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Mayor Coogan gives COVID-19 update at City Council meeting, 5 on ventilators

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The major topic of yesterday’s Fall River Finance and City Council meetings is what is on most people’s minds in this country: COVID-19.

At the request of the City Council, Mayor Paul Coogan gave an update on where Fall River stands with the coronavirus pandemic.

Coogan started the update by stating that Fall River’s Director of Health and Human Services, Tess Curran, had a baby last week and was on the job the next day working on COVID-19.

According to Coogan, the state has given the City 12 nursing students to help track cases and provide support to residents who test positive.

By the numbers, Primacare has administered 823 COVID-19 tests and 116 were positive.

St. Anne’s Hospital has administered 439 tests and 28 have tested positive. Positive cases from St. Anne’s are being sent to Morton Hospital in Taunton and therefore only had one suspected case of COVID-19 currently at the hospital. Emergency room volume has also been reported as low.

Charlton Memorial Hospital has 11 hospitalized with COVID-19 with 5 of those patients on ventilators. 16 are under investigation for the virus. Southcoast Health, which includes Charlton, St, Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford, and Tobey Hospital in Wareham, has tested over 2,300 patients for COVID-19 with 275 testing positive and 275 under investigation.

Coogan stated how impressed he was with city businesses and residents in stepping up to the plate with sanitizer and PPE for FRPD, FRFD, EMTs, and hospitals.

“People are stepping up in a big way in Fall River. It makes you proud to live here.”

Fall River Police has seen a drastic reduction in overall calls and crime, according to Coogan. Domestic violence calls are at about the normal rate.

The Fire Department has seen an average number of calls while EMT calls are up slightly.

When it comes to the Fall River Public School system, Coogan stated that 90,000 grab-and-go meals have been passed out since schools closed. Superintendent Malone passed on to Coogan that the figure is the highest in the state.

In related COVID-19 news, the Council voted unanimously on a resolution submitted by Councilor Michelle Dionne to send a letter to Comcast to lower cable and internet rates for city residents due to hardship.

The Council also unanimously sent a resolution to the Finance Committee that was submitted by Councilor Christopher Peckham to discuss PPE so that first responders are properly stocked both now and in the future.

A resolution submitted by Councilor Trott Lee passed unanimously concerning possible relief for citizens and businesses during a statewide emergency such as lowering or eliminating fees and other possible methods. The resolution is headed to the Committee on Finance.

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