Both Holyoke Stop The Spread testing sites (HCC and the War Memorial) will be closed on Monday, 2/15/2021 for the President’s Day holiday.
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.
– 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
Mass. Allows Quarantine-Free Travel From 2 New US Places Under COVID Travel Order
To be included on Massachusetts’ list of low-risk states for travel, the location must have fewer than 10 average daily cases per 100,000 people and a positive COVID-19 test rate below 5%
By Asher Klein and Marc Fortier
For the first time in months, Massachusetts changed which U.S. states and territories people can travel from without quarantining amid the coronavirus pandemic.
On Friday, Puerto Rico and North Dakota were added to the low-risk list of Massachusetts’ COVID travel order. Hawaii had been the only state considered low-enough risk for quarantine-free travel since the end of November.
The change for travelers from Puerto Rico and North Dakota goes into effect Saturday morning after midnight, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health said.
To be included on Massachusetts’ list of low-risk states for travel, the location must have fewer than 10 average daily cases per 100,000 people and a positive COVID-19 test rate below 5%. Both figures must hold over a seven-day average.
The change comes amid an easing of the coronavirus surge both in Massachusetts and nationwide.
Travelers from places that aren’t on the low-risk list must fill out the Massachusetts Travel Form and quarantine for 14 days, according to the state’s guidelines. That includes anyone who’s coming from one of the low-risk states but stayed “for more than a transitory period of time in the last 14 days” in a higher-risk state. Read the full story here: https://www.nbcboston.com/news/coronavirus/mass-allows-quarantine-free-travel-from-2-new-us-places-under-covid-travel-order/2301641/
Caregivers accompanying older residents to COVID-19 vaccine appointment can also get shots
Massachusetts officials say they will let caregivers taking people ages 75 or older to get vaccinated request their own appointments to get their first dose, even if they don’t qualify yet.
Starting Wednesday, caregivers can sign up for a “companion appointment” as long as they attest to being the caregiver of a person being vaccinated, according to the COVID-19 Command Center. The caregiver has to sign up for a separate appointment, and only one caregiver will be eligible to get vaccinated alongside the person who is 75 years or older.
Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders plans to make the announcement Wednesday morning at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Danvers, which is home to one of the state’s mass vaccination sites.
The state defines a “companion” as a family member, neighbor or any trusted caregiver who is taking the person to the vaccination appointment. Read the full story here: https://www.masslive.com/coronavirus/2021/02/caregivers-accompanying-older-residents-to-covid-19-vaccine-appointment-can-also-get-shots.html
As of today there were a total of 4386 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 48,280 estimated active cases in MA with 2,228 new cases. There were 87 new deaths. The average age of cases that were hospitalized is 72 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 2.55%.