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 location of testing at Holyoke Community College has changed.
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.
– 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
MA COVID19 Alert: Holiday gatherings increase the risk of COVID19 spread
The COVID-19 Command Center will send out a message via the Everbridge Resident Connection Alerts MA System reminding residents of the serious risk that COVID-19 poses to the Commonwealth. This is the second message to be sent to residents using the Everbridge alert system. These alerts will appear as a phone call or text message. This alert will reach approximately 4.5 million phone lines, including cell and landlines.
The message will go out at 5 p.m. from Department of Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH and will be sent in English and Spanish.
Residents can choose to receive future messages by text, email, or phone in their preferred language by opting in at mass.gov/covidalerts.
Thursday’s message will remind residents of the serious risk of COVID-19 spread over the Thanksgiving Holiday due to large family gatherings. The message will also inform residents that travel is discouraged and celebrating Thanksgiving with only immediate household members is the best way to protect themselves, their families and their communities. This message builds on the Command Center and the COVID-19 Enforcement Intervention Team’s (CEIT) efforts to ensure residents remain vigilant with COVID protections, particularly as the holiday season draws near. The Department of Public Health has put out tips for observing a safe Thanksgiving, which are available at mass.gov/Thanksgiving2020. Read the full story and get guidance here: https://www.wwlp.com/news/health/coronavirus-local-impact/ma-covid19-alert-holiday-gatherings-increase-the-risk-of-covid19-spread/
COVID cases at Massachusetts schools rise with 398 students, 254 staffers testing positive in past week
A total of 652 coronavirus cases were reported in Massachusetts schools from Nov. 12 to Nov. 18, education officials said Thursday, excluding children who are learning remotely.
Those cases are among 398 students and 254 staffers at districts, education collaboratives and approved special education schools, according to a weekly report from the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
This week’s report shows a sizeable increase compared to the number of cases reported last week. Last Thursday, the department announced there were 191 students and 157 staff members with positive tests for the virus from Nov. 5 to Nov. 11. New case counts are high across the state, with 2,532 confirmed cases reported by health officials Thursday. There are currently about 34,664 active cases of the virus.
Districts reported 388 student cases and 238 staff cases. Education collaboratives reported six student cases and six staff cases. Approved special education schools reported four student cases and 10 staff cases, according to the department. Read the full story here: https://www.masslive.com/coronavirus/2020/11/covid-cases-at-massachusetts-schools-rise-with-398-students-254-staffers-testing-positive-in-past-week.html
Children represent more than 11% of COVID cases in US with more than 1 million infections
New data shared by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association shows that with nearly 112,000 new coronavirus cases last week, the number of infections among American children eclipsed 1 million since the start of the pandemic.
The number of new child COVID-19 cases reported between Nov. 5 and Nov. 12 was 111,946 – the highest weekly increase since the pandemic began. The number pushed the overall cases in children to 1,039,464 or 11.5% of the cases nationwide as of Nov. 12. Read the full story here: https://www.masslive.com/coronavirus/2020/11/children-represent-more-than-11-of-covid-cases-in-us-with-more-than-1-million-infections.html
People exposed to COVID-19 can leave quarantine as early as 10 days under new Massachusetts guidance
Massachusetts health officials are tweaking the state’s quarantine guidance, allowing people exposed to COVID-19 to leave quarantine as early as 10 days if they test negative beforehand.
People exposed to COVID-19 who get a test eight days into their quarantine and end up negative would be allowed to leave quarantine under the guidance that takes effect Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders said during a news conference at the Massachusetts State House.
Those people must also not have or have had any symptoms and must continue to watch their health during the two-week period, according to the guidance. If they develop symptoms, they should get retested. The rest of the quarantine guidelines remains unchanged.
“As the governor has continued to impress over these past few weeks, COVID cases are on the rise across the commonwealth,” Sudders said. “The uptick in cases also means there’s increased exposure to COVID.
By day seven or eight, more than 90% of people who were previously exposed to COVID-19 will test positive if they contracted the virus, said Dr. Davidson Hamer, professor of infectious diseases and medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine. Read the full story here: https://www.masslive.com/coronavirus/2020/11/people-exposed-to-covid-19-can-leave-quarantine-as-early-as-10-days-in-under-new-massachusetts-guidance.html
CDC removes guidance pushing for school reopenings amid COVID pandemic saying ’new scientific information has emerged’
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has removed guidelines from its website that promoted in-person learning for schools.
The documents, which were written by political appointees outside of the CDC, were removed from the website in late October without a public announcement, the Hill reported.
“Some of the prior content was outdated and as new scientific information has emerged the site has been updated to reflect current knowledge about COVID-19 and schools,” a spokesperson told the Hill.
Instead, the website now states that “the body of evidence is growing that children of all ages are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection and contrary to early reports might play a role in transmission.”
It also lists in-person learning as a high risk. Read the full story here: https://www.masslive.com/coronavirus/2020/11/cdc-removes-guidance-pushing-for-school-reopenings-amid-covid-pandemic-saying-new-scientific-information-has-emerged.html
As of today there are1801 positive COVID cases in Holyoke ~1% increase from Monday.
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 are were 34,664 active cases in MA with 2,532 new cases. There are 27 new deaths today with an average age of 81 years old. The age range with the highest number of current positive cases is 20-29 year olds, followed by 0-19 year olds, followed by 30-39 year olds. All together the state has a 7-day average positivity rate of 3.17%.