COVID-19: June 4, 2020 Update from Representative Dykema
June 4 Coronavirus Update
Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have been particularly hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. 350 facilities across the Commonwealth have reported at least one case of COVID-19, and long-term care residents account for over 60% of the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 deaths. As a result, infection control has been top priority at nursing facilities and strict social distancing measures have been in place, including limits and/or bans on visitation.
To help support this effort, the Commonwealth has invested over $130 million in these facilities’ COVID-19 prevention efforts and conducted regular audits using a 28-point infection control checklist. Yesterday, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services implemented new guidance allowing for limited visitation to resume in outdoor, socially-distanced settings. In addition, compassionate care indoor visits are now allowed in designated spaces and infection control measures.
The visitation limits on nursing homes have been some of the hardest social distancing restrictions that many of our residents have had to bear. This new guidance is welcome news to many families who have not been able to see a loved one in person when they need physical company most, and I’m hopeful that we can continue making progress to come together in safe, careful ways as the pandemic continues.
Coronavirus Testing and Response
- Today, the state has 102,063 total reported positive cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, with 471 new cases and 50 reported deaths as of today at 4pm.
- The average new cases over the last 7 days is 522, and the average number of deaths is 60.
- The 7-day weighted average positive test rate in Massachusetts is 5.7%.
- 1,637 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide, a decrease of 47 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 6/4, 54% of the Commonwealth’s 17,400 permanent and temporary hospital beds are available for new patients if needed. In the MetroWest region, 52% of the region’s 2,900 beds are available for new patients.
- Long-term care: As of 6/4, there are 350 long-term care facilities with at least one case of COVID-19 and 21,892 staff and residents in facilities who have tested positive for COVID-19. 4,479 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.