Worcester officials on Tuesday announced three new coronavirus cases in their community, bringing the total to 19.
The updated tally came in a statement, as well as in officials’ daily 5 p.m. briefing at City Hall.
The statement noted that all 19 people who’ve tested positive in Worcester are currently in isolation and being monitored by the city’s Division of Public Health.
In addition, officials provided details Tuesday on the steps being taken by the Worcester Regional Transit Authority to keep buses running during the pandemic.
The steps include daily cleaning, disinfecting, and airing out of all buses; posted recommendations for social distancing when choosing seats; restricting the customer service window to 10 people at a time; closing public restrooms in the Hub lobby as well as the Dunkin’ Donuts at the facility; equipping each bus with a driver protection shield; increasing the cleaning and disinfecting schedule in the Hub area; and making personal protective equipment and sanitizing wipes and lotions available to drivers, according to the statement.
“There has been a decrease in ridership that will require changes to scheduling and availability of buses but the WRTA will be providing additional information on any changes in the coming days,” the statement said.
Officials also said first responders in the city are taking advantage of “priority testing” the federal government set up for such workers, and 26 first responders were tested for the virus Tuesday.
The city has set up a Worcester Together fund for coronavirus response, and Berkshire Bank contributed $50,000 Tuesday, according to the statement.
“A text line has been established for donations,” the city said. “Text ‘worcestercovid19’ to 243725, then click on the link you’re sent and follow the instructions to donate.”
Worcester is also assisting seniors, whom public health officials say are particularly vulnerable amid the crisis. The city said officials have made “outreach to 759 seniors to date” through the Worcester Senior Center, including 135 calls to seniors Tuesday. And Elder Services of Worcester Area donated 1,387 meals to seniors Tuesday.
City residents can call a COVID-19 information line at 508-799-1019 if they have questions.
“This service is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese and Albanian,” the statement said. “We have an option for individuals to speak live with a nurse, Monday through Friday 9 am to 4 pm. The line has received more than 1,600 calls with more than 160 connected to a live nurse.”