

 See daily counts going back to March 2020 here, under cumulative cases) >>

See all numbers by clicking on View more tables >>  Here's an explanation about how to read these numbers >>

 The age breakdown of cases reported through Aug. 30:

19 and under20-2930-3940-4950-5960-6970-7980 and overTotal cases
342 326 325 241 303 204 134 152   2,027

Mass. requires full-time, in-person classes

Massachusetts public schools will be required to offer full-time, in-person learning this fall, with most coronavirus-related restrictions lifted, state education officials said.

Schools will not be allowed to offer remote learning as a standard learning model, according to the guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released Thursday, May 27.

Social distancing guidelines will be lifted, although some younger students may still be required to wear masks.

“DESE encourages schools to maintain ventilation upgrades from this past year as feasible, continue hand hygiene practices, and extend policies that encourage students and staff to continue to stay home when sick,” the agency said.Virtual learning will remain available to some students in limited cases, such as for children with documented medical conditions.

End school-mask mandate, parents ask state ed board

Protesters rallied at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's headquarters in Malden on Tuesday to call for an end to the in-school mask mandate, YourArlington partner Patch reported May 25.

The state will lift all coronavirus restrictions starting Saturday. The mask mandate will be replaced with federal guidance that fully vaccinated people don't need to wear face coverings indoors or outdoors, with a few exceptions. This includes schools, where masks will be required for staff and students in K-12 and early education settings.

Ashleigh MacKinnion, the parent of a first-grade student in Marshfield, told WCVB masks are "essentially a 'Scarlet Letter'" for students when the virus "will not severely affect them."Malden police responded to the protest, which delayed DESE's meeting by about 15 minutes Tuesday, WCVB reported. Demonstrators also asked that vaccinations not be mandatory for students.

Mass. lifted Covid-19 restrictions

Massachusetts lifted remaining Covid-19 restrictions, including the mask mandate, on Saturday, May 29.

YourArlington partner Patch reported that face coverings will still be required in a small number of places, such as nursing homes, hospitals, public and private transportation and schools, regardless of one's vaccination status.

The Department of Public Health will issue new mask guidance consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when the mask mandate is lifted. Businesses will still have the option of requiring masks.

Accounting for some deaths

The Boston Globe has reported that Ellen McDonald, a guardian to Norma Ricci, 92, said her friend’s assisted-living residence, Sunrise of Arlington, told her April 1 that a nurse who worked on Ricci’s floor had been infected. A week later, McDonald was told Ricci was rushed to Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, with no mention of coronavirus.

The next day, Mount Auburn called to say Ricci had Covid-19. McDonald donned full protective garb to visit her friend on Easter. Ricci died April 15, according to a DeVito Funeral Home notice, which lacks an obituary. 

McDonald told the Globe that Sunrise nurses told her many residents were coughing and some staffers had stopped coming to work, without official word from management. In a statement, Sunrise Senior Living told The Globe that nine residents of its Arlington facility have died and 25 have tested positive. The statement said Sunrise has regularly updated residents and families by phone and e-mail. It quoted a regional vice president, Thomas Kessler, as saying, “Communication has always been a source of pride at Sunrise of Arlington.”

10th local death identified

Joyce Dodge, a resident of Sunrise Assisted Living, Arlington, before she was taken to Mount Auburn Hospital last Christmas, tested positive and died there Jan. 8, according to a member of the family. There is no obituary.

9th local death identified

Among the Covid-19 deaths so far reported among town residents since early March, YourArlington has identified an ninth from obituaries. A listing at Boston.com shows  Helen T. Metros died Dec. 12 from the virus in Pittsfield.

8th local death identified

Among the Covid-19 deaths so far reported among town residents since early March, YourArlington has identified an eighth from obituaries. A listing at Boston.com shows Vincent A. Aliberti died July 12 from the virus.

6th, 7th local deaths identified

Among the Covid-19 deaths so far reported among town residents, YourArlington has identified a sixth and seventh from obituaries. Listings at Boston.com show that Joan M. Mockel and Danile F. Morrison recently succumbed to the virus.

A window in Arlington tells the story in April 2020. / Marjorie Howard photoA window at Sunrise in March 2020. / Marjorie Howard 

5th local death identified

Among the 19 Covid-19 deaths so far reported among town residents, YourArlington has identified a fifth, Vincie Teresa DeRose (Militello), as reported by the Gloucester Times. 

The fourth was Alfred "Fred" Iannacone. YourArlington reported a third death, occurring April 14 at Sunrise Assisted Living. A source confirmed the virus victim was Theodore S. Wayne. Since the end of March, two others have died in town from coronavirus: A Globe death notice identifies the first as James K. Power on March 30. A second death here was reported March 31, without details. 

Town issues "Wear A Face Covering in Public" advisory; continue to heed state’s stay-at-home advisory. Only run essential errands.
In addition to the current Stay at Home advisory by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, starting immediately, the Town of Arlington is issuing a townwide advisory that all residents wear a face covering when in public.

This advisory applies to anyone age 2 or older when in any public indoor or outdoor space. Indoor public spaces include stores and common areas in multi-unit homes. Outdoor areas include sidewalks, parks, trails, and the bike path. All persons including joggers and cyclists must comply.

This ongoing town statement continues: "We continue to believe this number may provide a false sense of security to residents as numbers in the region and across the state increase at a rapid rate. Public health officials remind all residents, regardless of age, to stay at home and away from anyone who does not live in your house, including relatives. If you have to go out to conduct a necessary errand, like grocery shopping, picking up medication, or checking in on a neighbor who may need assistance, it is crucial you practice social distancing and keep 6 feet away from others."

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance information: The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program is now accepting applications; this program provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals who are unable to work because of a Covid-19 related reason, but are not eligible for regular or extended unemployment benefits. This includes the self-employed, independent contractors, workers with limited work history, and others. Individuals can review eligibility scenarios here and apply for PUA here.

CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings when in public: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies). Wearing a cloth face covering is not a substitute for social distancing, but an extra measure while you are running essential errands to minimize the spread of the virus. The CDC provides instructions on how to make your own cloth face covering.

For the national picture, see this U.S. map showing numbers from all counties >>

The town is also accepting donations of cloth face coverings, to local seniors, as well as PPE equipment for first responders and healthcare professionals.

List of businesses currently open in Arlington: The listings will be updated at least once daily. Please contact businesses directly before placing and order or going to their establishment to confirm that they are open, as the information on this list is subject to change.  See the list here >>

Additional resources for businesses and nonprofits may be found on the Business & Nonprofit Resourcepage. but should not comngregate in groups. 

Tracking Covid-19 via Johns Hopkins site

May 1 through 31: Town Covid-19 tracking
April 1 through 30: Town Covid-19 tracking
March 1 through 31: Town Covid-19 tracking
Feb. 1 through 28, 2021: Town Covid-19 tracking
Dec. 1 through 30, 2020: Town Covid-19 tracking
Feb. 28-March 6, 2020: Coronavirus risk remains low in town, health office says in 2nd update

This news announcement was published Tuesday, June 1, 2021, and updated through Aug. 30. The orginal copy was written by Joan Roman, town webmaster, with editing and additions by Bob Sprague. Patch reports were included.