COVID-19: July 30, 2020 Update from Representative Dykema

July 30 Coronavirus Update

Source: Department of Public Health data

As you may have noticed from recent newsletters, Massachusetts has experienced a small but noticeable uptick in our COVID-19 public health metrics in recent weeks. This week, our positive case rate ticked back up to 2% for the first time since June, and hospitalization numbers, while still declining overall, have continued to fluctuate.

The daily number of new reported cases (both confirmed and probable, accounting for both molecular and antibody testing) has slightly increased over the course of the month, while testing numbers have remained relatively consistent (see chart to right). Our “key indicators” for reopening continue to show overall improvement, but this recent data reminds us all of the importance of remaining vigilant.

Massachusetts has gotten to this point in our pandemic response and reopening because public officials, residents, and business owners alike have taken the recommendations of our public experts seriously and consistently complied with all safety measures. To continue this long-term positive trend, we must all continue to practice social distancing, wear masks, and stay home if we feel ill. COVID-19 testing is more readily available now than ever before, and if you are concerned, please get tested. Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do to keep our neighbors and our communities safe.

New Updates

Coronavirus Testing and Response

Source: Department of Public Health data
  • Today, the state saw 415 new confirmed and probable positive cases* of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, with 117,099 total cases and 15 reported deaths as of today at 4pm. (see notes)
  • The average new cases over the last 7 days is 350, and the average number of deaths is 16.
  • The 7-day weighted average positive test rate in Massachusetts is 2.0%.
  • 367 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide, a decrease of 23 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.

Heath Care

  • Hospital Capacity: As of 7/30, 32% of the Commonwealth’s 12,500 permanent and temporary hospital beds are available for new patients if needed. In the MetroWest region, 24% of the region’s 2,100 beds are available for new patients.
  • Long-term care: As of 7/30, there are 376 long-term care facilities with at least one case of COVID-19 and 24,144 staff and residents in facilities who have tested positive for COVID-19. 5,477 COVID-19 deaths have been reported in long-term care facilities.
  • For information on COVID-19 testing and guidance on whether you should get tested, how to get tested, and where to get tested, visit the COVID-19 testing portal at mass.gov/gettested.

*NOTES ON DATA: 

1. A technical reporting error by a hospital group caused a delay in its laboratory test results being reported to DPH. These newly reported test results have been included in today’s dashboard report and are reflected in today’s case totals. However, these positive test results have been assigned retrospectively to the appropriate date of test.

2. The DPH data dashboard now breaks out confirmed vs. probable cases, with “probable” cases representing those with positive antibody tests. This is why data reported on p. 1 of the dashboard doesn’t appear to “match” the data displayed in the chart above.

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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