Chelmsford Coronavirus Cases Edge Close To 300

Jenna Fisher

CHELMSFORD, MA — The number of people who have tested positive in Chelmsford for the new coronavirus is edging closer to 300, according to town data.

As of Monday, May 18, a total of 298 people had tested positive for the virus that causes the COVID-19 illness. Of those, 71 of cases are still active. It's not clear how many people in Chelmsford have died related to the virus, unlike a number of other communities the town is not releasing that data.

Credit: Town of Chelmsford

At least 29 residents at the Palm Center, a senior living facility in town died because of complications related to COVID-19, that it causes, the Globe reported at the beginning of the month. Dozens of other residents and workers also tested positive, including one of the center's social workers,Catherine Drouin, 69, of Methuen. She worked as a social worker at the Palm Center nursing home for more than 20 years when she died April 27.

Out of 294 towns and 57 cities in the state, Chelmsford was at the top 100 municipalities hit hardest by the virus, with the 56th most cases. Boston was in first place followed by Worcester, according to weekly town by town data the state releases. Westford, which has had 131 people test positive for the virus as of Monday, did not make the top 100.

Across the commonwealth as of Sunday, 86,010 people tested positive for the virus and 5,797 had died. In Middlesex County, 18,883 people had tested positive and 1,370 people had died related to the virus.

The news comes as Gov. Charlie Baker outlined the state's plans to have a phased reopening for businesses. He and health officials stressed the need to continue to maintain distancing and sanitization protocols so that a second wave of the virus didn't hit the state.

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This article originally appeared on the Chelmsford Patch