COVID-19: August 4, 2020 Update from Representative Dykema

August 4 Coronavirus Update

I hope you are staying safe this evening as the state emergency management agency has issued tropical storm warnings for all counties. If you need to report a power outage or check on outage status, you can do so here for Eversource (Holliston and Hopkinton) or National Grid (Southborough and Westborough).

In today’s COVID-19 news, the successful Stop the Spread testing initiative continues to expand. This effort, which provides no-cost testing in municipalities with high rates of COVID-19, added 8 communities last week and, beginning tomorrow, will open a drive-thru testing site in Framingham. 

17 communities now offer Stop the Spread sites, which are open to all, regardless of where you reside or whether or not you have symptoms. Some sites require appointments, others offer walk-up or drive-thru service. Hours of operation, site details, and contact information can be found online. To find a site or learn more, visit mass.gov/stopthespread.

New Updates

Coronavirus Testing and Response

Source: Department of Public Health data
  • Today, the state saw 546 new confirmed and probable positive cases* of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, with 119,203 total cases and 9  reported deaths as of today at 4pm. 
  • The average new cases over the last 7 days is 432, and the average number of deaths is 15.
  • The 7-day weighted average positive test rate in Massachusetts is 2.2%.
  • 354 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide, a decrease of 21 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 8/4, 36% of the Commonwealth’s 12,400 permanent and temporary hospital beds are available for new patients if needed. In the MetroWest region, 35% of the region’s 2,000 beds are available for new patients.
  • Long-term care: As of 8/4, there are 376 long-term care facilities with at least one case of COVID-19 and 24,376 staff and residents in facilities who have tested positive for COVID-19. 5,512 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

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

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