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NAHANT SEES RISE IN COVID-19 CASES AMONG YOUNGER RESIDENTS

BY ELYSE CARMOSINO| March 23, 2021

NAHANT — Nahant has seen a rise in COVID-19 cases this month, Public Health Nurse Deb Murphy announced.

During a joint meeting between the Board of Selectmen and the Board of Health, Murphy said the community, which saw a decline in virus cases in February, reported nine active cases among residents since March 1.

“Our numbers looked like they were starting to go down in February, but unfortunately in March, that’s reversed itself a little bit,” Murphy said. “The cases seem to be trickling in one or two every day.”

The rise may have come from a recent outbreak at Swampscott High School, which Nahant students also attend.

However, Murphy did note one positive piece of data: The age of residents testing positive is now trending downward — a fact she attributed to the increase in elderly residents who have received the vaccine.

Nearly one-third of Nahant’s population is aged 65 or older and qualified for the vaccine under Phase 2 of the state’s rollout plan, which began February 1.

“It’s very interesting to see, statewide and here in our own town, the age group now of the people who are testing positive,” Murphy said. “As you can imagine, and it makes perfect sense, that as the older people have been getting vaccinated, the average age of the people who are testing positive right now (has gone down).”

She said the highest number of cases have been detected in people ages 0 to 19, with the second-highest number detected in those ages 20 to 29.

“If you look at the graph, the oldest people are way down at the end, and the youngest people are coming in first,” she said, noting that between March 1 and March 14, a total of 547 people in Nahant were tested for the virus.

With a population of just over 3,500, Nahant has seen a total of 243 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began last March, including eight deaths.

Since Monday, a number of new groups now qualify to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, including workers in restaurants, retail, transportation, funeral homes, and public health departments.

To accommodate the expected increase in vaccine demand, Murphy said hours of operation at Lynn Vocational Technical Institute and other Lynn Board of Health vaccination centers — which have partnered with the Nahant Health Department to include Nahant residents — will be expanded.

“It’s great we’re opening up, and hopefully by the middle to end of April, everybody will be able to come to a clinic and get a vaccine,” Murphy said. “I think that’s what we’re all looking forward to right now.”