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COVID –19: Virus Clusters Found in Chelmsford and Five Other Communities; Westford Health Director Warns Against Large Graduation Parties


Video by Patty Stocker

Several communities, including Chelmsford, have experienced a slight uptick in COVID-19 cases, catching the attention of Westford Health Director, Jeff Stephens and Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker who mentioned the clusters at a recent press conference. Stephens said it’s too early to say whether a large graduation party in Chelmsford was the cause of the cluster, but warned that it’s important to keep gatherings at a manageable number.

“What we don’t want to see is our numbers climb drastically over a few events. We’re already seeing in phase 3 a slight uptick in our local case numbers. Right now in Westford, I’ve got 172 cases that have been reported,” Stephens said. There are seven active cases in town, he added, and the virus isn’t going away.

Alerted to several Westford graduation parties that took place over the past weekend (Aug. 1 and 2), Stephens said if there is a slight uptick in numbers over the next two weeks — particularly among the age group of the graduating seniors, “that will tell us our gatherings are too big and we really have to pull this back.” Westford Academy’s Class of 2020 will hold its graduation ceremony tomorrow (Aug. 7).

COVID-19 clusters also have been found in Chatham, Wrenthem, South Weymouth and Falmouth.

Stephens spoke via Zoom with Westford Health Beat Host Patty Stocker. He reminded residents to socially distance themselves from others, wash their hands and wear facial coverings.