WOBURN - The Board of Health confirmed a second Woburn resident recently tested positive for COVID-19 as city officials await the results of several other suspected cases.

In a prepared statement posted to the City of Woburn's website on Thursday afternoon, the Board of Health revealed the newest positive case is an adult resident. In order to safeguard the individual's privacy, other identifying details about the person are not being disclosed.

As with Woburn's first COVID-19 patient, the second resident is apparently experiencing mild symptoms from the disease and has been ordered to self-quarantine at home while recovering.

"In the City of Woburn as of Thursday, there are two adult positive COVID-19 cases, both residents who are currently recovering in isolation at home," the Board of Health explained in its public advisory. "There are a few residents who are currently awaiting test results, and residents will be updated as soon as that information becomes available."

On Monday, city officials were contacted by the state's Department of Public Health (DPH) with word about the community's first "presumed positive" COVID-19 case, a designation that applies to testing results that have not been double-checked by the federal Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Though in most circumstances, presumed positive tests are ultimately declared valid by the CDC, Woburn late last week disclosed that an initial suspected case of the virus had later been ruled out upon review by federal health monitors.

Confirmation that a statewide outbreak of the virus has reached Woburn is hardly a surprise to city leaders, who in the days prior to the first positive test had acknowledged the high likelihood that the city would see direct impacts from the contagion.

Earlier this week, Mayor Scott Galvin assured the general public that Woburn's front-line first responders are prepared to handle COVID-19-related calls and other medical emergencies. Urging the public to stay calm and to report minor flu-like symptoms to their personal physicians — thereby freeing up 911 lines for serious emergencies — the mayor has also called upon Woburnites to watch after their neighbors.

"In the midst of these unprecedented measures, let's remember the effect this environment is having on our oldest and youngest citizens and lead by example — not just with due diligence, but also with calm, compassion, and patience," Galvin said last Sunday.

Woburn is far from alone in receiving notifications about COVID-19 cases, as several of the city's immediate neighbors also have confirmed cases. On Wednesday, Reading's Board of Health notified its citizens about a presumed positive case involving the adult parent of children enrolled in the community's middle and high school.

Winchester also has confirmed at least three COVID-19 cases, including an elementary school pupil and two adult residents.

Meanwhile, in neighboring Lexington, town officials as of this Thursday had acknowledged a cluster of 7 presumed positive novel coronavirus cases. A total of 19 Lexington citizens have been instructed to self-quarantine in the neighboring town.

Infectious disease specialists from both DPH and the federal Center for Disease Control (CDC) say COVID-19, the illness caused by the SARS-Cov-2 virus discovered months ago in China's Hubei province, will cause mild to moderate flu-like symptoms for the majority of people. In fact, many public officials are now acknowledging that at least some who have contracted the virus experience no obvious symptoms at all.

However, in roughly 20 percent of cases, the highly contagious disease causes more severe lung infections that require hospital care or advanced medical interventions.

It is believed the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions are most at risk from COVID-19, and in recent days, city and state governments have taken unprecedented steps to protect those most vulnerable to the novel coronavirus strain.

In the latest emergency orders from Governor Charles Baker, roughly 2,000 members of the Massachusetts National Guard were activated yesterday to help with state's response to the public health crisis. Baker earlier this week also ordered all daycare and early education centers shuttered beginning next Monday, March 23.

According to the latest DPH figures, there are at least 318 COVID-19 cases across these state. Just shy of 120 of those positive tests came from residents living in Middlesex Country, which remains at the epicenter of the statewide outbreak with nearly twice as many cases than any other region.

To date, there have been no deaths in Massachusetts' attributed to the novel coronavirus, but as of Thursday afternoon, at least 43 patients had been hospitalized due to the illness. Local resident recuperating at home...

Woburn confirms second 'presumed positive' COVID-19 case

By PATRICK BLAIS

WOBURN - The Board of Health yesterday confirmed a second Woburn resident recently tested positive for COVID-19 as city officials await the results of several other suspected cases.

In a prepared statement posted to the City of Woburn's website on Thursday afternoon, the Board of Health revealed the newest positive case is an adult resident. In order to safeguard the individual's privacy, other identifying details about the person are not being disclosed.

As with Woburn's first COVID-19 patient, the second resident is apparently experiencing mild symptoms from the disease and has been ordered to self-quarantine at home while recovering.

"In the City of Woburn as of Thursday, there are two adult positive COVID-19 cases, both residents who are currently recovering in isolation at home," the Board of Health explained in its public advisory. "There are a few residents who are currently awaiting test results, and residents will be updated as soon as that information becomes available."

On Monday, city officials were contacted by the state's Department of Public Health (DPH) with word about the community's first "presumed positive" COVID-19 case, a designation that applies to testing results that have not been double-checked by the federal Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Though in most circumstances, presumed positive tests are ultimately declared valid by the CDC, Woburn late last week disclosed that an initial suspected case of the virus had later been ruled out upon review by federal health monitors.

Confirmation that a statewide outbreak of the virus has reached Woburn is hardly a surprise to city leaders, who in the days prior to the first positive test had acknowledged the high likelihood that the city would see direct impacts from the contagion.

Earlier this week, Mayor Scott Galvin assured the general public that Woburn's front-line first responders are prepared to handle COVID-19-related calls and other medical emergencies. Urging the public to stay calm and to report minor flu-like symptoms to their personal physicians — thereby freeing up 911 lines for serious emergencies — the mayor has also called upon Woburnites to watch after their neighbors.

"In the midst of these unprecedented measures, let's remember the effect this environment is having on our oldest and youngest citizens and lead by example — not just with due diligence, but also with calm, compassion, and patience," Galvin said last Sunday.

Woburn is far from alone in receiving notifications about COVID-19 cases, as several of the city's immediate neighbors also have confirmed cases. On Wednesday, Reading's Board of Health notified its citizens about a presumed positive case involving the adult parent of children enrolled in the community's middle and high school.

Winchester also has confirmed at least three COVID-19 cases, including an elementary school pupil and two adult residents.

Meanwhile, in neighboring Lexington, town officials as of this Thursday had acknowledged a cluster of 7 presumed positive novel coronavirus cases. A total of 19 Lexington citizens have been instructed to self-quarantine in the neighboring town.

Infectious disease specialists from both DPH and the federal Center for Disease Control (CDC) say COVID-19, the illness caused by the SARS-Cov-2 virus discovered months ago in China's Hubei province, will cause mild to moderate flu-like symptoms for the majority of people. In fact, many public officials are now acknowledging that at least some who have contracted the virus experience no obvious symptoms at all.

However, in roughly 20 percent of cases, the highly contagious disease causes more severe lung infections that require hospital care or advanced medical interventions.

It is believed the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions are most at risk from COVID-19, and in recent days, city and state governments have taken unprecedented steps to protect those most vulnerable to the novel coronavirus strain.

In the latest emergency orders from Governor Charles Baker, roughly 2,000 members of the Massachusetts National Guard were activated yesterday to help with state's response to the public health crisis. Baker earlier this week also ordered all daycare and early education centers shuttered beginning next Monday, March 23.

According to the latest DPH figures, there are at least 318 COVID-19 cases across these state. Just shy of 120 of those positive tests came from residents living in Middlesex Country, which remains at the epicenter of the statewide outbreak with nearly twice as many cases than any other region.

To date, there have been no deaths in Massachusetts' attributed to the novel coronavirus, but as of Thursday afternoon, at least 43 patients had been hospitalized due to the illness.

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