WOBURN - Incoming outbreak totals increasingly suggest the Sars-Cov-2 virus has lost its foothold in the city, which recorded just three new COVID-19 cases over the past seven days.
According to Woburn's Board of Health, as of Wednesday afternoon, at least 604 Woburnites had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the viral infection that results from exposure to the highly contagious Sars-Cov-2 pathogen.
After reporting no new novel coronavirus cases for four consecutive days between Saturday and this Tuesday, the Board of Health yesterday was appraised that a single person in Woburn had tested positive for the contagion. Other single case notifications over the past week were disclosed by public health authorities on June 18 and June 19.
The city's death toll from the outbreak remained unchanged over the past week.
As the local Board of Health and city leaders slate their focus on helping Woburn's battered local economy reopen, both local and state officials have celebrated news that the public health crisis is finally showing signs of abating.
However, given that 20 other states across the country are now witnessing a resurgence in new cases, community leaders are also urging Woburnites to resist the natural urge to scale down their vigilance and become complacent.
"Woburn Mayor Scott Galvin, and the Board of Health are asking members of the Woburn community to continue practicing strict physical distancing and other preventative measures to save lives and contain the spread of COVID-19," reads a message posted to a coronavirus information page maintained on the City of Woburn's website.
Based upon the latest Board of Health report, a total of 230 local residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 had not yet been released the terms from a mandatory self-isolation order monitored by the Board of Health.
Given that local public health authorities have recorded just 30 new cases during the month of June, the size of the isolated population provides some insight into the considerable period of time it takes for many infected individuals to clear the virus.
At the outset of the pandemic, the Mass. Department of Public Health (DPH) had advised municipal officials that most local residents could be released from isolation shortly after becoming symptom-free.
However, in revised guidelines released in April, DPH officials began advocating for a testing-based isolation model, in which COVID-19 patients would have to test negative at least twice for the virus before being freed from the home confinement orders.
For communities unable to follow that testing strategy, residents with COVID-19 must be completely symptom-free without the aid of medications for at least 72 hours, while at least seven days must have transpired since the individual last tested positive for the virus.
Besides the 230 individuals in isolation, the Board of Health has also instructed 77 close-contacts — defined as anyone who had prolonged contact with a COVID-19 patient — to complete a 14-day quarantine period. The two-week timeline is based upon the premise that COVID-19 has a five-to-14 day incubation period, when which a person who contracted the virus will not display any noticiable disease symptoms.
Woburn, which was tracking an average of 14 new daily COVID-19 cases at the height of the pandemic, has now recorded zero new local infections for 10 of the last 24 days. The rate of new infections has also dropped to its lowest point since early April.
A similar trends are also being witnessed across the state of Massachusetts, where as of Wednesday, some 107,611 people had tested positive for the viral disease. The death toll from the virus as of yesterday stood at 7,623 cases.
Nearly 65 percent of all Massachusetts' fatalities have come from nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, where some 5,007 health care workers and patients have died from COVID-19.