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.
As of Friday 11/6/2020, the location of testing at Holyoke Community College has changed. The change was to prepare for the cold weather months.
A map with the new traffic pattern and testing site location is posted on the Holyoke Board of Health website.
The testing will remain at HCC, but now take place at Lot H.
The test site will still be drive-through.
Hours and days of operation will not change.
Holyoke Community College will have parking attendants onsite to manage the flow of traffic.
– The site will operate Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 7am – 11am. Tuesday and Thursday 2pm -7pm. The site will operate on Veteran’s Day.
– 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
CDC: New surge of COVID-19 cases linked to schools, colleges reopening
As coronavirus cases continue to surge in the United States, positive cases here in Massachusetts are also continuing to increase.
Currently there are 16 Massachusetts communities in the high risk category, including in Springfield.
On Sunday, the state Department of Public Health reported just over 1,800 COVID-19 cases with 199 of those cases in western Massachusetts. There have been over 166,000 cases since the pandemic began.
State public health officials reported Sunday, 20 more people have died of the virus with two of those deaths in the western part of the state.
According to the CDC, a contributing factor to the increase of COVID-19 is schools and colleges reopening. A CDC study of cases reported between August and September, when college students returned to school, found that weekly cases among college age people increased significantly nation wide.
Governor Baker is urging younger people to stop gathering in large numbers and continue social distancing and wearing a mask.
The Baker-Polito Administration has rolled out new guidelines to combat the spread of COVID-19 which includes a stay-at-home advisory between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., a mandatory mask order, and restaurant curfew. Read the full story here: https://www.wwlp.com/news/health/coronavirus-local-impact/cdc-recent-spike-in-covid-19-cases-linked-to-schools-colleges-reopening/
Stay-at-home advisory: Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker sets curfew, requires businesses to close by 9:30 p.m. nightly
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker issued a new stay-at-home advisory Monday asking all residents to be in their homes from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily and ordered restaurants to stop table service at 9:30 p.m. to ensure customers can get home in time.
The stay-at-home advisory takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday. The state allows exceptions for going to work, seeking medical care, going to the grocery store and picking up take-out food.
“We’re doing much better than many other states and many other countries, but hereto we’ve let down our guard,” he said.
The curfew also applies to all gatherings under a gatherings order that accompanies the stay-at-home advisory. The state is limiting private gatherings to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. The limit on gatherings held in public spaces, such as weddings, remains the same.
Those who violate the gatherings order face a fine of $500 per infraction.
Businesses that sell alcohol that violate the gatherings order, including hosting large gatherings after hours, could face a fine and could get their license suspended, revoked or canceled.
The state also issued an expanded mask mandate, which requires people to wear masks even if they are 6 feet away from others. Like the other restrictions, the mandate takes effect Friday. Read the full story and new guidance and regulations here: https://www.masslive.com/coronavirus/2020/11/stay-at-home-advisory-massachusetts-gov-charlie-baker-sets-curfew-require-businesses-to-close-by-930-pm-nightly.html
Learn more about the mask mandates here: https://www.masslive.com/coronavirus/2020/11/what-to-know-about-the-updated-mask-mandate-in-massachusetts-in-response-to-the-recent-covid-spike.html
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/
Massachusetts COVID trends ‘show no signs of changing’; Baker administration preparing field hospitals again
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said the state is preparing to stand up field hospitals again as coronavirus infections continue climbing across the state and around the country.
“The trends are obviously going in the wrong direction and show no signs of changing,” Baker said during a press conference on Tuesday at the Massachusetts State House.
He said Massachusetts hospitals are prepared to convert 400 acute care beds to ICU beds as hospitalizations and case counts continue rising.
“We’re in the process of working with (Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency) and with hospital officials to identify suitable locations to locate and staff facilities,” Baker said. “Where and when these facilities are stood up will depend on available space and where the needs are.”
Cases have shot up more than 300% since Labor Day, and hospitalizations have jumped more than 200%, Baker said, adding that overall hospital occupancy is up to 67%, and ICU up to 50%.
Officials will have more details about plans for field hospitals later this week. Read the full story here: https://www.masslive.com/coronavirus/2020/11/massachusetts-covid-trends-show-no-signs-of-changing-baker-administration-preparing-field-hospitals-again.html
Due to technical issues with MAVEN we are unable to report on the number of positive cases in Holyoke for today. As of yesterday there were1562 positive COVID cases in Holyoke ~4% 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/
The Massachusetts Daily Dashboard is now updated to provide a more granular look into the daily positivity rates. As of today there are 23,702 active cases in MA with 2,047 new cases. There are 21 new deaths with an average age of 80 years old. The age range with the highest number of current positive cases is 0-19 year olds, followed by 20-29 year olds, followed by 30-39 year olds. All together the state has a 7-day average positivity rate of 2.63%.