STOP THE SPREAD TESTING SITES EXTENDED TESTING THROUGH OCT. 31ST
WALK UP COVID-19 Testing Site in Holyoke
A new walk-up COVID testing site opened in Holyoke at 323 Appleton St. Testing hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 2pm to 6pm. Testing will run until 10/31/20.
DRIVE UP COVID-19 Testing Site in Holyoke
A Stop the Spread test has opened at Holyoke Community College. Testing will run until 10/31/20.
– The site will operate Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 7am – 11am. Tuesday and Thursday 2pm -7pm.
– Turnaround time for results is typically 4 days or fewer.
– This test site is first come, first serve. There are no appointments. Please do not call the Health Department or Holyoke Community College to make an appointment.
– The test site at Holyoke Community College is a drive-through only test site. Please do not get out of your vehicle. Signage and Campus Police will be readily apparent to help you access the site easily.
– To help speed up the process, please have your information ready. They will ask for your full name, address (you must be a Massachusetts resident), phone number and email address.
– There is no cost for the testing. You do not need a referral, nor do you need to be symptomatic.
– The test style will be the less invasive swab in the lower nostril. The older style that required further insertion of the swab will not be used.
– If you have previously tested positive, DPH and CDC guidelines do not recommend getting retested at this time.
– If you are acutely symptomatic, particularly if you have a high fever, consider scheduling a test with your Primary Care Physician.
– Information on all of the Stop the Spread test sites across the State can be found at: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/stop-the-spread
With The Coronavirus Creeping Back In Mass., Health Experts And Community Groups Call For Action
In the last few weeks, the positive test rate for the coronavirus and statewide hospital admissions for COVID-19 have crawled slightly but noticeably upwards. At the end of August, the average number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital was roughly 300. As of Tuesday, it was over 420.
Why exactly the state’s coronavirus numbers are rising is unclear, said Caroline Buckee, an epidemiologist at Harvard University. But it may be that slight increases in coronavirus transmission that began after the state started reopening over the summer have finally built momentum, Buckee hypothesized. Read the full story here: https://www.wbur.org/commonhealth/2020/09/29/with-coronavirus-creeping-back-in-mass-health-experts-and-community-groups-call-for-action
Baker-Polito Administration Announces Transition to Step II of Phase III for Lower Risk Communities Effective October 5th
BOSTON — The Baker-Polito Administration today announced that effective Monday, October 5th, lower risk communities will be permitted to move into Step II of Phase III of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan. All other communities will remain in Phase III, Step I. Governor Charlie Baker also issued a revised gatherings order. Industry specific guidance and protocols for a range of Phase I, II, and III businesses will also be updated. New allowances include:
- Indoor performance venues will be permitted to open with 50% capacity with a maximum of 250 people.
- Outdoor performance venue capacity will increase to 50% with a max of 250 people.
- For arcades and indoor and outdoor recreation businesses, additional Step II activities like trampolines, obstacle courses, roller rinks and laser tag will also be permitted to open and capacity will increase to 50%.
- Fitting rooms will be permitted to open in all types of retail stores.
- Gyms, museums, libraries and driving and flight schools will also be permitted to increase their capacity to 50%.
For more information about Phase III step II reopening click here: https://www.mass.gov/news/baker-polito-administration-announces-transition-to-step-ii-of-phase-iii-for-lower-risk
MA Health Officials On Guard As Coronavirus Case Count Creeps Up
MASSACHUSETTS —After weeks of steady declines in coronavirus cases, Massachusetts has seen an increase in recent days, recording 515 new confirmed COVID-19 cases Saturday and prompting state health officials to acknowledge the numbers are heading in the wrong direction.
Some of the increase can be attributed to comprehensive testing at colleges and universities in Massachusetts, most of which welcomed students back late last month, Tory Mazzola, a spokesman for the state’s COVID-19 Command Center, said in a statement. But, with the state set to ease some restrictions on restaurants on Monday, Mazzola said officials are closely watching town-by-town case counts. While Gov. Baker on Wednesday announced eased restaurant restrictions in the state that include increasing the maximum at a table from six to 10 people, and allowing bar seating for customers ordering food, some towns and cities — including Boston — are opting to keep the tighter restrictions in place. Read the full story here: https://patch.com/massachusetts/boston/ma-health-officials-guard-coronavirus-case-count-creeps
MA DPH COVID-19 Impact Survey-The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MA-DPH) is trying to hear from communities so that it can better help people through the COVID-19 crisis. By taking this survey, you can help find new solutions to community problems, and give MA-DPH the information they need to take action and support the communities that need it most. MA-DPH is committed to sharing information back in ways that will help us all take collective action
This effort will help us better understand the impact of COVID-19 on our communities, and would encourage anyone who is 14 years old or older to participate using this link: www.mass.gov/COVIDsurvey
As of today there are currently 1138 positive COVID cases in Holyoke < 1% increase
Weekly Public Health Report (Updated Wednesday) Contains town-by-town numbers, long-term care facility information, and more: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-response-reporting#covid-19-weekly-public-health-report-
Massachusetts comprehensive daily “dashboard” illustrating the spread of this virus across regions and demographics: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-response-reporting#covid-19-daily-dashboard-
Testing has a turnaround time of 1-5 days and many cases are being clinically diagnosed (no testing or reporting involved). All are advised to behave as though they are carriers of Covid-19.
The curve we need to flatten: County numbers graphed over time can be found here: https://www.wmasscovid.com/
Massachusetts has now experienced a total of 9,242 deaths among the 129,753 confirmed Covid-19 cases.