COVID-19: August 10, 2020 Update from Representative Dykema
August 10 Coronavirus Update
Food insecurity and stress to the Commonwealth’s food system have been serious concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Like so many other sectors impacted by the pandemic, farmers, suppliers, retailers, and consumers have had to find creative solutions to meet the challenges of the pandemic.
The Department of Agricultural Resources initially developed the MassGrown Exchange platform to address COVID-related disruptions to the Commonwealth’s food supply by allowing for business-to-business communication to bring locally-grown food to market. The success of that initiative led to the establishment of a permanent, public platform connecting food suppliers, distributors, and retailers.
In addition, MassGrown has expanded its searchable map for consumers to find local farm stands, farmers’ markets, nurseries, and community-supported agriculture (CSA). In addition to providing access to healthy, locally-grown food choices – many of which participate in the recently-expanded Healthy Incentives Program for SNAP recipients – these sites have worked to ensure safe social distancing and primarily outdoor operation in compliance with statewide safety guidance.
Coronavirus Testing and Response
- Today, the state saw 275 new confirmed and probable positive cases* of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, with 121,315 total cases and 6 reported deaths as of today at 4pm.
- The average new cases over the last 7 days is 380, and the average number of deaths is 13.
- The 7-day weighted average positive test rate in Massachusetts is 1.8%.
- 380 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide, an increase of 5 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.
- Hospital Capacity: As of 8/10, 38% of the Commonwealth’s 12,500 permanent and temporary hospital beds are available for new patients if needed. In the MetroWest region, 40% of the region’s 2,000 beds are available for new patients.
- Long-term care: As of 8/10, there are 376 long-term care facilities with at least one case of COVID-19 and 24,517 staff and residents in facilities who have tested positive for COVID-19. 5,579 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.
*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.
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
Information on the state of emergency and related orders can be found here.
Reopening guidance can be found at mass.gov/reopening.
Information on COVID-19 testing can be found at mass.gov/gettested.
How You Can Help (updated)
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.
Southborough’s Community Fund has supported local COVID-19 response efforts and families impacted by the pandemic, as well as other charitable organizations in Town. 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.