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
Massachusetts Issues Guidelines for Thanksgiving Gatherings
The state recommends that families should only gather with members of their household or else hold a virtual gathering with other members of their family
The state has issued specific guidelines for Thanksgiving during COVID-19, suggesting that families should only gather with members of their household, or else hold a virtual gathering with other members of their family.
“This is the best way to avoid bringing this terrible virus to your grandparents, parents and loved ones,” Baker said. “If you gather with people outside your household, limit guests as much as possible and keep it to your limited social network, who you see on a regular basis.”
Last year, the governor said Thanksgiving at his house was “18 people crowded around a table that probably fit comfortably around 12, followed by naps on the couch and football games no one watched. It was a long day with a whole bunch of people, all under one roof. That is what Thanksgiving is for most of us here in Massachusetts, and has been for as long as we can remember.” Read the full story here: https://www.nbcboston.com/news/local/massachusetts-issues-guidelines-for-thanksgiving-gatherings/2219171/
13 Massachusetts cities, towns forced to return to Step 1 of Phase 3 of state’s reopening plan after moving to the red zone
On Monday, more than a dozen Massachusetts cities and towns are having to revert back to Step 1 of Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plans after moving to the red zone last week.
Earlier this month the state allowed restrictions to be lifted in lower-risk COVID communities only and enter Step 2 of Phase 3.
Lower-risk communities are those that have not been deemed “red” or higher-risk over the past three weeks on the state’s color-coded map.
Last week, the state announced that 13 communities are to revert back to Step 1 of Phase 3. They include: Acushnet, Brockton, Chelmsford, Holyoke, Hudson, Kingston, Leicester, Malden, Plymouth, Randolph, Waltham, Webster and Woburn.
Step 2 of Phase 3 allowed local businesses to increase capacity to places like gyms, museums, libraries and performance venues. It also allowed places like arcades and recreation businesses that include activities like trampolines, obstacle courses, roller rinks and laser tag to open.
Now many of those businesses will have to either close or scale back capacity, operating as they did this summer when Massachusetts entered Step 1 of Phase 3.
In total, 77 Massachusetts cities and towns are currently considered high risk for coronavirus transmission, according to the state’s COVID risk assessment map. Massachusetts had more than 1,000 COVID cases for two days in a row over the weekend. Read the full story here: https://www.masslive.com/coronavirus/2020/10/13-massachusetts-cities-towns-forced-to-return-to-step-1-of-phase-3-of-states-reopening-plan-after-moving-to-the-red-zone.html
15 Holyoke Medical Center employees test positive for COVID-19
Several employees at Holyoke Medical Center are recovering from COVID-19. The CEO of the hospital believes the outbreak is linked to employees taking their lunch break together.
Western Mass News got answers from the CEO who said this is the first time a cluster of employees have tested positive for the coronavirus at the hospital. More than a dozen employees are on the road to recovery after testing positive for the coronavirus.
CEO Spiros Hatiras said 15 employees tested positive about two weeks ago. “We think we traced it back to employees eating a meal together in a break room, and obviously when you are eating a meal, you take your mask off and they contracted it from one employee who was positive,” Hatiras said.
Many have heard of coronavirus fatigue where people become lax about wearing personal protective equipment. Holyoke Medical Center is making sure their employees continue to follow COVID-19 safety precautions by putting new rules in place. Read the full story here: https://www.westernmassnews.com/news/15-holyoke-medical-center-employees-test-positive-for-covid-19/article_e2f5f840-17d5-11eb-b0c0-3b086cbe062c.html (Link no longer active)
As of today there are currently 1318 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 9,664 deaths among the 149,361 confirmed Covid-19 cases.