COVID-19: January 11, 2021 Update from Representative Dykema

January 11th COVID-19 Update

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a significant threat to health and public safety in every community in the Commonwealth. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of last week represented our #2, #1, and #3 highest single-day totals for new confirmed cases, respectively, and as of January 7th, 219 of our 351 communities are considered in the highest risk category for the virus.

Last week, Governor Baker announced that the temporary restrictions implemented in December 26th will be extended at least through January 24th. This guidance, which primarily deals with gathering size and indoor capacity for businesses, is designed to limit close contact in large gatherings while case numbers and transmission continues to be high.

All indoor gatherings remain capped at 10 people, and all outdoor gatherings remain capped at 25 people, regardless of venue or setup. Most businesses, including restaurants, office space, and places of worship, are limited to 25% capacity. Nonessential elective surgical procedures are suspended for the near future to ensure hospital resources remain available for critical care. You can learn more about the guidance in place, which supersedes standard phased reopening guidance, here or at mass.gov/reopening.

As a reminder, this COVID-19 newsletter is now released on a weekly basis. We will continue providing up-to-date daily, weekly, and aggregate data in these newsletters, but if you do want to be sure to follow the COVID-19 numbers on a day-by-day basis, the DPH daily dashboard from which we compile our data can be found here.

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 4,239 new positive cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, with 417,568 total cases and 54 reported deaths as of today at 4pm.
  • The average new cases over the last 7 days is 6,016, and the average number of deaths is 65.
  • The 7-day weighted average positive test rate in Massachusetts is 7.3%.
  • 57,414 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 1/11)

  • Hospitalization: 2,211 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide, a decrease of 13 from yesterday. The 7-day average of hospitalizations is 2,324.
  • Hospital Capacity: 16% of the Commonwealth’s non-ICU hospital beds are available for new patients if needed (15% of statewide ICU beds are available). In the MetroWest region, 16% of the region’s non-ICU beds are available for new patients (21% of regional ICU beds are available).
  • Long-term care: There are 417 long-term care facilities with at least one case of COVID-19 and 32,068 staff and residents in facilities who have tested positive for COVID-19. 7,614 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 Update

  • This week’s public health report contains town-by-town numbers on positive cases in each community, as well as a color-coded risk assessment for each city or town. This week’s numbers for the towns of the 8th Middlesex District can be found below, and the full weekly public health report can be found here.
  • Holliston: 442 (+46 from last week); higher risk
  • Hopkinton: 441 (+49); moderate risk
  • Southborough: 283 (+25); higher risk
  • Westborough: 955 (+68); moderate risk

Education

  • The weekly public health report now contains information on testing and positive cases in Massachusetts-based colleges and universities, which can be found here starting on page 36.
  • 392 new COVID-19 cases associated with higher education testing were reported last week. 6,896 total cases have been reported associated with higher education testing.
  • The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education now reports student and staff positive cases reported by school districts within the last week. These reports count all positive cases among students participating in-person or hybrid learning models, and staff who have been in a school building within 7 days of a positive test. Last week’s report and reporting definitions can be found here.
  • Holliston: 0 students, 0 staff
  • Hopkinton: 0 students, 0 staff
  • Southborough: 0 students, 0 staff
  • Northboro-Southboro: 0 students, 0 staff
  • Westborough: 0 students, 1 staff

*NOTE: The COVID-19 data dashboard is now available in an interactive format, rather than in PDF reports. You can find all daily and weekly data at https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-response-reporting.

Travel

  • The state’s COVID-19 travel order, which requires testing or self-quarantine for all visitors and returning residents from all higher-risk U.S. states, is updated weekly based on new public health data from around the country. Information on the order can be found here and information on changes to the state risk designations can be found below.
  • Lower-risk states: Hawaii
  • Removed last week: None
  • Added last week: None

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.

Press Release

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