Forty new positive cases per day in Pawtucket

Forty new positive cases per day in Pawtucket

PAWTUCKET – As of Monday, Pawtucket remained a hotbed for new COVID-19 cases, with some 40 new positive tests being reported daily.

Roughly 45 percent of the positives in the state are being seen in the Latino community, and 12 percent in African Americans, and the populations of those groups are 15 percent and 6 percent statewide.

As of Monday, Pawtucket had 708 total confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to the state’s database, second in the state behind Providence at 2,318 cases.

“Studies indicate that nearly 50,000 people in Pawtucket and Central Falls do not have a primary health care doctor,” said Mayor Donald Grebien. “Pawtucket cases continue to increase exponentially.”

Grebien said the city thanks Care New England for its support and starting up of both a respiratory and swabbing testing site for residents at the former Memorial Hospital site.

“The numbers do not lie, and Pawtucket continues to trend upward above the state’s average of cases,” he said. “It is critical that individuals who are sick self-isolate by staying home. By taking the necessary precautions as a community, we will get through this pandemic and minimize the spread. Our community is a likely hotspot and we need to make sure that people are getting tested and isolating accordingly when sick.”

As part of the CFP Beat COVID-19 initiative, mayors of Pawtucket and Central Falls, as well as officials from Care New England, announced the coronavirus testing site with more than triple the capacity of existing test sites in the Blackstone Valley as a first step. A team is now working on the next step to combat COVID-19, aiming to create a telephone consultation service for people in these cities who do not have primary care physicians.

Central Falls was fifth in the state for total cases as of Monday, with 338.

Pawtucket and Central Falls have asked all local organizations to join the effort. Any organization looking to get involved can reach out to Wil Arboleda at warboleda@pawtucketri.com or 401-728-0500, ext. 358.

Arboleda said officials are looking for more walk-up sites in both communities for people who can’t get to a CVS testing site in Lincoln or to sites in Providence. They would add those to the one site at Memorial.

Testing is also happening at Blackstone Valley Community Health Care in Central Falls and Armistice Urgent Care in Pawtucket, he said, but those are separate efforts.

Elected General Assembly leaders from both communities rallied behind the effort in public statements this week.

City-based Collette announced last week that it will serve as a collaborator and section leader of the Central Falls Pawtucket Beat COVID-19 initiative.

Collette will be contributing to the leadership of the CFP Beat COVID-19 incident command team, providing the entire enterprise with logistical support, including information management services and phone banking.

“We are proud to support the efforts of both the city of Pawtucket and Central Falls,” said Mike Vendetti, director of property safety and security at Collette. “We know that this is such an important task to benefit the community as a whole.”

The CFP Beat COVID-19 initiative has committed to reach out to every single household in the two cities, so that every resident in the cities knows what to do and who to call the moment they get sick due to the growing numbers of positive cases.

“We are deeply grateful for the resources and workforce that Collette and the Sullivan family have committed to this effort. There is no better corporate citizen anywhere,” said Grebien. He said Collette’s “invaluable assistance will help us reach out to every single household in our two cities.”

Collette’s Jeff Roy said the company has extensive experience in crisis management, dealing with the effects of natural disasters around the world such as volcanoes, hurricanes and earthquakes, around the clock. But the community outreach aspect is a new opportunity, he said.

Volunteers from Collette and elsewhere will make the company’s call center infrastructure available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, he said, helping people get access to a physician and health care even if they have no primary care doctor.