COVID-19: August 11, 2020 Update from Representative Dykema

August 11 Coronavirus Update

Today, the Baker administration announced enhanced community-level data reporting and targeted intervention tools for communities considered at higher risk of COVID-19 spread. Using daily case rate averages, the Commonwealth has identified 33 communities of moderate or high risk and will begin offering additional support for intervention, prevention, or enforcement efforts.

Based on the average daily cases per 100,000 residents, each city or town has been designated as a “higher risk” (>8 cases per 100,000), “moderate risk” (4-8 cases per 100,000), or “lower risk” (<4 cases per 100,000) community. Communities with fewer than 5 reported cases in 14 days do not receive a formal designation due to sample size, but are considered lower risk. Going forward, this information will be updated and included in the Department of Public Health’s weekly public health dashboard, which is published each Wednesday.

None of the communities in the 8th Middlesex District are considered moderate or high risk. Framingham, Worcester, and Boston are designated as “moderate” risk at the moment, indicating average daily case rates of 4-8 per 100,000 individuals. As of August 5, the 14-day positive test rate in our four communities (Holliston, Hopkinton, Southborough, and Westborough) was 0.95%, below the state average of 1.82%.

Communities identified as moderate or high risk will receive additional support from the Commonwealth to address the spread of the virus, which may include enforcement support from the newly-convened interagency COVID Enforcement and Intervention Team. More information on risk designation and intervention supports can be found here.

New Updates

Coronavirus Testing and Response

Source: Department of Public Health data
  • Today, the state saw 392 new confirmed and probable positive cases* of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, with 121,315 total cases and 10  reported deaths as of today at 4pm. 
  • The average new cases over the last 7 days is 358, and the average number of deaths is 13.
  • The 7-day weighted average positive test rate in Massachusetts is 1.9%.
  • 387 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide, an increase of 7 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 8/11, 36% of the Commonwealth’s 12,400 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 8/11, there are 376 long-term care facilities with at least one case of COVID-19 and 24,538 staff and residents in facilities who have tested positive for COVID-19. 5,585 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.

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

Statewide Information

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.

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

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