COVID-19: April 30, 2021 Update from Representative Dykema

April 30th COVID-19 Update

As the COVID-19 vaccination rollout continues and all Massachusetts residents and workers over the age of 16 are now eligible to receive the vaccine, we continue to see positive trends in COVID-19 case rates and other public health metrics. Using these data trends, we’re able to begin planning for a full transition to Phase IV of our statewide reopening plan, which includes updated gathering size numbers, mask guidance, and lifting of some industry-specific capacity limits.

  • Effective today, April 30: Outdoor mask/face covering use is now only to be required in situations where social distancing is not possible or otherwise required by industry-specific guidance. More information can be found here.
  • Effective May 10: Large venues can boost capacity from 12 percent to 25 percent, and amusement and theme parks that submit safety plans to the DPH can reopen at 50% capacity. Road races and singing at indoor venues will be permitted with precautions in place.
  • Effective May 29 (subject to continuing positive public health data trends): Gathering limits will rise to 200 people indoors and 250 outdoors. Bars, wineries and distilleries will be able to reopen, under the same rules as restaurants, and street festivals, parades and agricultural festivals will be allowed at 50% capacity.
  • Effective August 1: All industry-specific capacity limits and gatherings limits will be lifted, assuming continued positive trends in public health data.

More details can be found here or at mass.gov/reopening. Please note that individual municipalities are still empowered to delay or otherwise implement policies that go “beyond” statewide guidance to respond to local COVID-19 conditions. Boston, for example, has announced an alternate reopening timeline that can be found here.

As warm weather returns and more of our neighbors get vaccinated, we can all feel a sense of optimism and hope that we will soon be moving toward a “new normal” that will allow us to resume many of the elements of community life that we have had to change or forgo over the last year. Like you, I am excited to see these positive trends in vaccination rates and COVID-19 cases, and I want to again thank all of the health care providers, essential workers, educators, public servants, and so many more who have worked tirelessly to get us where we are.

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 1,179 new positive cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, with 645,867 total cases and 16 reported deaths as of today at 5pm.
  • The average new cases over the last 7 days is 1,134, and the average number of deaths is 11.
  • The 7-day weighted average positive test rate in Massachusetts is 1.7%.
  • 84,248 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 4/30)

  • Hospitalization: 559 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide, a decrease of 1 from yesterday. The 7-day average of hospitalizations is 610.
  • Hospital Capacity: 13% of the Commonwealth’s non-ICU hospital beds are available for new patients if needed (25% of statewide ICU beds are available). In the MetroWest region, 15% of the region’s non-ICU beds are available for new patients (35% 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 35,151 staff and residents in facilities who have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • 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, 579,496 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered. To date, 5,912,233 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in MA.
  • 688,020 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were shipped to Massachusetts. To date, 6,958,240 doses have been shipped to MA.
  • For more information, you can review the weekly COVID-19 vaccine report on this page.

Local Update

  • Town-by-town numbers on positive cases in each community, as well as a color-coded risk assessment for each city or town, can be found below. This week’s numbers for the towns of the 8th Middlesex District can be found below, and city and town data is now included in the general COVID-19 daily dashboard, which can be found here.
  • Holliston: 779 (+11 from last week); moderate risk
  • Hopkinton: 891 (+20); moderate risk
  • Southborough: 495 (+15); moderate risk
  • Westborough: 1,556 (+27); 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.
  • 324 new COVID-19 cases associated with higher education testing were reported last week. 17,499 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: 2 students, 0 staff
  • Northboro-Southboro: 0 students, 0 staff
  • Westborough: 1 student, 0 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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