COVID-19: July 7, 2020 Update from Representative Dykema

July 7 Coronavirus Update

These past few months have been trying for all of us. During Mental Health Awareness Month in May, I shared mental health and wellbeing resources in our newsletters in recognition of the importance of all of us maintaining our emotional health during the pandemic. I wanted to share a few new resources that have been made available since May that may be helpful to you and your loved ones.

MassSupport is a statewide crisis counseling program specifically designed to address needs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic using federal funding from FEMA. To get help, you can call (888) 215-4920, email masssupport@riversidecc.org, or visit masssupport.org. For more information, you can also read the program announcement here.

The Office of the Child Advocate, in conjunction with the Department of Mental Health and UMass Medical, has launched a website with tips sheets, videos, and other resources for early childhood educators to help children process and cope with the stressors associated with COVID-19. These resources, while targeted toward child care providers, may be helpful for families and caregivers in talking with children about the pandemic and our “new normal.”

Finally, anyone looking for support related to emotional health and wellbeing can always visit Mass.gov/CopingDuringCOVID or call Mass 2-1-1 for support. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you need help.

New Updates

Coronavirus Testing and Response

Source: Department of Public Health data
  • Today, the state reported 201 new probable and confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 110,332 total reported positive cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth & 15 reported deaths as of today at 4pm. 
  • The average new cases over the last 7 days is 208, and the average number of deaths is 23.
  • The 7-day weighted average positive test rate in Massachusetts is 1.9%.
  • 621 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide, an increase of 18 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 7/7, 37% of the Commonwealth’s 12,300 permanent and temporary hospital beds are available for new patients if needed. In the MetroWest region, 45% of the region’s 2,200 beds are available for new patients.
  • Long-term care: As of 7/7, there are 369 long-term care facilities with at least one case of COVID-19 and 23,595 staff and residents in facilities who have tested positive for COVID-19. 5,193 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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