STOP THE SPREAD TESTING SITES EXTENDED TESTING THROUGH DEC. 31ST
WALK UP COVID-19 Testing Site in Holyoke
A 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 12/31/20.
DRIVE UP COVID-19 Testing Site in Holyoke
A Stop the Spread test has opened at Holyoke Community College. Testing will run until 12/31/20.
– 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
Updates Coming to Massachusetts’ COVID-19 Stoplight Metric
Officials hope the new metric will take cases at colleges, nursing homes and jails into account for community data
Massachusetts public health officials are planning updates to the stoplight metric that measures community COVID-19 transmission risks, incorporating examples where cases at colleges, nursing homes, or jails may push an entire community into the red category and affect decisions about in-person learning, according to the state education commissioner.
“We’ve seen how those places can skew a city’s or town’s data, and so we’re hoping that when the new metric comes out it will take that into account,” Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley told the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education during a meeting Tuesday in Malden.
Riley also said that most of the districts it contacted to question their decisions not to move ahead with in-person learning have since progressed to in-person learning or are planning for it, although he mentioned two school districts, without naming them, that he said will be audited. Read the full story here: https://www.nbcboston.com/news/coronavirus/updates-coming-to-massachusetts-covid-19-stoplight-metric/2215166/
Young Adults Driving COVID Spread in Massachusetts
Massachusetts’s recent increase in coronavirus cases can largely be attributed to young adults
Young adults are driving the largest chunk of growth in COVID-19 positive test rates amid a statewide uptick in transmission, Gov. Charlie Baker said Tuesday, prompting the administration to renew its warnings against large gatherings and other unregulated social activity.
Residents between the ages of 19 and 39 represent the “vast majority of the increase in positive tests” in Massachusetts and around the country, Baker said.
As state and local officials ramp up enforcement of public health protocols, Baker said most of the recent growth in infections has come not from dining or other public activities, but from “informal events and social gatherings.”
“Those are the places and spaces where, if people are asymptomatic, they will give it to somebody else if neither of them are wearing a mask and they’re engaged in close contact over an extended period of time,” Baker said. “That’s exactly what happens when people get together to have a house party or a backyard party or some other celebration — the kinds of stuff we used to do, once upon a time, as a matter of course almost every weekend.”
The state’s COVID enforcement team in recent weeks has observed private parties bringing together dozens or hundreds of people — often young — in close quarters and with spotty use of masks, according to Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. Read the full story here: https://www.nbcboston.com/news/coronavirus/young-adults-driving-covid-spread-in-massachusetts/2215639/
Massachusetts loosens the criteria for its out-of-state travel rules, amid COVID-19 uptick
Massachusetts is loosening the criteria for its out-of-state travel rules, amid an increase in COVID-19 levels within its own borders and in several neighboring states.
The state’s Department of Public Health announced Friday that is relaxing one of the metrics it uses to determine which states are classified as “lower risk,” meaning individuals visiting or returning from those states are not required to self-quarantine for two weeks or have proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test. Read the full story here: https://www.boston.com/news/coronavirus/2020/10/16/massachusetts-changes-criteria-for-its-out-of-state-travel-rules
As of today there are currently 1260 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/
As of today Massachusetts had experienced a total of 9,559 deaths among the 142,941 confirmed Covid-19 cases.