SAUGUS Vol. 24, No. 1 -FREEwww.advocatenews.net A household word in Saugus! AADVOCATEDV CAT Published Every Friday A super bad surge in Saugus Town had the 8th highest rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases during a recent two-week period By Mark E. Vogler T he state’s final COVID-19 Weekly Public Health Report for 2020 released late last week showed that confirmed cases in Saugus continue to soar at a staggering rate. As of Dec. 29, the town had 2,314 cases of the virus and registered a whopping average daily incidence rate of 104.6 over a recent 14-day period through Dec. 26 – the 8th highest rate in the state. And there seems to be no letup in the ongoing surge of the dreaded disease, based on the new numbers that Registered Nurse Teresa Riley-Singh presented to the Board of Health on Monday (Jan. 4). There were 159 new confirmed cases in just six days, raising the total to 2,473, according to the latest Coronavirus Count released by Riley-Singh. But the most alarming figure was from a report she compiled that showed 1,255 COVID-19 cases in Saugus since Thanksgiving – more than half of the number of cases reported in town since the outbreak of the global pandemic back in March. Over the past week through Monday, there were 208 confirmed COVID-19 cases, Riley-Singh said. Board of Health Chair William Heffernan wanted to know if the nurse thought the ongoing surge in Coronavirus cases was related to holiday gatherings, as state and federal health officials have suggested. “I think so,” she said. “People are getting frustrated with the masks and not being so compliant,” she said. At Monday’s meeting, Town Manager Scott C. Crabtree expressed alarm that the town has had more than 300 cases of the virus since Christmas. “Things are surging,” Crabtree said. “We’re one of the top communities [in the state] for this infectious spread here in Saugus,” he said. “As every medical expert and science expert in the country is saying, this is going to be the worst month out of the entire pandemic and could spill into February,” he said. Crabtree stressed it’s important that Saugus residents “continue to wear masks, social distance, wash your hands regularly and stay away from the gatherings.” “This is pretty serious,” Crabtree warned, adding that the public needs to “hang in there” and take precautions until they can receive the vaccine later in the year – which, according to health officials, will be sometime in April for the general public. SURGE | SEE PAGE 2 “It came back with a vengeance…” B oard of Selectmen Chair Anthony Cogliano figured he had gotten over the COVID-19 he had caught less than a week before Christmas. But the virus flared up again early this week, forcing Cogliano to cancel the Board of Selectmen’s meeting that was set for Tuesday (Jan. 5) night. “Sunday [Jan. 3] was my first day out of the house,” Cogliano said in a telephone interview this week. ~ Home of the Week ~ SAUGUS...Attached single Family Colonial, Duplex style home. First floor features an eat-in kitchen, formal dining and living room, both with original tin ceilings and hardwood floors under carpets, half bath and four season, heated front porch with convenient laundry hook up. Second floor offers a full bath, two full size bedrooms and one smaller, office-size room, fits a twin bed and possibly a desk or dresser and nightstand, all with hardwood floors. Walk up attic for plenty of storage or finish for additional living space. Offered at $349,900 335 Central Street, Saugus, MA 01906 (781) 233-7300 View all our listings at: CarpenitoRealEstate.com View the interior of this home right on your smartphone. Cogliano cancels Selectmen’s meeting after his COVID-19 symptoms return By Mark E. Vogler The Saugus Advocate this week looks back on the past year with top photos that made the front page. Shown above is our photo for May, A COVID-19-Style Memorial Day: Saugus American Legion Post 210 Finance Officer David Nelson, a Vietnam War-era U.S. Army veteran, shows up at Riverside Cemetery sporting a patriotic face covering as the town observes a scaled-down Memorial Day Service. The photo sums up what Saugus and the nation faced in 2020. See pages 10-12 for photo highlights. (Saugus Advocate Photo by Mark E. Vogler) “I came home and watched the football game with a friend who just got over the virus. I thought I was over the virus. But it came back with a vengeance on Sunday. From Sunday night through Monday, I just felt awful: a wicked cough, headache, a sore throat and – the worst part of it – just being so dizzy,” he said. Cogliano was being treated for viral pneumonia and had a “Zoom” medical appointment with his doctor on Wednesday (Jan. 6) before his interview with The Saugus Advocate. “I feel 100 percent better today [Wednesday],” he said. “I feel great, but I just can’t believe it came back. I had gone 14 days and had felt pretty good. But on day 15, I felt bad again. With the dizziness, the whole house was spinning around. I couldn’t lay down. The dry cough was really bad, and I had a fever that was on and off,” he said. “But I want people to know that I feel a lot better now. I hope it’s just a couple of more days at home and then back to normal.” Cogliano said he doesn’t believe that contracting COVID-19 has changed his perspective on the Coronavirus. 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