COVID-19: April 5, 2021 Update from Representative Dykema
April 5th COVID-19 Update
Today, a new group of Massachusetts become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. As of this morning, all individuals 55 or older and all individuals with 1 or more eligible medical conditions are eligible to receive the vaccine.
On Friday, the Baker administration also announced that the state would be adopting the full CDC list of eligible medical conditions associated with an increased risk of serious illness due to COVID-10. The full, updated list of medical conditions can be found here, but two notable additions are the inclusion of type 1 diabetes along with type 2 diabetes and a broader definition of immunocompromise (previously, only those who were immunocompromised as a result of solid organ transplant were eligible).
The most common concerns my office receives are about the availability of appointments for those who wish to get the vaccine as soon as possible. In Massachusetts, our capacity to distribute the vaccine far exceeds our supply, which means that when we do receive shipments of vaccines from federal sources, we have the infrastructure to get those doses to patients quickly. Last week, MA received 684,000 doses of the vaccine, our highest weekly total to date, a nearly 500% increase from weekly shipments as recently as February. The increase in supply will work to meet the new and existing demand as more populations become eligible.
All residents are encouraged to pre-register for a vaccine appointment at one of Massachusetts’s mass vaccination sites at vaccinesignup.mass.gov. Over the month of April, more sites including regional collaboratives are expected to join the pre-registration pool. Those who are eligible and looking for appointments may also search for available slots at vaxfinder.mass.gov.
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 2,912* new positive cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, with 607,967 total cases and 43 reported deaths as of today at 5pm.
- The average new cases over the last 7 days is 1,961, and the average number of deaths is 27.
- The 7-day weighted average positive test rate in Massachusetts is 2.4%.
- 113,587 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.
*NOTE: A reporting error with the Broad Institute at MIT caused the Department to fail to report daily COVID-19 cases yesterday, 4/4. Today’s new case totals include the last 2 days of data and the graph represents those totals as two averaged days, which may not reflect actual daily totals.
Heath Care (as of 4/5)
- Hospitalization: 707 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide, a decrease of 8 from yesterday. The 7-day average of hospitalizations is 705.
- Hospital Capacity: 20% of the Commonwealth’s non-ICU hospital beds are available for new patients if needed (28% of statewide ICU beds are available). In the MetroWest region, 18% of the region’s non-ICU beds are available for new patients (31% 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 34,983 staff and residents in facilities who have tested positive for COVID-19. 9,005 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, 448,045 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered. To date, 3,554,711 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in MA.
- 684,090 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were shipped to Massachusetts. To date, 4,201,960 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: 720 (+15 from last week); moderate risk
- Hopkinton: 777 (+38); moderate risk
- Southborough: 449 (+11); higher risk
- Westborough: 1,441 (+50); 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.
- 879 new COVID-19 cases associated with higher education testing were reported last week. 15,294 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: 4 students, 2 staff
- Hopkinton: 0 students, 0 staff
- Southborough: 1 student, 0 staff
- Nboro-Sboro: 4 studenta, 0 staff
- Westborough: 4 students, 0 staff
- 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
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.