COVID-19: November 17, 2020 Update from Representative Dykema
November 17th COVID-19 Update
As you know, the stage of reopening that cities and towns are allowed to enter currently depends on the risk level they are assigned in weekly public health reports released by the Department of Public Health. Communities need to be designated “lower risk” for three weeks in a row to be allowed to enter Step 2 of Phase III of reopening.
To assist communities and businesses, the administration has begun publishing a list of communities not eligible for Step 2 of Phase III, which will be updated weekly following each Thursday public health report. The list can be found on this page. Currently, Holliston is the only town in the 8th Middlesex district that is in Step 1 of Phase III, although it is important to note that the nearby cities of Boston, Framingham, Marlborough, and Worcester are also on the list.
The major differences between Step 1 and Step 2 of Phase III are that indoor performance venues and other indoor recreation facilities like roller rinks and laser tag are allowed to open in Step 2, and the organized outdoor gathering limit is 100 for step 2 compared with 50 for step 1. Please note that all higher outdoor gathering limits apply only to public or “official” outdoor gatherings, not private gatherings in areas such as backyards. For more information on step 1 vs step 2, visit here, and all information on reopening guidance and phases can be found at mass.gov/reopening.
Coronavirus Testing and Response
- Today, the state saw 2,263 new positive cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, with 186,744 total cases and 20 reported deaths as of today at 4pm.
- The average new cases over the last 7 days is 2,400, and the average number of deaths is 25.
- The 7-day weighted average positive test rate in Massachusetts is 3.3%.
- 65,468 new molecular tests for COVID-19 were reported in the Commonwealth today.
- 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.
- Hospitalization: 835 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide, an increase of 54 from yesterday.
- Hospital Capacity: As of 11/17, 31% of the Commonwealth’s 10,800 non-ICU hospital beds are available for new patients if needed (50% of statewide ICU beds are available). In the MetroWest region, 33% of the region’s non-ICU 1,800 beds are available for new patients (50% of regional ICU beds are available).
- Long-term care: As of 11/17, there are 395 long-term care facilities with at least one case of COVID-19 and 26,298 staff and residents in facilities who have tested positive for COVID-19. 6,600 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 and State Resources
All of the towns in the 8th Middlesex District have centralized COVID-19 resource pages with resources, updates, and alerts regarding town services.
Job/Income Loss Resources
COVID-19 is also 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
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