STOP THE SPREAD TESTING SITES EXTENDED TESTING THROUGH March 31ST
In anticipation of a winter storm and accumulations of heavy snow, we will be closing two sessions of the Stop the Spread test sites.
Wednesday 12/16/2020: The Appleton Street walk-up site will be closed
Thursday 12/17/2020: The HCC drive-through site will be closed.
Regular hours will resume on Friday.
Extended Holiday hours will be announced soon for the weeks of 12/21 and 12/28.
Beginning this week, staffing at both test sites will be increased. The staff at the drive-through site has been doubled in order to lower wait times and increase the volume of vehicles that can be accepted.
Changes have been made in operations at the drive-through site to clearly establish an end point in testing availability each day. We hope to eliminate the possibility of visitors to the site waiting in long lines, only to be turned away at the end of the testing session at 11am or 7pm.
Under the new procedures, the last eligible vehicle for testing (for that day’s testing session) will be established as soon as can be reasonably determined. That vehicle, and any vehicle in line before it, will be tested even if they don’t reach the testing area by the set end of the session at 11am or 7pm.
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 3/31/21.
DRIVE UP COVID-19 Testing Site in Holyoke
A Stop the Spread test has opened at Holyoke Community College. Testing will run until 3/31/21.
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.
– 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
Boston and other communities are rolling back on their reopening plans. Here’s what to know.
“Unfortunately, we are at the point where we need to take stronger action to control COVID-19.”
Mayor Marty Walsh announced Monday that Boston and other nearby communities will roll back reopening protocols in an effort to stem rising coronavirus case counts and shut down certain venues, from gyms and museums to movie theaters and event spaces.
Starting Wednesday, Boston will operate under a “modified” Phase 2, Step 2 of the state’s reopening plan, with similar restrictions also coming in Somerville, Newton, Arlington, Brockton, Lynn, and Winthrop, officials said.
“Unfortunately, we are at the point where we need to take stronger action to control COVID-19 in Boston, and urgently, to ensure our health care workers have the capacity to care for everyone in need,” Walsh said in a statement. “We are hopeful that by reducing opportunities for transmission throughout the region, we will reduce the spread of this deadly virus and maintain our ability to keep critical services open.” Read the full story here: https://www.boston.com/news/coronavirus/2020/12/14/boston-rolling-back-reopening
Mass. Vaccine Rollout Plan Will Be In 3 Phases. Here’s When You Could Get Yours
Updated December 09, 2020
Most Massachusetts residents will not receive a coronavirus vaccine until at least April, after two doses are given to health care workers and residents who face a greater risk of infection. But in all cases, the vaccine will be free for everyone, meaning no co-pays or fees, according to Gov. Charlie Baker.
Speaking during a press conference Wednesday, Baker unveiled these and more details from the state’s plan to distribute more than two million doses by the end of March. The timing and the number of doses will depend on federal authorizations for the vaccines, the first of which could come as early as this week. That would be a welcome development as the state and the country see record numbers of new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. Read the full story here: https://www.wbur.org/commonhealth/2020/12/09/massachusetts-vaccine-rollout-plan
Gov. Baker Urges Residents to Skip Holiday Gatherings, Citing Post-Thanksgiving COVID Spike
Baker said a surge of new coronavirus cases since Thanksgiving has put a “significant strain” on the health care system
By Marc Fortier
Massachusetts Governor Baker urged residents to avoid travel plans and gatherings with people during the holidays.
Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday urged Massachusetts residents not to gather in groups during the upcoming holidays, saying such activities over Thanksgiving led to a significant spike in coronavirus cases.
Baker said a surge of new coronavirus cases since Thanksgiving has put a “significant strain” on the health care system, and warned the situation could worsen after December’s holidays, threatening to dampen optimism following the arrival this week of vaccine shipments to the state.
“It’s pretty simple,” Baker said in a press conference. “The safest way to celebrate this year is with members of your own household and to postpone or cancel any travel plans and to avoid gatherings with people you don’t live with. Any type of celebration beyond that has real potential, as we saw with Thanksgiving, to spread the virus and hurt the ones we love the most.” Read the full story here: https://www.nbcboston.com/news/local/gov-baker-urges-residents-skip-holiday-gatherings-post-thanksgiving-spike/2257775/
New Mass. COVID-19 Restrictions Take Effect: Here’s What to Know
Amid the reopening rollback in Massachusetts, one Danvers restaurant owner is calling on the state to step up.
Massachusetts takes a step back today in its reopening plan, retightening restrictions to levels in place over the summer as COVID-19 case counts soar in the state.
Gov. Charlie Baker last week announced that starting Sunday, the Commonwealth would shift to Phase 3, Step 1, albeit with some alterations to the plan.
The primary goal, according to Baker, is to reduce capacity for “pretty much everything,” including updating rules surrounding restaurants, offices and gyms.
Limits for outdoor gatherings are now set at 50 people, down from 100 in Phase 3, Step 2. Anyone hosting a gathering of 25 or more people outdoors is responsible for notifying their local health board.
Gyms, libraries, museums, retail stores, offices, houses of worship and other locations must cap their capacity at 40% now, instead of the 50% previously allowed.
Restaurant goers now have a new 90-minute limit on the time they can spend dining at their table, and seating is now limited to six per group, down from 10 previously. Food court seating in malls must be closed and musical showcases in restaurants are no longer permitted.
Masks must be worn more frequently in public settings, too, including at all times in gyms, as well as places of work – except when an employee is alone in their own workspace. Employers are encouraged to close or limit the use of the break room.
Massachusetts reported 4,968 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, along with 47 more deaths. The death toll remained the same from Friday.
It was the first time in three days that the number of new cases didn’t surpass 5,000, albeit barely. The percentage of coronavirus tests coming back positive, on average, dipped to 5.6%, according to the report — down slightly from Friday’s 5.7%.
There are 1,670 patients hospitalized for COVID-19 in the state, with 334 listed as being in intensive care units and 170 are intubated, according to DPH. Read the full story here: https://www.nbcboston.com/news/local/new-mass-covid-19-restrictions-take-effect-heres-what-to-know/2255980/
As of today there are 2611 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, there were 76,215 active cases in MA with 4,985 new cases. There were 44 new deaths today with an average age of 81 years old. The average age of cases that were hospitalized is 67 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 6.02%.