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Covid 19 Holyoke Daily Report 5/18

Posted on May 18, 2020

COVID19 Report


Today Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito, and the Reopening Advisory Committee laid out the details of the four-phase plan to slowly reopen businesses and services across the Commonwealth. Full information can be found in the MEMA Command Center Site Report and on the Reopening Massachusetts Website.

A new Safer-at-Home Advisory has replaced the previous Stay at Home Advisory. All residents should review and adjust behavior to adhere to the encouraged social distancing recommendations.

Phase 1: Start (Launched today, May 18)

Construction may resume once workplaces have self-certified that they meet the new Sector-specific requirements.

Manufacturing may resume once workplaces have self -certified that they meet the new Sector-specific requirements.

Office Spaces (excepting Boston) are permitted to reopen May 25th, if they meet the new safety requirements, but employers are encouraged to keep as many employees working remotely for as long as possible. Many major Massachusetts employers (such as Wayfair, Bank of America, Biogen, Dell, John Hancock, and over 50 more) have announced work-from-home policies will remain in place for months to come.

Laboratories may open May 25th, as long as they have self-certified that they meet the new sector-specific safety standards.

Hair Salons and Barbershops may open May 25th, as long as they have self-certified that they meet the new sector-specific safety standards.

Car Washes may open May 25th, as long as they have self-certified that they meet the new sector-specific safety standards.

Pet Grooming Services may open May 25th, as long as they have self-certified that they meet the new sector-specific safety standards.

Outdoor Spaces may begin to reopen in Phase 1 with new guidance and restrictions.

Places of Worship may reopen if they follow new safety standards.

Health and Human services will begin to reopen. View a one-page description of what is permitted in Phase 1.

If you are wondering when your business may open, you can check the full timeline here.

Enforcement: Enforcement of new safety standards is a joint responsibility between the MA Department of Labor Standards, the MA Department of Public Health, and local boards of health.

Before reopening, businesses must self-certify that they will operate in compliance with the new safety standards and protocols. The businesses must produce this self-certification, if requested by the local board of health, DLS, or DPH. In some cases, business will also be required to develop a written COVID-19 control plan. Enforcement will scale from verbal consultation and redirection, to written redirection, to fines, and finally to cease-and-desist letters.

Baker and Polito also announced the allocation of $56 Million to combat food insecurity in Massachusetts.


Polls will be open from 7am-8pm. Voters are required to wear face coverings to polling locations.

Voting locations will have new features to ensure social distancing and the safety of voters and poll workers which may include:

  • Blue lines on the floor at the check-in and check-out tables to indicate 6′ distancing
  • Separate entrance and exit doors
  • Voting booths stationed 6′ apart
  • Holyoke Police Department monitoring capacity levels of voting locations
  • One-use small pencils for ballots rather than shared makers

Two voting locations have changed:

  • Ward 1B that usually votes at Prospect Heights will vote at City Hall in the lower level.(City hall will be closed to staff to prevent cross-contamination during the voting period)
  • Ward 3B that usually votes at the Elmwood Fire Station will vote at Metcalf School.

Additional information can be found on our voter information page here: Please call the City Clerk’s Office if you have any questions or concerns 413-322-5520.

The Holyoke School Department is collecting donations for the families affected by the microburst last Friday night. Collection events are scheduled Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Holyoke High School North (500 Beech St). Current donation requests include: Diapers, baby wipes, formula, face masks, forehead thermometers, hand sanitizer and toiletries all of types, including toothpaste, deodorant and feminine products. Cash donations and gift cards for local restaurants and stores are also welcome. The drive is currently not accepting food or clothing donations.

Massachusetts has a new website featuring all of the Covid-19 testing sites. View here:

Massachusetts has a comprehensive “dashboard” to illustrate the spread of this virus across regions and demographics. You can view today’s here:

Testing has a turnaround time of 1 – 4 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.

755 Holyoke residents have been confirmed positive by testing.

5,264 confirmed cases in Hampden County (1% increase)
774 in Hampshire (1% increase)
308 in Franklin (0% increase)
497 in Berkshire county (0% increase)

The curve we need to flatten: County numbers graphed over time can be found here:

Massachusetts has now experienced a total of 5,862 deaths connected to Covid-19

Please be advised that you may be contacted by Public Health officials as part of the COVID-19 Contact Tracing Initiative sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or were exposed to someone who has tested positive, you may receive a call from your local Board of Health or from the MA Department of Public Health. The call will only take a few minutes and is a necessary step to limit the spread of the virus. Your information will not be shared with any other agencies and these officials will never ask for your social security number or health insurance information. If you have any questions about a call you received, contact us at

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