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

September 9 Coronavirus Update

With many of our communities, including the four towns in the 8th Middlesex District, seeing low rates of new COVID-19 infections and the statewide positive test rate sinking below 1 percent, our statewide pandemic response efforts have been tailored toward targeting the areas where transmission remains far higher than the statewide average. By supporting testing, contact tracing, and enforcement efforts in a few “hot spots,” our goal is to contain community-wide transmission before it becomes another statewide outbreak.

Beginning in August, the administration created an interagency COVID Enforcement and Intervention Team, led by the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), designed to coordinate local intervention efforts in higher-risk communities. With the support of this team, the Division of Professional Licensure has been increasing its enforcement capacity, and last week the Division inspected 92 businesses in 5 communities (Chelsea, Everett, Lawrence, Lynn and Revere), finding 47 violations in safety practices and working with businesses to bring them into compliance. Today, the Governor announced that Framingham would also be included in this ongoing effort.

In addition, the successful Stop the Spread initiative has been extended through the end of September. This initiative offers no-cost testing to all Massachusetts residents, regardless of symptoms, in an effort to increase testing in communities where spread is highest. You do not have to be a resident of a Stop the Spread community to be tested there, but you do have to be a resident of Massachusetts.

New Updates

Coronavirus Testing and Response

Source: Department of Public Health data
  • Today, the state saw 182 new positive cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, with 121,214 total cases and 4 reported deaths as of today at 4pm. 
  • The average new cases over the last 7 days is 281, and the average number of deaths is 12.
  • The 7-day weighted average positive test rate in Massachusetts is 0.8%.
  • 338 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide, an increase of 10 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 9/9, 36% of the Commonwealth’s 12,600 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 9/9, there are 381 long-term care facilities with at least one case of COVID-19 and 24,671 staff and residents in facilities who have tested positive for COVID-19. 5,864 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.

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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