5 Things You Need to Know Today in Worcester - December 16

 by Tom MarinoDecember 16, 2022
Last Updated December 16, 2022 7:04 AM

In today’s daily 5 Things You Need to Know feature, ThisWeekinWorcester.com explores five important items and stories that Worcester and Central Massachusetts residents should keep a close eye on.

These five things can cover a whole range of subjects and issues that we feel are pertinent to understanding what’s going on in the city and the cities and towns surrounding Worcester.

In today's edition - Friday, December 16 - the Department of Public Health warns of higher than usual flu cases, the Worcester Public Library is hosting a World Cup Watch Party this weekend, the Community Program for Addiction Recovery hold its fifth annual Hope Bag Fundraiser, Santa Claus will be at the Worcester Public Market this weekend and a study finds Massachusetts has the second best protections against elder-abuse in the U.S.

DPH Warns of Higher than Usual Flu Cases

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) is warning residents of higher than usual number of cases of influenza fo far this season.

The flu can lead to serious illness, hospitalization, or death. The most common symptoms of flu are fever, cough, and sore throat. Symptoms can also include body aches, headaches, chills, runny nose, and fatigue.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates there have already been 13 million cases, 120,000 hospitalizations, and 7,300 deaths due to flu this season.

DPH stresses the importance of flu vaccination, which is  especially important for people who are at higher risk of severe disease which could result in hospitalization or death. People at higher risk include those who are over age 65 or under 2 years, and anyone with a chronic respiratory condition, heart disease, a weakened immune system, or who is pregnant. Antiviral medications, such as Tamiflu, are available with a prescription to help reduce disease severity.

According to Dr. Larry Madoff, Medical Director of DPH’s Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences. “The current flu vaccine is a good match to the circulating strains and gives you the antibodies you need to help fight off infection.”

COVID and flu vaccines are both widely available for everyone 6 months and older. Find a flu vaccination site near you here.

FIFA World Cup Watch Party this Weekend at the Worcester Public Library

The Worcester Public Library is hosting a FIFA World Cup watch party on Saturday, Dec. 17 from 10 AM to 11:45 AM.

The party is being held in the Saxe Room inside the Main Library at 3 Salem Sq.

The game between Croatia and Morocco will be up on the big screen!

5th Annual Holiday Hope Bag Fundraiser

The Community Program for Addiction Recovery (CPAR) is hosting its fifth annual Holiday Hope Bag Fundraiser for the homeless and those entering addiction recovery.

CPAR Recovery Advocates seek to help reduce the gap between police officers and individuals in need of recovery from active addiction, and guide individuals and their families to informational resources, clinical resources, and community supports.

Donations are accepted through a Facebook fundraiser or Cashapp at $CPARWPAR. CPAR also has an Amazon wishlist or donations can be dropped off at the lobby of the Worcester Police Department.

Santa Claus at the Worcester Public Market this Weekend

The Worcester Public Market, at 160 Green St., will host Santa Claus this weekend.

The opportunity for family photos in Santa's Sleight will be available.

Santa's schedule at the Worcester Public Market is:

Friday: 3 PM to 6 PM
Saturday: 4 PM to 7 PM
Sunday: 4 PM to 7 PM

Massachusetts Ranks Second in U.S. in Protections Against Elder-Abuse

A new study finds that of all 50 states and  Washington D.C., Massachusett has the second best protections against elder-abuse.

Researches analyzed 16 key metrics to determine the rankings of each state in the nation. The metrics that contributed to the state's rating are:

  • 1st – Total Expenditures on Elder-Abuse Prevention
  • 6th – Elder-Abuse, Gross-Neglect & Exploitation Complaints
  • 7th – Number of Certified Volunteer Ombudsmen
  • 18th – Number of Eldercare Organizations & Services
  • 26th – Nursing-Homes Quality
  • 28th – Total Long-Term Care Ombudsman-Program Funding

The only state to receive a higher rating than Massachusetts is Wisconsin, which the study ranked first in the nation.

The next highest ranking for a New England state was Vermont, which ranked 19th.

The five worst states, according to the study, are Tennessee, New Jersey, South Carolina, Montana, and in last place, Utah.

To see the full study and review its methodology, visit WalletHub.com.

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