COVID-19: July 9, 2020 Update from Representative Dykema

July 9 Coronavirus Update

Source: Department of Public Health

Data collection and reporting continues to be a key component of our pandemic response. The Department of Public Health works with local boards of health, hospitals and laboratories, and public and private care facilities to collect and report a wide range of COVID-19 data. This data helps shape our policymaking and informs critical decisions about reopening timelines, health care needs, and targeting funding to areas where it is needed most.

Beginning in July, the state began reporting expanded data, to be updated on a daily basis, on COVID-19 testing, case rates, and deaths in elder care facilities across the Commonwealth. This new reporting also includes statewide data broken down by a number of demographic categories, including race, ethnicity, gender, and language. This expanded reporting is required by An Act addressing COVID-19 data collection and disparities in treatment, which was passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor in June. You can view the full menu of data available online here, and you can download the expanded data sets for statewide demographic numbers and elder care facilities from July 8.

In addition, the DPH’s clinical quality improvement office presented today to the statewide Public Health Council on the Commonwealth’s response to COVID-19 in long-term care facilities. This is an area of particular focus given the high prevalence of cases and deaths in these facilities over the past several months. The full presentation can be viewed online here.

New Updates

Coronavirus Testing and Response

Source: Department of Public Health data
  • Today, the state reported 295 new probable and confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 110,897 total reported positive cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth & 25 reported deaths as of today at 4pm. 
  • The average new cases over the last 7 days is 223, and the average number of deaths is 19.
  • The 7-day weighted average positive test rate in Massachusetts is 1.9%.
  • 635 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide, a decrease 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.

NOTE ON DATA: 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.

Health Care System

  • Hospital Capacity: As of 7/9, 33% of the Commonwealth’s 12,300 permanent and temporary hospital beds are available for new patients if needed. In the MetroWest region, 43% of the region’s 2,100 beds are available for new patients.
  • Long-term care: As of 7/9, there are 369 long-term care facilities with at least one case of COVID-19 and 23,630 staff and residents in facilities who have tested positive for COVID-19. 5,241 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.

Press Release

1 Comment

  1. Marilyn Lourandos on July 14, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    Thank you for the information in the press release. It is a good summary of the State data. Of note is that the number of daily new cases has risen from a low of ~ 150 new cases/day to ~300 new cases/day as reported in the press release. This is a concern and I was wondering what will be the tipping point when the Governor will take action again. Being as through as he is, I am sure that the idea has been discussed and the tipping point has been discussed.

    On a good note, Holliston has only 56 reported Covid-19 cases and it has been constant since the end of May. This is very encouraging and the townspeople are being conscientious and successful in preventing the spread of the Corona-19 virus. There are other towns (not many) across the Commonwealth that are doing the same.

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