Marion to Vaccinate Local First Responders

            Marion Public Health Nurse Lori Desmarais told the Marion Board of Health on January 5 that COVID-19 vaccination clinics will begin inoculating local first responders from Marion, Mattapoisett, Rochester, and Wareham as soon as next week.

            According to Board of Health Chairman Dr. Edward Hoffer, Marion received 400 doses of the vaccine, which was the number of doses the town had requested. About 385 have signed up to receive the vaccine, he said. “So we should have at least adequate to cover the people who show up,” said Hoffer.

            Board of Health member John Howard said he has already gotten vaccinated in Hyannis, and about 80 percent of the people who signed up for the vaccine clinic showed up. He called it a “pretty good turnout.”

            Desmarais said there are 36 active COVID-19 cases in Marion for a total of 207 since the start of the pandemic.

            “Marion did see the surge that we talked about … after the holidays,” said Desmarais. The majority of the cases are people in the community, and she is actively following them as they recover.

            At Old Rochester Regional Junior High School, Desmarais reported that there are currently four individuals in quarantine awaiting test results with three positive cases in isolation. So far, there have been 12 cases.

            There are 20 in quarantine at the high school, eight confirmed cases in isolation, with a total of 36 confirmed cases so far.

            At Sippican School, nine are in quarantine, and two confirmed cases in isolation. Sippican has had 14 confirmed cases so far.

            Tabor Academy has delayed students’ return to campus tentatively until the end of January. Classes were scheduled to begin on February 2, Desmarais said, but the school will continue to follow the status of the pandemic before deciding to bring students back.

            Over at Sippican Healthcare Center, the nursing home held its first COVID-19 vaccination clinic on December 30.

            “That went well,” Desmarais commented, adding that there are currently two confirmed cases of the coronavirus linked to the nursing home; however, it has been eight days since any new confirmed cases.

            Health Agent David Flaherty reported that his 20 recent COVID-compliance inspections of local establishments had gone well; however, Cumberland Farms on Route 6 has had to temporarily close after one employee tested positive. Flaherty said the store would be deep-cleaned and disinfected, and employees will return to work as they test negative for the virus.

            Overall, though, Flaherty reported that there had been very few complaints in general, except for some complaints about individuals not wearing masks as required. There were several complaints about Little Neck Village residents failing to don face coverings, and Flaherty said he has been in contact with management, who has addressed the situation.

            In other matters, the board was pleased to hear Flaherty’s report on progress at 464 Front Street, which had been cited for safety and sanitation violations. He toured the house with the property owner and commented, “It looks like they’ve done a very good job,” adding that building permits had been issued as required. “The outside looks pretty good … 90 percent better than it was before.”

            Over at 33 Pitcher Street, the situation has not improved after several failed attempts to serve the property owner with notice of the safety and sanitary violations at that site.

            “It’s pretty bad over there,” said Flaherty, although the house is mostly hidden from view. The building has collapsed, he said, and no one appears to be inhabiting the house at this time.

            The next meeting of the Marion Board of Health is scheduled for Tuesday, January 19, at 4:00 pm.

Marion Board of Health

By Jean Perry

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