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'Stay At Home At All Hours': Chelsea Reports Coronavirus Infection Rate Higher Than NYC

CHELSEA (CBS) - City leaders in Chelsea are asking residents to stay inside their homes 24 hours a day because of the coronavirus. The city of about 40,000 is being hit especially hard by the pandemic.

"Chelsea currently has the worst outbreak of Covid-19 in the entire state," the city said Thursday in a message to residents. "The rate of infections is even higher than New York City."

As of Thursday there were 437 confirmed coronavirus patients in Chelsea and at least 10 deaths.

Council President Roy Avellaneda believes the numbers are even higher.

"There's a lot of people not being tested - it's a lost worse," he told WBZ-TV. "It's probably three times that."

Avellaneda said the city needs more help from the state in securing hotels to quarantine the sick, and emergency funding for food and medical kits.

"When we have the relaxed guidelines from [The Department of Public Health] we will actually be able to test more people in Chelsea," MGH Chelsea Healthcare Center Medical Director Dean C. Xerras told WBZ-TV. "Even though the perception is that we're not testing everyone that walks in, the goal will be to do that at some point.

The city said its numbers are so high because many residents work in "essential" fields like food service and health care and can't work from home. It's also a dense city, making it tougher for residents to isolate themselves from one another.

"Everyone, STAY AT HOME, at all hours, unless you must travel for essential reasons such as essential work, essential food, or essential medication," the city said.

If anyone is unable to get food in Chelsea, they can call 311 or 617-466-4209.

At the Chelsea Soldiers' Home, five veterans who tested positive for coronavirus have died. Twenty-two more veterans and 11 staff members have also tested positive.


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