COVID-19: October 22, 2020 Update from Representative Dykema

October 22nd Coronavirus Update

Each Wednesday, the Department of Public Health releases community-level numbers of COVID-19 testing and positive case totals. Our town-by-town numbers in this week’s public health report can be found below:

  • Holliston: 123 (+8 from last week)
  • Hopkinton: 160 (+7)
  • Southborough: 74 (+6)
  • Westborough: 418 (+5)

Based on this week’s numbers, Holliston remains in the higher risk category, Southborough and Hopkinton are now in the moderate risk category, and Westborough remains in the moderate risk category as well. These categories are determined by the daily case rate per 100,000 over a 14-day period. Higher-risk communities have a rate of >8 per 100,000, which in a community of 10,000 people would mean 11.2 cases confirmed over 14 days. 

A community’s risk category informs which stage of reopening it is permitted to enter, the recommended learning model for its school district(s), and its eligibility for additional enforcement and intervention support. As our community-level data continues to fluctuate, I will be sure to keep you informed of all changes and updates from our local emergency management teams and the statewide COVID-19 Command Center.

You can read this week’s public health report here, which also includes data broken down by demographic category, a summary of positive cases and testing at higher education institutions, and COVID-19 case and death data at long-term care facilities.

New Updates

Coronavirus Testing and Response

Source: Department of Public Health data
  • Today, the state saw 986 new positive cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, with 143,927 total cases and 30 reported deaths as of today at 4pm. 
  • The average new cases over the last 7 days is 754, and the average number of deaths is 20.
  • The 7-day weighted average positive test rate in Massachusetts is 1.4%.
  • 521 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide, an increase of 2 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 10/22, 31% of the Commonwealth’s 12,800 permanent and temporary hospital beds are available for new patients if needed. In the MetroWest region, 29% of the region’s 2,100 beds are available for new patients.
  • Long-term care: As of 10/22, there are 390 long-term care facilities with at least one case of COVID-19 and 25,428 staff and residents in facilities who have tested positive for COVID-19. 6,314 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

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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