WESTBROOK — The city health officer is reminding residents that although Westbrook is seeing a decline in COVID-19 cases, it is still important to wear masks, which now should be doubled up.

“It’s easy to become complacent and not wear our masks for a number of reasons,” said Health Officer and Fire Chief Andrew Turcotte.

Some people may be experiencing “pandemic fatigue” or may feel safe in their workplaces because they are with the same people every day, he said.

“But as we have seen time and time again, this virus can be transmitted to and by anyone,” he said.

Over the weekend, City Hall announced two positive cases among employees. City Hall will be closed until Monday, March 1, and during the temporary shutdown it will be deep cleaned and all employees will be tested, according to City Clerk Angela Holmes.
Turcotte also says residents should abide by a recent CDC recommendation to wear two layers of face masks – a cloth mask over a disposable mask. The CDC says doubling up on masks is the best way to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
The number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in the city, although not at the rate that occurred over the summer. As of Feb. 14, a total of 1,066 positive cases had been reported among Westbrook residents, according to Cumberland County’s records.
The testing facility at the Public Safety Building continues to be busy, averaging 105 tests a day with a 5% positivity rate, Turcotte said, down from 8-10% last summer. Since its start in July, the site has administered nearly 24,000 tests for the virus.
“Having this testing facility in our community has been a tremendous asset by making testing more easily available to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and get people back to school or employment in a more timely manner, ultimately keeping our residents healthy and businesses open during this challenging time,” Mayor Mike Foley said.
Foley and Turcotte are working on a public service announcement to promote continued mask wearing. The video will be shown on social media and on the local public access channel.

The city is awaiting final approval and a vaccine supply from the state to set up a vaccination site at the Community Center.

Even when the vaccination site opens, Turcotte said, it will still be important to continue wearing masks.
“There is not enough scientific data regarding the likelihood of transmissibility, therefore the CDC recommends everyone continue to wear a mask,” Turcotte said. “In addition, multiple variants of the virus have been discovered and the jury is still our regarding how much coverage the current vaccines will provide.”
For assistance in scheduling a COVID-19 test appointment, call 854-0655 or email [email protected]

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