Summary of weekly COVID report from Mass DPH, vaccination updates, + more | February 12, 2021

LYNN NEWS ROUND-UP
FEBRUARY 12, 2021

See our COVID-19 related posts by clicking here.


Lynn is currently in Phase 3, Step 1 of the MA Reopening Plan. Click here for more info.
A vaccination site has opened at Lynn Tech, find out more & see a video tour by clicking here.

Weekly COVID-19 numbers from Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health

Map courtesy of WCVB, click for full-resolution image

Every week the MA Dept. of Public Health releases numbers for how COVID-19 has impacted the state, and we try to highlight some of these numbers so the community is informed about how COVID is impacting Lynn & the state. Their numbers factor in the past week as well as the week before, giving 2 weeks worth of data.

The City of Lynn is still a high-risk community, passing 15,000 total cases this past Wednesday. Lynn currently has approx. 1,100 active cases, which is the lowest amount the city has seen since November. The number of active cases is declining, but still a cause for concern. The lowest number of active cases in Lynn was 278 back in early October, while the highest was approx. 2.2K in both mid-May 2020 & mid-January 2021. Lynn frequently set records for new 24-hour cases, but that hasn’t been broken since January 5th (210) & the number of new cases hasn’t been above 100 since Jan. 21st. The frequency of deaths in Lynn have also decreased, with only 21 deaths in January.

The average daily incidence rate per 100,000 for Lynn this week was 57.2. The last 4 weeks it was at 71.2, 92.4, 127.2, & 128.2. The positivity rate this week was 8.19%. The last 4 weeks this rate was 9.12%, 10.70%, 12.87%, & 14.46%. These are all positive trends for Lynn, which hasn’t seen consistently good numbers like this since early Fall. You can view these trends for Lynn yourself on the City of Lynn’s COVID-19 dashboard by clicking here. You can click the icon in the top-right corner of each section to see it enlarged.

The state of Massachusetts has also seen some positive trends overall. The average daily incidence rate per 100,000 for MA this week was 38.5, down from 48.9 last week & 59.4 the previous week. The positivity rate this week was 3.40%, down from 4.32% last week & 5.51% the previous week.

The United States currently has 27.4 million cases, up from 26.7 million last week & consistently adding 1 million cases a week for several weeks. There are currently 107 million cases reported worldwide, up from 105million last week. Daily records had been broken frequently for new cases & deaths within 24 hours in early January, proving right predictions that the holiday season would lead to higher numbers. However new case numbers are dropping, and deaths have remained fairly consistent, the past couple of weeks.

The death toll in the US now sits at approx. 475K, up from 456K last week. The last time that the 24-hour deaths record was set in the U.S. was last Thursday, with approx. 5,116 dying. However this surge in deaths looks worse than it actually was, due to a backlog of data from Indiana adding 1,500 deaths to the nation’s total. This is known thanks to reporting by the Wall Street Journal. That being said, the 7-day average for deaths does sit at 2,774 so it is still recommended to follow all of the proper precautions in regards to this deadly virus.

In Massachusetts there are currently 120 communities in the red category & 137 in the yellow category. The last 4 weeks there were 153, 192, 222, & 229 communities in the red. The last 4 weeks there were 108, 80, 55, & 53 communities in the yellow.

Last week’s map courtesy of WCVB, click for full-resolution image

In late fall Mass DPH began to use a different system for categorizing communities, based off their populations. Communities with populations less than 10,000 residents, between 10,000 & 50,000 residents, & more than 50,000 residents have had new metrics applied to them. Their results fall into 4 color categories; grey, green, yellow, & red. Positivity rates & average daily cases will continue to be determined by two-week rolling average. Officials say the new categories help to make the community-specific data more nuanced, and better account for increases in cases in smaller communities. They will also incorporate examples where cases at colleges, nursing homes, or jails may push an entire community into the red category. The new metrics are as follows:

  • For communities with fewer than 10,000 residents:
    • Grey = 10 or fewer cases
    • Green = 15 or fewer cases
    • Yellow = 25 or fewer cases
    • Red = More than 25 cases.
  • For communities with between 10,000 and 50,000 residents:
    • Grey = 10 or fewer cases
    • Green = Less than 10 average cases per 100,000 residents & more than 10 cases
    • Yellow = 10 or more cases per 100,000 residents or a test positivity rate of 5% or more
    • Red = 10 or more cases per 100,000 residents and a test positivity rate of 5% or more
  • For communities with more than 50,000 residents:
    • Grey = 15 cases or less
    • Green = 10 average cases per 100,000 residents and more than 15 cases
    • Yellow = 10 or more cases per 100,000 residents or a test positivity rate of 4% or more
    • Red = 10 or more cases per 100,000 residents and a test positivity rate of 4% or more

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Below are the statistics for Lynn & the state.

City/Town Total Case Count Case Count (Last 14 Days) Average Daily Incidence Rate per 100,000 (Last 14 days) Relative Change in Case Counts Total Tests Total Tests (Last 14 days) Total Positive Tests (Last 14 days) Percent Positivity (Last 14 days) Change in Percent Positivity
Lynn 14,741 808 57.2 Lower 170,415 12,254 1,004 8.19% Lower
STATEWIDE 521,045 37,518 38.5 Lower 14,520,845 1,293,888 43,966 3.40% Lower

If you would like to find out full statistics for the entire state, including maps & town-by-town data, you can find the full weekly report from MA Dept. of Public Health by clicking here (link downloads a PDF).

Previous Weekly Public Health Reports can be found  by clicking here.
All information above was obtained via official state & federal sources.


Please note: The Mass General Brigham Mobile COVID testing van at Manning Field will not be open on Monday, Feb. 15 due to President’s Day.


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Find a mass vaccine location near you by clicking here.
Schedule an appointment at the Lynn Tech Vaccination site by clicking here.

For phasing details and the most up-to-date status of where MA is in our vaccination timeline please click here.


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Lynn-Swampscott Veterans’ Services Announces Veterans COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic for those 50+ on VA Healthcare

Lynn-Swampscott Veterans’ Services announces that the Department of Veterans Affairs Bedford will host a “Veterans COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic” in Lynn on Saturday, February 20 from 9:00am-4:00pm at the Breed Middle School at 90 O’Callaghan Way. Any veteran who is 50 and older and enrolled in the VA Healthcare is eligible to receive the vaccine at the Lynn clinic. To make an appointment, veterans may contact the VA 781-687-4000 and Lynn-Swampscott veterans may also contact the Lynn-Swampscott Department of Veterans’ Services at 781-586-6911.
COVID-19 vaccine appointments are available at Lynn Tech for MA Phase 1 & 75+ residents, and one caregiver, who live or work in Lynn & Nahant or are Lynn Community Health Center Patients: https://www.lchcnet.org/covid-19-vaccine-scheduling. Seniors 75+ can call 2-1-1 to make an appointment Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:00pm.
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The above info. was sent to us by Mayor McGee’s office.


Click for list of Lynn GS Troops selling virtually

REMINDER: Lynn Public Schools meal
distribution updates

The Lynn Public Schools have announced slight changes to meal distribution over the next week, due to the planned February vacation. The following changes will be made:
  • Friday, February 12th |  5 days of meals will be served
  • Monday: February 15th |  CLOSED
  • Wednesday, February 17th  |  5 days of meals will be served, Wednesday PM meal distribution will remain the same
  • Monday: February 19th |  CLOSED
  • Regular meal service will resume on Monday, February 22nd.

A list of locations, in English & Spanish, is below.

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The above info. is courtesy of the Lynn Public Schools.


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MBTA: Spring 2021 Service Changes Virtual Public Meetings on Feb. 17th & 24th

The MBTA Service Planning team will provide information about temporary schedule changes that go into effect in March and April of 2021 at a virtual public meeting beginning at 6 PM on Wednesday, February 17, 2021. A second virtual public meeting will also be held at 6 PM on Wednesday, February 24, 2021.

As part of the presentation, the service planning team will cover the following:

  • Why route changes are necessary.
  • The service planning process.
  • Specifics of the service changes and impacted routes.
  • Other key elements on MBTA’s response to the pandemic.

During the meeting, attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide input on future service changes.

The meeting will be held via a Zoom webinar. Members of the public may register here. After registering, a confirmation email will be sent that contains information about joining the webinar.

These meetings are accessible to people with disabilities and those with limited English proficiency. Accessibility accommodations and language services will be provided free of charge, upon request, as available. Such services include documents in alternate formats, translated materials, assistive listening devices, and interpreters (including American Sign Language).

For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation and/or language services, please email publicengagement@mbta.com.

For more information about service changes this spring, please visit www.mbta.com/servicechanges.

The above info. was submitted to us by the MBTA.


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Updates from state government

  • As of Thursday night, DPH reported a total of 523,258 cases of COVID-19. The state reported 2,213 new confirmed cases. The state has now confirmed a total of 14,964 deaths from the virus.
  • The Senate on Thursday passed three rules packages governing how the chamber will conduct business during the 2021-2022 session after fighting through some technological issues that delayed the start of proceedings. Many of the amendments Thursday covered topics that featured prominently in last session’s debates on high-profile bills like police reform, such as meeting late at night, tabling legislation, and a one-day pause. Thursday’s debate also revolved around what senators felt was sufficient time to review bills or amendments, particularly during complex formal sessions that stretch on for hours.
  • Several unsuccessful amendments to the Senate rules attempted to restrict the chamber’s ability to meet past midnight, which happened several times last year. One from Minority Leader Bruce Tarr would have required unanimous consent to meet into the early morning hours failed on a 6-34 vote. Senators adopted several changes to the their chamber’s rules that provide at least two days to file budget amendments, mandate that all informal sessions be broadcast, and require supplier diversity in the chamber’s contracts.
  • Senate President Karen Spilka said the package of rules provides the public “tremendous equitable access” to the chamber. She highlighted one amendment to the Joint Rules from Sen. Jamie Eldridge that would require a one-week public notice of a joint committee hearing.
  • House Speaker Ron Mariano named his senior leadership team late Thursday afternoon. Rep. Claire Cronin for the number two slot in Democratic leadership as majority leader. Rep. Kate Hogan has been appointed speaker pro tempore, the third highest position in House leadership. Rep. Michael Moran of Boston for assistant majority leader position, otherwise known as the majority whip. Reps. Joseph Wagner of Chicopee and Sarah Peake of Provincetown have been selected as second assistant majority leaders.
  • All four division leaders in the House will be new, the new team of division leaders includes Rep. Jim O’Day of West Boylston, Rep. Ruth Balser of Newton, Rep. Frank Moran of Lawrence and Rep. Thomas Golden of Lowell. The new speaker will ask the Democratic caucus to ratify his appointments on Friday when he also plans to roll out the full slate of committee assignments. Rep. Aaron Michlewitz is widely expected to retain the coveted chairmanship of Ways and Means, but the shakeup at the top of the leadership ladder creates openings on several high-profile committees, including the Judiciary Committee and the Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy.
  • Senate President Karen Spilka said Thursday that the Senate has a plan for considering the climate policy bill amendments Governor Baker returned to the Legislature but did not commit to a timeline for taking them up. Spilka said the Senate, which has custody of the enacted bill and Baker’s proposed amendments and will be the first branch to consider his proposals, also plans “to work with the House and the administration” as it processes Baker’s suggestions. Senate President Spilka said “we recognize there is a sense of real urgency around this issue.”
  • Looking beyond the state’s ongoing public health and economic responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, Senate President Karen Spilka announced plans Thursday to launch a Senate committee that will function as a clearinghouse of policies, practices and ideas that could prepare Massachusetts for whatever waits on the other side of the pandemic. The new Senate Special Committee on Reimagining Massachusetts: Post-Pandemic Resiliency is modeled on some of the working groups Spilka has established since taking the reins of the Senate, like the COVID-19 working group Northampton Sen. Jo Comerford led last session.
  • It will be tasked with examining the short- and long-term challenges that could follow the pandemic response. The committee will not be assigned specific bills to review but could hold virtual listening sessions focused on different regions of the state, or solicit testimony from residents and industry-specific stakeholders. Spilka said the activities of the committee will be determined by its yet-to-be-named chairperson, she said Senate committee assignments will be coming “in the near future.
  • A top Baker administration official resigned his post Wednesday night after coming under fire for comments he made about pushing consumers to reduce their carbon emissions. In a letter to Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides, which he said was effective immediately and would serve as his only public statement on the topic, undersecretary of climate change David Ismay said he was leaving the job “with great regret.” Ismay apologized for remarks he made at a January Vermont Climate Council meeting.
  • With the state’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout still early in its second phase, Governor Baker on Thursday urged residents to seek the immunization when it is their turn even if they previously contracted the virus. Governor Baker, who faced sharp criticism Thursday from Cape Cod officials frustrated by vaccine distribution, touted the vaccine’s protection against new strains of the virus that have been spreading in the United States in recent weeks.
  • Many health care providers, including those in communities of color that have been hardest hit, have recounted conversations with patients who believe that they are immune after recovering from COVID-19.
  • His recommendation aligns with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s outlook. Although the federal health agency notes that reinfection appears uncommon in the first 90 days after contracting COVID-19, it emphasizes that experts do not yet have a consensus on how long that protection lasts.
  • Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s nomination for labor secretary advanced through a Senate committee on Thursday, setting up the Democrat for a vote before the full Senate with the clock ticking at home on a home rule petition to call off a special election for mayor if he resigns before March 5. The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions voted 18-4 on Thursday to approve President Joe Biden’s nomination of Walsh to lead the U.S. Department Labor. Walsh had his confirmation hearing last week where he encountered little resistance, and spoke up in support a federal $15 an hour minimum wage. The no votes all came from Republicans, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Braun of Indiana, Tim Scott of South Carolina, and Jerry Moran of Kansas.
  • State officials will begin accepting electronically filed income tax returns on Friday, consistent with the IRS opening date for federal returns. The Department of Revenue announced its plans Thursday and referred people to its website, which includes taxpayer and preparer resources, including FAQs, free e-file options, and information on locating free tax help.
  • The state’s slots parlor and casinos have been free since Monday morning of the requirement that they limit occupancy to no more than 25 percent, but none of the three properties had crossed that threshold as of Thursday morning, gaming regulators said. The Mass. Gaming Commission heard an update Thursday morning from Investigations and Enforcement Bureau Director Loretta Lillios, who told commissioners that the revocation of Governor Baker’s 25 percent restriction effectively means Plainridge Park Casino, MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor will go back to using the formula the commission adopted in June to determine their maximum capacity.
  • The Baker administration on Thursday filed a $400 million bill to finance the construction of a new long-term care facility on the site of the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, and attached some urgency to its request for the capital authorization. According to the governor’s office, the project is on an “expedited timeline” due to an April 15 deadline for the VA State Home Construction Grant Program, which would provide 65 percent matching federal funds.
  • Baker’s office said the bill must pass the Legislature by mid-March, and the project’s design development phase must be completed by Aug. 1 to be eligible for this cycle of the federal grant program. In a statement, Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders said the home was built before modern design standards for medical facilities, and the administration has taken steps to address “urgent capital and infection control needs.”
  • But she added that “it is clear that a major reconstruction of the campus is necessary for the safety, health and comfort of future generations of veterans and staff.” Last week, a bipartisan group of 82 state lawmakers told Governor Baker they were concerned that the 192-bed facility that has been recommended will not be sufficient. The home’s current capacity is 235, according to the office of Westfield Sen. John Velis.

Special thanks to MassAccess for providing us with these updates.


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From Mayor McGee’s office: The Lynn Public Health Department has confirmed that as of today, the number of active, confirmed positive COVID-19 cases is 988 with 49 new cases today. 13,957 Lynn residents have recovered and 187 have died. The total number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Lynn since March 21, 2020, including those who have died and recovered, is 15,132. Please visit the City of Lynn COVID-19 Data Dashboard which is updated daily.

COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments available at Lynn Tech Fieldhouse TOMORROW, SATURDAY, February 13th

COVID-19 vaccine appointments are available at Lynn Tech Fieldhouse for people who live or work in Lynn & Nahant or are Lynn Community Health Center Patients and meet state eligibility requirements (Massachusetts Phase 1 & 75 year of age or older. Residents age 75+ may be accompanied by one caregiver who can book an appointment themselves.) Please visit https://www.lchcnet.org/covid-19-vaccine-scheduling to make an appointment online. Seniors 75+ can call 2-1-1 to make an appointment Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:00pm.

The Mass General Brigham Mobile COVID testing van at Manning Field will not be open on Monday, Feb. 15 due to President’s Day.

Please visit http://www.ci.lynn.ma.us/covid19/resources.shtml#p7GPc1_2 for the most up to date COVID-19 testing information, as well as more detailed information on the State and City of Lynn’s Reopening Guidelines. We will continue to provide regular updates on COVID-19 through the City website (www.lynnma.gov), social media, and the Smart 911 emergency notification system (sign up at www.smart911.com).

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