COVID-19: July 1, 2020 Update from Representative Dykema

July 1 Coronavirus Update

As we plan for a safe and socially distant Fourth of July, my office has received several questions about the most current policies regarding travel guidance and self-quarantine for both Massachusetts residents looking to “get away” for the weekend and those of us hoping to connect with family while keeping our loved ones healthy.

In Phase 2, non-essential travel is discouraged, but not prohibited. International travel is still largely prohibited, and more information about international travel can be found at travel.state.gov. As of today, July 1, visitors from seven U.S. states near Massachusetts – Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont – that have seen promising trends in public health metrics no longer have to self-quarantine for 14 days upon entering MA, including residents returning home from those states. Lodging facilities in MA, including short-term rentals like AirBnB, are allowed to reopen in Phase 2 in compliance with sector safety guidance. More information on the most recent travel guidance can be found here.

New Updates

Coronavirus Testing and Response

Source: Department of Public Health data
  • Today, the state has 109,143 total reported positive cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, with 261 new cases & 28 reported deaths as of today at 4pm. 
  • The average new cases over the last 7 days is 219, and the average number of deaths is 26.
  • The 7-day weighted average positive test rate in Massachusetts is 1.8%.
  • 760 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide, an increase of 27 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 7/1, 32% of the Commonwealth’s 12,300 permanent and temporary hospital beds are available for new patients if needed. In the MetroWest region, 39% of the region’s 2,100 beds are available for new patients.
  • Long-term care: As of 7/1, there are 369 long-term care facilities with at least one case of COVID-19 and 23,458 staff and residents in facilities who have tested positive for COVID-19. 5,127 COVID-19 deaths have been reported in long-term care facilities.

Local Resources

All of the towns in the 8th Middlesex District now have centralized COVID-19 resource pages with resources, updates, and alerts regarding town services.

HollistonHopkintonSouthboroughWestborough

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 resourceshttps://carolyndykema.com/covid19-state-resources

Department of Unemployment Assistancehttps://www.mass.gov/orgs/department-of-unemployment-assistance

Department of Transitional Assistancehttps://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.

Holliston Pantry Shelf | Project Just Because | Southborough Food Pantry | Westborough Food Pantry

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.

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