Published November 27, 2020

MELROSE — While acknowledging the difficulty of the request, Mayor Paul Brodeur last week urged Melrosians to stay put for the 2020 Thanksgiving holiday as the COVID-19 pandemic continued unabated.

Speaking remotely on Thursday, November 19, Brodeur cited big spikes locally in total positive cases over the previous 14 days. He said, “If at all possible, please do not travel this Thanksgiving. Enjoying a quiet holiday with members of your immediate household this year will make a difference in slowing the spread of the virus.”

Brodeur was echoing the concerns of many state and national leaders, who watched highways fill with vehicles this week and Boston’s Logan Airport do a brisk business, although volumes remained much lower than last year. This uptick closely followed a new advisory from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that people should stay home for Thanksgiving to contain the virus’ spread.

Brodeur spoke briefly via Vimeo as he detailed some recent COVID-19 data, which he does at the end of just about every week. 

Out of the city’s 28,193 residents, there have now been 507 positive COVID-19 cases since the state began keeping track of data back in the late winter-early spring. In the previous 14 days leading up to last Thursday’s release of the most recent numbers, there have been 103 new cases in the city, and a one week increase from state report to state report of 67 new positive cases.

The positivity percent on the latest report is 2.97 percent, up from 1.84 percent the week before. The average daily incidence rate per 100,000 people was 25.4, much higher than the 12.8 percent reported just a week earlier.

There is some positive news, however. The Melrose schools have had relatively few cases as of November 22. Overall, there have been 9 cases reported among those students who have been participating in the one week in school, one week out hybrid learning model, and 7 cases among those only learning from home. Six school employees have tested positive as of last Sunday.

Brodeur said last week that household clusters continue to be the most common way the virus spreads, a lead-up to his request that people stay to themselves this Thanksgiving.

The mayor also urged vigilance in the fight against the novel coronavirus by making sure you wear a mask, physically distance whenever you can, wash your hands often and stay home if you don’t feel well.

On Monday, the state unveiled a new campaign to encourage people to maintain COVID-19 precautions so they can return to pre-pandemic pastimes with friends and relatives sooner than later. The ads will feature real people “talking about the things that they want to get back to. Spending time with friends and family. Going to concerts or getting kids to playdates. COVID has robbed us of those things and so many more,” Gov. Charlie Baker said.