COVID-19: November 18, 2020 Update from Representative Dykema
November 18th COVID-19 Update
COVID-19 testing technology is improving in speed, accessibility, and versatility on a weekly basis, and here in Massachusetts, we are dedicated to using every resource at our disposal to protect our communities’ public health and safety in new and creative ways.
Today, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced that it will be rolling out Abbott BinaxNOW rapid antigen testing in 134 school districts across the Commonwealth. These tests can provide results in as little as 15 minutes and will be used to quickly test students or staff who present symptoms while at school.
In Phase 1, Holliston Public Schools was one of the districts selected to participate, as well as Keefe Tech, which serves students in Holliston and Hopkinton. More information on this testing initiative can be found here, including a detailed FAQ for districts, educators, and parents who may have questions about this testing program.
Initiatives like these make our in-person and hybrid instruction models safer and more resilient. Continuing to offer safe, high-quality education to all students is one of our top priorities during this pandemic, and I want to thank our students, teachers, staff, families, and local officials for their tireless efforts to do so this fall.
Coronavirus Testing and Response
- Today, the state saw 2,744 new positive cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, with 189,518 total cases and 47 reported deaths as of today at 4pm.
- The average new cases over the last 7 days is 2,435, and the average number of deaths is 26.
- The 7-day weighted average positive test rate in Massachusetts is 3.3%.
- 97,636 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: 885 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide, an increase of 50 from yesterday.
- Hospital Capacity: As of 11/18, 28% of the Commonwealth’s 10,900 non-ICU hospital beds are available for new patients if needed (47% of statewide ICU beds are available). In the MetroWest region, 32% of the region’s non-ICU 1,900 beds are available for new patients (33% of regional ICU beds are available).
- Long-term care: As of 11/18, there are 397 long-term care facilities with at least one case of COVID-19 and 26,579 staff and residents in facilities who have tested positive for COVID-19. 6,629 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.