COVID-19: June 25, 2020 Update from Representative Dykema
June 25 Coronavirus Update
Limiting the spread of COVID-19 in vulnerable populations has proved to be one of the most challenging aspects of this pandemic. In any circumstances where large numbers of people live in a confined space, particularly if they have underlying health conditions, infection control or lack thereof can have huge impacts on outcomes. Congregate care facilities, nursing homes, and corrections facilities have all seen dramatic COVID-19 numbers as a result.
Sadly, the impacts of the virus had particularly dramatic impacts on one of our Soldiers’ Homes, a State facility that provides care to aging veterans. You may have read this news from earlier this week. The tragic outcomes for these veterans at the Holyoke Soldiers Home, who served our country with distinction, is unfathomable. Unfortunately, this tragedy has dramatically highlighted what can happen if COVID infections in congregate settings are not managed properly.
If you or a loved one have concerns about care and safety in a long-term care facility, you can always call the Nursing Home Family Resource line at (617) 660-5399. Even as we open up more of our economy and services, it is important to remember that COVID-19 is still dangerous, particularly for our most vulnerable residents.
Coronavirus Testing and Response
- Today, the state has 107,837 total reported positive cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, with 226 new cases and 25 reported deaths as of today at 4pm.
- The average new cases over the last 7 days is 202, and the average number of deaths is 28.
- The 7-day weighted average positive test rate in Massachusetts is 1.8%.
- 822 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide, a decrease of 117 from yesterday.
- The Department of Public Health regularly releases a daily reporting dashboard containing detailed information on hospitalizations, demographic data, and county-by-county breakdowns of cases. To view the DPH dashboard, visit here.
Health Care System
- Hospital Capacity: As of 6/25, 31% of the Commonwealth’s 12,400 permanent and temporary hospital beds are available for new patients if needed. In the MetroWest region, 39% of the region’s 2,300 beds are available for new patients.
- Long-term care: As of 6/25, there are 369 long-term care facilities with at least one case of COVID-19 and 23,321 staff and residents in facilities who have tested positive for COVID-19. 5,023 COVID-19 deaths have been reported in long-term care facilities.
All of the towns in the 8th Middlesex District now have centralized COVID-19 resource pages with resources, updates, and alerts regarding town services.
The Department of Public Health also releases weekly reports on town-by-town COVID-19 case numbers and rates, which can be found online here.
Resources for Residents Experiencing Job Loss or Loss of Income
COVID-19 is causing broad disruption to the economy which is affecting incomes of many residents and families. There are a number of state resources and supports available to support workers who may find themselves unemployed or otherwise income-constrained during this uncertain time.
Guide for job/income loss resources: https://carolyndykema.com/covid19-state-resources
Department of Unemployment Assistance: https://www.mass.gov/orgs/department-of-unemployment-assistance
Department of Transitional Assistance: https://www.mass.gov/dta-covid-19-resources-and-support
How You Can Help
Holliston Youth and Family Services requests your support of the Community Action Fund, which provides emergency assistance to those affected by COVID-19. Learn more or donate here.
The Westborough Rotary Club has launched a COVID-19 Community Relief Fund to provide assistance to those affected by COVID-19. Learn more or donate here.
The American Red Cross is asking for blood donations, the need for which is significant due to blood drive cancellations. The need is dire due to the cancellation of hundreds of blood drives. People can donate at the Worcester American Red Cross Donor Center, 381 Plantation St. Worcester or call 1-800-RED CROSS. Some local donor sites, including the Natick Senior Center, are available for appointments as well.
Information on our local food pantries can be found below. The most pressing need right now is cash donations to ensure that food drop-off and delivery do not inadvertently contribute to the spread of the virus.
Current Statewide Advisories
Safer at Home: As of May 18, the statewide stay-at-home advisory is now the Safer at Home advisory. In many ways, this advisory remains in the same spirit as previous policies: You should practice social distancing and limit your non-essential interactions as much as possible.
Face Covering: As reopening continues, the statewide face covering advisory remains in effect for public indoor and outdoor spaces in situations where social distancing is not possible. The full advisory and detailed guidance can be found online.
Reopening Guidance: For more information on the state’s phased reopening plan and particular industry-specific guidance, visit mass.gov/reopening. For questions about business reopening timelines, visit this page.
A list of all executive orders in place during the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 state of emergency can be found here.