COVID-19: December 3, 2020 Update from Representative Dykema

December 3rd COVID-19 Update

Because the way we gather and report COVID-19 data has changed so much since the pandemic began, it can sometimes be difficult to make apples-to-apples comparisons between our current state of affairs and the information we had in March and April. This is especially true when comparing new case numbers, as we are testing far more people than we did at the beginning of the pandemic (which is good) but does ultimately result in higher case numbers.

The MWRA “Biobot” program, which monitors the presence of viral RNA in wastewater in the Greater Boston area, is one way that we can control for outside factors in assessing the presence of the virus in our communities. The pilot program is particularly valuable because studies show it can predict trends up to 7 days in advance of confirmed cases.

For the first time, samples from this program indicate that the level of viral RNA is at the same level or even higher than it was in April, during our first “surge.” This sobering reality should serve as a reminder to us all that it is just as important now as it was in the spring to adhere closely to public health guidance and to practice extreme care if you are considered high-risk. Please stay safe.

News Updates

Below is a summary of the most recent efforts to respond to the wide range of needs in our communities. For a summary of previously issued guidance and state restrictions related to the coronavirus epidemic, visit mass.gov/covid19. For previous updates visit carolyndykema.com/covid19.

Coronavirus Testing and Response

  • Today, the state saw 6,477 new positive cases* of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, with 232,264 total cases and 49 reported deaths as of today at 4pm.
  • The average new cases over the last 7 days is 3,250, and the average number of deaths is 36.
  • The 7-day weighted average positive test rate in Massachusetts is 5.3%.
  • 111,734 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.

Heath Care (as of 12/3)

  • Hospitalization: 1,324 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide, an increase of 65 from yesterday.
  • Hospital Capacity: 24% of the Commonwealth’s 10,700 non-ICU hospital beds are available for new patients if needed (39% of statewide ICU beds are available). In the MetroWest region, 28% of the region’s non-ICU 1,800 beds are available for new patients (33% of regional ICU beds are available).
  • Long-term care: There are 402 long-term care facilities with at least one case of COVID-19 and 27,868 staff and residents in facilities who have tested positive for COVID-19. 6,843 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.

*PLEASE NOTE: Today’s case numbers include 680 cases tested by one Massachusetts-based laboratory prior to December 1. The delay in reporting was caused by a technical issue with the software used by that laboratory’s reporting vendor.

Local and State Resources

Town Resources

All of the towns in the 8th Middlesex District have centralized COVID-19 resource pages with resources, updates, and alerts regarding town services.

Holliston | Hopkinton | Southborough | Westborough

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

Department of Unemployment Assistance

Department of Transitional Assistance

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.

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