COVID-19: February 16, 2021 Update from Representative Dykema
February 16th COVID-19 Update
As we continue to work to increase the speed and accessibility of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution process in Massachusetts, many of you have taken the time to share valuable feedback and input with my office and the COVID-19 Command Center. Following repeated concerns expressed by legislators, residents, and others, the Baker administration recently released an updated COVID-19 vaccine scheduling website.
Vaxfinder.Mass.gov works to address many of the concerns raised by my constituents and my colleagues about the logistical challenges of older adults registering for a vaccine appointment. Most notably, the new website is searchable by ZIP code and by municipality, provides information on site availability before a user tries to schedule an appointment, and includes contact information for individual sites for those with questions about accessibility.
Those who do not use a computer or who run into issues scheduling their appointment can still call for assistance using 2-1-1 help line, which now is operating with expanded hours and is running 7 days a week. While many issues around vaccine supply, equity, and access remain, improved functionality of the online sign-up process is a step forward in speeding up the distribution process.
Today’s newsletter and all editions moving forward will now include a weekly, easy-to-ready chart tracking COVID-19 vaccine supply and distribution, which you can find below. For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, visit mass.gov/covidvaccine.
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 967 new positive cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, with 531,702 total cases and 49 reported deaths as of today at 5pm.
- The average new cases over the last 7 days is 1,797, and the average number of deaths is 62.
- The 7-day weighted average positive test rate in Massachusetts is 2.2%.
- 46,448 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 2/16)
- Hospitalization: 1,096 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide, no change from yesterday. The 7-day average of hospitalizations is 1,196.
- Hospital Capacity: 19% of the Commonwealth’s non-ICU hospital beds are available for new patients if needed (23% of statewide ICU beds are available). In the MetroWest region, 19% of the region’s non-ICU beds are available for new patients (28% of regional ICU beds are available).
- Long-term care: There are 423 long-term care facilities with at least one case of COVID-19 and 34,450 staff and residents in facilities who have tested positive for COVID-19. 8,392 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.
- Last week, 229,909 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered. To date, 950,515 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in MA.
- Last week, 112,550 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were shipped to Massachusetts. To date, 1,413,025 doses have been shipped to MA.
- For more information, you can review the weekly COVID-19 vaccine report on this page.
- 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: 609 (+18 from last week); moderate risk
- Hopkinton: 629 (+17); moderate risk
- Southborough: 374 (+5); higher risk
- Westborough: 1,206 (+44); moderate risk
- The interactive data dashboard now contains weekly information on testing and positive cases in Massachusetts-based colleges and universities, which can be found here.
- 1,042 new COVID-19 cases associated with higher education testing were reported last week. 10,795 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, 2 staff
- Northboro-Southboro: 4 students, 0 staff
- Westborough: 1 student, 4 staff
- 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, North Dakota
- Removed last week: None
- Added last week: North Dakota
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