Travel Order: Starting August 1, all visitors and Massachusetts residents returning home, including students returning to campuses for the fall semester, must fill out a “Massachusetts Travel Form” and quarantine for 14 days unless they are coming from a COVID-19 lower risk state or they can produce a negative COVID-19 test result administered no more than 72 hours prior to arriving in Massachusetts, or they are included in one of the other, limited exemptions. Individuals who get a test must remain in quarantine until they receive their negative test results. Failure to comply may result in a $500 fine per day.
Travelers are exempt from this requirement if they are coming from a state that has been designated by the Department of Public Health as a lower risk COVID-19 state or fall into another narrow exemption category. The travel order and other information is available at https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel-order
Free COVID Testing Available in Springfield and Agawam Until August 14th
The Commonwealth is launching a strategic testing program in communities across Massachusetts that have continued to see a higher number of residents testing positive for COVID-19. Springfield and Agawam are two of those communities. Get the full information here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/stop-the-spread
As COVID-19 rate rises, American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts calls for remote start to 2020-2021 school year
Another Massachusetts teachers union is calling for school districts to start remotely, citing the slow rise of COVID-19 rates, testing delays and lack of proper ventilation in school buildings as red flags.
The American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts, a union of 23,000 educators, raised concerns about the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, which Massachusetts Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders called a “slow creep” during last week’s news conference. As of Sunday, the state’s positive test rate over seven days rose to 2.2%, in part due to increases over the weekend . Read the full report here: https://www.masslive.com/coronavirus/2020/08/as-covid-19-rate-rises-american-federation-of-teachers-massachusetts-calls-for-remote-start-to-2020-2021-school-year.html
Currently there are 1008 positive COVID cases in Holyoke <1% increase
7499 confirmed cases in Hampden County < 1% increase
1145 in Hampshire <1% increase
406 in Franklin 1% increase
661 in Berkshire <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 6-10 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/
Massachusetts has now experienced a total of 8,436 deaths among the 111,033 confirmed Covid-19 cases. *Massachusetts is now reporting “probable” Coronavirus deaths in addition to confirmed cases.