STOP THE SPREAD TESTING SITES EXTENDED TESTING THROUGH March 31ST
Staffing at both test sites has been increased. The staff at the drive-through site has been doubled 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 do not reach the testing area by the set end of the session at 11am or 7pm.
WALK UP COVID-19 Testing Site in Holyoke
As of Wednesday, January 6th, 2021 the Stop the Spread walk-up testing site will be moving across Appleton Street to the War Memorial.
The War Memorial is located at 310 Appleton Street. The lot at 323 Appleton Street may still be used as parking for the test site. Hours of operation will not change at this time.
Testing will take place at the front doors to the War Memorial.
Members of the public seeking a test will not be allowed to enter the building during testing hours.
The line should start at the front door and wrap around on the Maple Street side of the building, if necessary.
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.
– 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
Phase 2 Of MA’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan Begins: Who’s Eligible
The state’s attempt to vaccinate its most vulnerable residents enters a new phase Monday, but the weather is already hampering efforts.
Seniors, educators and everyday workers are among those who will soon be eligible during the second phase of the coronavirus vaccine distribution pla in Massachusetts.
Phase Two started Monday by allowing anyone 75 or older to get vaccinated. They will be followed by people 65 and older, people in low-income and affordable senior housing and those with two medical conditions that put them at increased risk for severe illness.
Those eligible can get vaccinated at one of the state’s mass vaccination sites, including Gillette Stadium, Fenway Park, the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Roxbury, the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Danvers and the Eastfield Mall in Springfield.
Eligible people can also be vaccinated at a general site, which includes pharmacies and grocery stores such as CVS and Stop & Shops, and local sites open to residents and workers in certain communities.
For a full list of vaccination sites, and the rest of this story go here: https://patch.com/massachusetts/boston/phase-2-mas-covid-19-vaccination-plan-begins-whos-eligible
House examining gaps in MA COVID-19 approach, Comerford says Baker has left districts “high and dry”
by: Michael P. Norton, SHNS, Nancy Asiamah
Posted: Jan 27, 2021 / 07:02 PM EST / Updated: Jan 27, 2021 / 09:29 PM EST
Massachusetts House leaders announced late Wednesday that they are working to identify gaps in the state’s approach to COVID-19 in gateway cities and communities of color.
In a statement, House Speaker Ronald Mariano said he was aware of disproportionate COVID-19 impacts and in active conversations with Ways and Means Chairman Aaron Michlewitz and members of the Black and Latino caucus “about the need to identify gaps in DPH implementation, vaccine outreach, and related communications in underserved communities.”
“I look forward to sharing additional updates as we work with House Members and our partners in the Senate,” Mariano said.
State Senator Jo Comerford, who represents the Hampshire, Franklin, and Worcester districts, in a statement, said the Baker admin, “has left the people of Hampshire and Franklin Counties high and dry and utterly disadvantaged as the Commonwealth heads into Phase 2 of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.” Read her full statement below:
With no mass vaccination sites and newly-announced limits on the number of vaccines being sent to local boards of health — compounded by an utter lack of public transportation in the region — the Baker Administration has left the people of Hampshire and Franklin Counties high and dry and utterly disadvantaged as the Commonwealth heads into Phase 2 of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
When seniors, ages 75 and above, in Hampshire and Franklin Counties woke up this morning to news that it was their turn to sign up, they had virtually nowhere to turn. Governor Baker must address this glaring liability immediately and commit to serving the people of Hampshire and Franklin Counties with the respect and fairness they need and deserve. The Baker Administration must open a mass vaccination site in Hampshire or Franklin County immediately and increase the number of vaccines available to existing outlets like local public health and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
A successful vaccine rollout, which — yes, depends, in part, on federal supply — also needs Governor Baker’s commitment to regional equity as well as a commitment to the resources necessary to address the overall pace of the rollout, the logistics around sign ups, and painstaking attention to reaching the most marginalized among us.
Massachusetts can and should do all of this, all at once. No excuses. And just like we fought for expanded testing in the region and our fair share of PPE, western Massachusetts will keep fighting for our fair share of the COVID-19 vaccine.
-State Senator Jo Comerford
Read the full story here: https://www.wwlp.com/news/massachusetts/house-examining-gaps-in-massachusetts-covid-19-approach/
As of today there were a total of 4134 confirmed 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 there are 71,929 estimated active cases in MA with 2,270 new cases. There were 30 new deaths. The average age of cases that were hospitalized is 70 years old. The age range trends have changed and now 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 3.53%.