Some places have struggled to respond, watching deaths and illnesses mount. But this time, Worcester is a bright spot. City officials planned for an outbreak before it happened and used a coalition of agencies and community groups to meet homeless people where they live.
The relative success in Worcester has limited the illnesses and shown how long-term outreach to homeless people and drug users can pay dividends in times of crisis. The outbreak, which first flared in September, seems to be petering out at 58 confirmed cases.
“I think we had a great response. Everybody came together,” said Worcester’s health commissioner, Dr. Matilde Castiel.