*Due to consistently decreasing numbers COVID-19 Reports will now be published bi-weekly rather than daily.*
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
Massachusetts COVID reopening: State to move to Step 2 of Phase 3 on Monday; Phase 4 to begin on March 22
The Baker administration on Thursday announced that the state will be moving back into Step 2 of Phase 3 of its COVID reopening plan beginning on Monday as COVID-19 metrics continue to trend in a positive direction.
The move means a number of changes for businesses and different sectors of the economy. Indoor performance venues, like concert halls, theaters, and other indoor performance spaces, can reopen at 50% capacity, with a maximum of 500 people.
Other indoor recreational activities, such as laser tag, roller skating, trampolines and obstacle courses, will be allowed to restart at 50% capacity, and capacity limits across a host of industries will increase to 50%, excluding employees in that count.
Restaurants, however, will no longer have a percent capacity limit, provided there is still six-feet of social distancing, a maximum of six people per table and 90-minute dining limits.
“The percentage capacity restriction first adopted for restaurants in the midst of the December surge will be removed,” Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said on Thursday.
Restaurants will also be permitted to host musical performances again, officials said.
The changes will apply to all cities and towns.
“Residents must continue to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and are encouraged to avoid contact outside of their immediate households,” officials said. “The Travel Advisory and other public health orders remain in effect.”
When the state moves into Phase 4 — the final phase of reopening — on March 22, event facilities will be allowed to open with 100 guests indoors and 150 guests outdoors. Dance floors will be allowed for weddings and events only.
Continuing with Phase 4, outdoor gatherings at private residences and in private backyards will remain at a maximum of 25 people, with indoor house gatherings remaining at 10 people.
During phase four, a number of larger venues will be allowed to reopen with a strict 12% capacity limit after submitting a plan to the Department of Public Health. They include: indoor and outdoor stadiums, arenas and ballparks. Read the full story here: https://www.masslive.com/coronavirus/2021/02/massachusetts-covid-reopening-state-to-move-to-step-2-of-phase-3-on-monday-phase-4-to-begin-on-march-22.html
As of yesterday there were a total of 4604 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 30,983 estimated active cases in MA with 1,734 new cases. There were 46 new deaths. The average age of cases that were hospitalized is 69 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 1.90%.