COVID-19: March 29, 2021 Update from Representative Dykema

March 29th COVID-19 Update

As the weather gets warmer and we vaccinate a growing portion of our population, it begins to feel like we are coming to a “light at the end of the tunnel” of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 400,000 doses of vaccine were shipped to Massachusetts last week, and 27% of residents of Middlesex and Worcester Counties have received at least one dose.

However, it is important to remember that the threat of COVID-19 persists and that we must still take the appropriate steps to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities from COVID-19 infection and transmission. In recent weeks, there has been a concerning increase in COVID-19 spread in Massachusetts despite the increasing number of individuals who are vaccinated against the virus. In the last week, the 7-day averages for daily cases, hospitalizations, and daily deaths have all increased for the first time since January, and the positive test rate has increased as well.

Please keep in mind that statewide public health guidance about mask use, social gatherings, and personal hygiene remain in effect. If you do feel sick, please remember that free COVID-19 testing is still available at sites across the Commonwealth, which you can find at mass.gov/stopthespread. We are making tremendous progress in our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, but maintaining our vigilance in the coming weeks and months as the vaccine rollout continues can and will save countless lives. Thank you for everything you are doing to keep all of us and our communities safe and healthy.

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 1,464 new positive cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, with 594,242 total cases and 15 reported deaths as of today at 5pm.
  • The average new cases over the last 7 days is 1,937, and the average number of deaths is 33.
  • The 7-day weighted average positive test rate in Massachusetts is 2.4%.
  • 41,771 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 3/29)

  • Hospitalization: 675 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide, an increase of 23 from yesterday. The 7-day average of hospitalizations is 639.
  • Hospital Capacity: 18% of the Commonwealth’s non-ICU hospital beds are available for new patients if needed (29% of statewide ICU beds are available). In the MetroWest region, 15% of the region’s non-ICU beds are available for new patients (32% of regional ICU beds are available).
  • Long-term care: There are 424 long-term care facilities with at least one case of COVID-19 and 34,905 staff and residents in facilities who have tested positive for COVID-19. 8,926 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.

Vaccine Distribution

  • Last week, 379,232 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered. To date, 3,079,149 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in MA.
  • Last week, 422,060 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were shipped to Massachusetts. To date, 3,517,870 doses have been shipped to MA.
  • For more information, you can review the weekly COVID-19 vaccine report on this page.

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: 705 (+14 from last week); moderate risk
  • Hopkinton: 739 (+23); moderate risk
  • Southborough: 438 (+13); moderate risk
  • Westborough: 1,391 (+32); moderate risk

Education

  • The interactive data dashboard now contains weekly information on testing and positive cases in Massachusetts-based colleges and universities, which can be found here.
  • 598 new COVID-19 cases associated with higher education testing were reported last week. 14,415 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
  • Nboro-Sboro: 1 student, 0 staff
  • Westborough: 2 students, 1 staff

Travel

  • The state’s travel order has been replaced with a statewide travel advisory. More information, including answers to frequently asked questions, can be found at mass.gov/covidtravel.
  • Visitors to Massachusetts are still urged to quarantine or receive a negative test result within 72 hours of arrival unless they have been fully vaccinated over 14 days before arrival; however, reporting requirements and noncompliance penalties are no longer in effect.

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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