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
Indoor ice rinks, and indoor ice skating and hockey facilities face additional restrictions beginning October 23.
The following is taken from the ORDER OF THE COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC HEALTH REGARDING OPERATION OF INDOOR ICE RINKS AND INDOOR ICE SKATING AND HOCKEY FACILITIES
As of October 21, 2020, the Department has reported 142,941 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 9,559 deaths among confirmed cases in the Commonwealth. There have been at least 30 clusters of COVID-19 associated with organized ice hockey activities in the Commonwealth. Each of these clusters has two or more confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases, totaling 108 confirmed cases and more than 225 exposed contacts. There is at least one hockey-associated case of COVID-19 in at least 66 cities and towns in the Commonwealth. Clusters of infections associated with hockey and skating facilities have also been reported in other states. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) published a report that, following a June 16, 2020 recreational ice hockey game in Tampa Bay, Florida, 15 attendees experienced symptoms of COVID-19 and 13 persons tested positive.1 In New Hampshire the Governor has suspended the operation of hockey and skating facilities for two weeks, following an outbreak of 158 cases among 23 different hockey teams.
Accordingly, pursuant to the authority granted by G.L. c. 17, § 2A and with the approval of the Governor and the Public Health Council, and in order to assure the maintenance of the public health during the continuing public health emergency, I issue the following Order:
Indoor ice rinks, and indoor ice skating and hockey facilities may not host games, practices, or any other on-ice hockey or skating activities for the period beginning 5:00 p.m. on October 23, 2020 and ending at 12:01 am. on November 7, 2020. To the extent that such facilities are used for purposes other than hockey and skating activities, they may continue to be open to the public
for those permitted, off-ice activities. This Order does not apply to activities of professional or collegiate interscholastic hockey and skating programs. Only professional and collegiate interscholastic hockey and skating programs may conduct on-ice activities during this time.
This Order shall remain in effect until 12:01 a.m. on November 7, 2020, unless duly extended or rescinded by me, or the State of Emergency is terminated by the Governor, whichever shall happen first.
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
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 1263 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 9,589 deaths among the 143,927 confirmed Covid-19 cases.