LYNN NEWS ROUND-UP
OCTOBER 9, 2020
See our other COVID-19 related posts by clicking here.
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Lynn Community Health Center’s COVID-19 testing site moving & expanding
On October 13, two 60-foot trailers will be delivered to the Buffum Street Parking Lot and will become Lynn Community Health Center’s expanded COVID-19 Testing Site. The health center’s current site, located in the Element Care Parking Lot at 9 Buffum Street, uses tents from the City of Lynn Fire Department to protect patients and staff from the elements. The more permanent structures will make it easier for the health center to offer testing services through the winter.
“COVID-19 is still a serious concern in our community and is likely to remain so for a long time,” said Dr. Geoffrey Pechinsky, Chief Medical Officer at LCHC. “The 7-day average positive rate in Lynn is 7.9%, significantly higher than the state rate of 1.1%. We are working very closely with the City to encourage people to get tested any time they feel unwell or are concerned about exposure. Some people, for example those whose jobs put them at high risk of exposure, should get tested regularly. We are happy to do repeat tests as needed.”
The Off-Street Parking Commission and the Lynn City Council have both approved the use of the parking lot for the new site. The trailers will be set up along the Blake Street side of the lot directly across from the health center. Patients will enter the site through the gate across from the Mulberry Street alleyway and enter the first trailer for registration. They will exit the first trailer and proceed to the second trailer for testing. After their test they will exit the second trailer and leave the site through the gate across from the LCHC entrance. Patient movement will be one-way through the site, with plans in place to support social distancing at all times. The site will take up 30 parking spaces.
The site is scheduled to open later this month with the capacity to conduct up to 500 tests per day. “We have structured our staffing and operations to meet the demand for testing as it rises and falls in the community,” said Kim Eng, Chief Operating Officer at LCHC. “We are currently conducting between 150 and 200 tests per day, but at our peak in August we conducted well over 300 tests per day. We anticipate our numbers will rise again as more people return to work, combined with the onset of cooler weather and flu season.”
Until the new site opens, LCHC will continue to offer COVID-19 testing at 9 Buffum St. 7 days a week. You can walk in for a test or call 781-581-3900 for a scheduled appointment–visit www.lchcnet.org for testing hours. Anyone can receive a test regardless of symptoms or exposure, and you do not have to be a patient of LCHC or a Lynn resident to get a test.
Girls Inc. of Lynn Offers Virtual After-school Programs
Students looking to be engaged in fun and learning in the afternoon will find a variety of options at Girls Inc. of Lynn. “We continue to offer programs for all ages along with academic support and mentoring. Our comprehensive, intentional after school programming continues to focus on the development of the whole girl. Our hope is to stay connected to our girls and help them grow in these uncertain times,” notes Deb Ansourlian, Executive Director of Girls Inc. of Lynn.
High school girls have a variety of programs to select from which are free to all Girls Inc. of Lynn members. Daily homework help is offered from 5-6 pm and tutoring is available. Programs include College Prep Mentoring, She Votes and Takes Action where girls learn how they can use their power to make a difference, Ventures where girls go on a personal journey to become an entrepreneurs, Career Path a career exploration and job readiness program which includes biweekly career panels, Informed and In Charge where girls talk about relationships, sexuality, STI and pregnancy prevention and and Access Your Potential where high schoolers learn about the technology, financial and career essential skills to succeed.Contact Lena Crowley, Director of High School Programs at 781-854-6733 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The first 20 girls to respond will receive a backpack filled with school supplies.
The above press release was provided by Girl’s Inc. of Lynn.
Video from Tuesday’s COVID-19 Tele Town Hall with Mayor McGee & health professionals
Mayor Tom McGee’s office shared a recording with us of the COVID-10 Tele Town Hall from this past Tuesday. Mayor McGee was joined by City of Lynn Public Health Director Michele Desmarais, Dr. Clark Van Den Berghe from Lynn Community Health Center, Chief Medical Officer of North Shore Medical Center Dr. Mitch Rein, & Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Barbara Lambl from North Shore Medical Center. They answered some questions from the thousands who listened in, and provided some useful COVID-19 information.
For information about testing for COVID-19 & more in Lynn please click here.
Watch the full Town Hall video below from our website:
Updates from state government
- As of Thursday night, DPH reported a total of 134,277 cases of COVID-19. The state has now confirmed a total of 9,350 deaths from the virus.
- The House initiated the legislative process Thursday for a bill that would set aside state money for city and town health departments for planning, technical assistance, and operations. Governor Baker signed a bill at the end of April to strengthen local health boards and departments, but advocates and lawmakers who backed that bill argued last week more needs to be done to accelerate improvements. The new legislation now sits before the Committee on Public Health, chaired by Sen. Jo Comerford of Northampton and Rep. John Mahoney of Worcester.
- Lawmakers also adopted a resolution imploring President Donald Trump to designate a state funeral for the last surviving World War II Medal of Honor recipient.
- The Senate also agreed to two deadline extensions for the Labor and Workforce Development Committee, giving the committee until Oct. 27 to complete work on legislation affecting au pairs, wage theft, minimum wage and benefits for municipal employees, and other issues. Both extensions were initiated by the House in June.
- With private conference committees set up to negotiate policing reform, a jobs bill, and other major matters, one member of a health care conference committee said Thursday it had not held its first meeting. Appointed 69 days ago, the panel was tasked with reaching compromise on a bill to permanently expand access to telehealth after lawmakers saw benefits to the health care option during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The number of Massachusetts workers counted as unemployed dropped by more than 250,000 over the past two months, a decline of more than a third that helped the state escape from a short streak of owning the worst jobless rate in the country. About 114,000 more workers became employed in that span, too, a sign of continued steps toward recovery following the pandemic-related recession’s low point in the spring. But the improving jobs numbers and unemployment rate likely mask deeper, more lasting damage at both the state and federal level: many people are dropping out of the workforce altogether, hinting that some, particularly women, who disproportionately fill caretaker roles, have given up attempts to find employment amid slow hiring and uncertainty about the COVID-19 health outlook.
- A new state public awareness campaign aims to encourage people to check in with their friends and loved ones and remember that there may be “more to the story” when it comes to someone’s mental health. The launch of the campaign coincides with National Mental Illness Awareness Week, which runs this year from Oct. 4 through 10. The #MoreToTheStory campaign seeks to help people look beyond answers like “I’m fine” to recognize signs that someone may be struggling with their mental health and offer support. It underscores the importance of talking about mental health and offers information about what kinds of resources are available.
- More than 100 major corporations and higher education institutions wrote to governors Thursday voicing “strong support” for an in-development regional effort to curb transportation greenhouse gas emissions that will raise gasoline prices. The signatories, some of which rely on transportation infrastructure for their business, urged leaders of 12 states and the District of Columbia to sign a memorandum of understanding signaling their commitment to the Transportation and Climate Initiative, known as TCI. The companies that signed on to the letter to Governor Baker, letter by the sustainability nonprofit Ceres, included ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft, Wayfair, Novartis, DHL, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, and Biogen. Implementing a regional cap-and-trade program that increases costs at the pump could help curb emissions, they argued, particularly for “overburdened and underserved communities” that face the most pollution, and it could also raise revenue to fund much-needed improvements.
- The Massachusetts Gaming Commission approved the reintroduction of roulette to MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor at a meeting Thursday that also saw regulators approve a variety of mostly minor changes to the rules of the games offered at Massachusetts casinos.
- At a critical juncture, the state vendor charged with handling annual health insurance enrollment inquiries is faltering, prompting the Massachusetts Health Connector to agree to spend millions of dollars more to try to salvage customer services operations this fall. Faneuil, the call center vendor, is experiencing “issues across the board,” including agent absenteeism and problems with attrition, recruitment and training, according to Connector Authority Director Louis Gutierrez. That has translated into dropped calls, dissatisfaction with the quality of answers to consumer questions, and longer wait times for consumers who are abandoning calls out of frustration, according to authority officials. The timing of the problems is also problematic, with the Connector expecting a surge in consumer calls during an open enrollment period that begins Nov. 1 and ends Jan. 23, 2021. Rising unemployment is fueling consumer interest in health insurance options, and the pandemic means the authority’s walk-in centers in Boston, Springfield, Worcester and Brockton will not be open due to COVID-19 transmission concerns, the centers closed in March.
The above information was provided to us by MassAccess.
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 278 with 15 new cases today. 4,676 Lynn residents have recovered and 118 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 5,072. Please visit the City of Lynn COVID-19 Data Dashboard which is updated daily.
Stop the Spread Initiative Testing have been extended until Saturday, October 31st
• Fallon Ambulance offers testing at the following locations. Walk up Only:
o Parking lot at Lynn English High School
Mon – Sat from 11:00am until 5:00pm
o Parking Lot across from Market Basket on Federal Street
Mon – Sat 12:00pm-6:00pm
o Residents who have been tested for COVID-19 through Fallon Ambulance can call 617-765-0176 with any questions related to your COVID-19 test results.
• Call Lynn Community Health Center (781)-581-3900 to make a COVID-19 test appointment at 9 Buffum Street location
Please visit http://www.ci.lynn.ma.us/