City leaders say rate of infection in Chelsea is higher than in NYC, working to find housing for COVID-19 patients

Records show 387 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Chelsea, a number that makes the city one of the state’s biggest hotspots for the deadly virus.

CHELSEA, Mass. — Records show 387 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Chelsea, a number that makes the city one of the state’s biggest hotspots for the deadly virus.

Leaders said on Thursday Chelsea currently has a higher rate of infection than New York City, where there have been one of the highest concentration of COVID-19 cases in the country.

City officials and Congressman Joe Kennedy are working to find space for those trying to recover from the virus, in efforts to help curb the spread of the virus.

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Housing has become a critical issue in Chelsea when it comes to coronavirus, according to the city manager, where many are on the cusp of homelessness because of overcrowded housing.

The Chelsea Soldier’s Home had sever deaths attributed to coronavirus and, in neighboring Revere, 21 cases of the virus and eight deaths have been reported at the Jack Satter House.

“[We will] try to make sure that we can feed and house and separate (people) and hopefully if they come down with it, there will be a respirator there waiting for them,” said Roy Avellaneda, Chelsea City Council President. “It (has) been immensely challenging the pitfalls are hotel owners are basically saying we have no employees willing to work in these circumstances so here’s the keys and good luck.”

As Chelsea braces for more cases, City Manager Thomas Ambrosino says they need help, beyond just one hotel.

“We’re scrambling to find an operator to figure out healthcare how we bring healthcare services to the location how we supply food how we deal with the linen service how we get the garbage,” said Ambrosino.

According to Ambrosino, he’s hoping to get Quality Inn on board and have the keys to the hotel to start re-allocating COVID-19 positive patients in there by the end of the week.