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 will change. The change is being made 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.
– 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
President-Elect Joe Biden taps former surgeon general, former FDA commissioner, Yale doctor to lead COVID task force
President-Elect Joe Biden has reportedly named former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration commissioner David Kessler and Yale University’s Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith as co-chairs of a 12-person COVID-19 task force Biden plans to announce the entire team on Monday, according to CNN and The New York Post. Murthy, who was appointed to a four-year term as surgeon general by President Barack Obama in 2014, was fired by President Donald Trump in April 2017.
Kessler was named FDA commissioner by President George H.W. Bush in 1990 and served through 1997 during President Bill Clinton’s first term.
Nunez-Smith is Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, Public Health, and Management at Yale in New Haven, Connecticut. Biden, who has been sharply critical of Trump’s management of the pandemic, said this week that he and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris have already been talking with public health and economic experts, in part to be prepared to address the pandemic immediately when they take office in January.
Massachusetts drops from 121 to 16 ‘high risk’ cities and towns after state changes criteria
Sixteen Massachusetts cities and towns were classified as “high risk” for coronavirus spread based on new metrics health officials are using to determine risk levels in communities.
The new criteria dropped the number of communities considered high risk from 121 last week.
Communities in the red as of Friday include Brockton, Chelsea, Everett, Fall River, Fitchburg, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Methuen, New Bedford, Norfolk, Revere, Seekonk, Somerset, Springfield and Westport. Read the full story here: https://www.masslive.com/coronavirus/2020/11/massachusetts-drops-from-121-to-16-high-risk-cities-and-towns-after-state-changes-criteria.html
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/
As of today there are 1526 positive COVID cases in Holyoke ~2% 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 are were 22,023 active cases in MA with 1,809 new cases. There are 20 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 1.78%.