Weekly COVID-19 numbers from MA DPH, LEHS Drama Club productions, City of Lynn returns to modified Phase 2-Step 2, & more | December 18, 2020

LYNN NEWS ROUND-UP
DECEMBER 18, 2020

See our other COVID-19 related posts by clicking here.


WE WILL NOT BE PROVIDING OUR REGULAR WEEKDAY NEWS POSTS FOR THE NEXT 2 WEEKS. WE WILL STILL POST & SHARE IMPORTANT INFO. ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE, PLEASE FOLLOW US THERE TO STAY UP TO DATE.


A recording of the City of Lynn’s COVID-19 Tele Town Hall from last night, in English & Spanish, will be available shortly.


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 dealing with a serious surge of COVID-19 cases. Last Wednesday the 24-hr new case record was broken with 196 new cases. It has not been uncommon to see anywhere from 30-80 new cases a day in Lynn, but it had rarely gone above that in recent months. Before and since then we have had a high number of new 24-hr cases. We have seen a steady increase of new cases since the end of October, but in good news deaths related to COVID-19 seem to have slowed in the city with only 10 deaths reported in all of November.

The average daily incidence rate per 100,000 for Lynn over 14 days this week was 130.4;  the previous 4 weeks were 89.19, 67.6, 61.6, & 45.1. The positivity rate this week was 13.74; the previous 4 weeks were 12.27%, 10.23% 9.14%, & 7.48%. In one week we have added almost 1,000 cases to our total. It is important to note that while testing numbers are currently high this does not mean that case numbers will go up simply because of that, the number to watch is the positivity rate. The higher the positivity rate the more the virus is spreading, regardless of number of tests.

The outlook for the nation is not much better. The United States currently has 17.3 million cases, a 2million+ increase in just a week. Sadly, 1 million reported cases a week has been the norm for several weeks. Daily records have been broken for new cases & deaths within 24 hours constantly over the past month. Just over 1 week ago the one-day record for deaths was broken with 3,157 dead, but this past Wednesday it was broken again with 3,611 deaths. This is more Americans dead in 1 day than were lost on D-Day, 9/11, or Pearl Harbor. The death toll in the US now sits at approx. 311K, or more than 1 person every 30 seconds. A CDC report from 2 weeks ago predicts 9,500-19,500 new deaths likely due to the upcoming holiday gatherings expected across the country.

In Massachusetts there are currently 187 communities in the red category & 73 in the yellow category. Last week there were 157 communities in the red & 92 in the yellow.

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

Several weeks back 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 9,522 1,840 130.4 Higher 114,601 16,168 2,221 13.74% Higher
STATEWIDE 292,316 63,445 65.1 Higher 9,809,105 1,202,244 72,236 6.01% Higher

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.


Free Christmas meals for those in need

Please click for full-resolution image, in different languages

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STORM UPDATES

Please click here to read about snow removal, snow emergency procedures, parking lot list during bans, & more for the City of Lynn.

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Testing is scheduled to resume at the Federal Street Lot behind the Western Avenue Fire Station both Friday and Saturday from 8AM-6PM and at the Lynn Community Health Center on Friday from 10:00 am – 4:30 pm. Testing will NOT be available at the Lynn English Parking Lot Friday or Saturday.

PLEASE READ UPDATE BELOW FOR TESTING SITE UPDATES FOR THE UPCOMING WEEKS, INCLUDING DELAYED OPENING OF NEW SITE.

Please click here for more info. and updates on how you can get a free COVID-19 test in the City of Lynn.

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Please follow the Salvation Army Facebook page for updates on the
food pantry & toy distribution.


Please clear fire hydrants near your house after snow storms, if you can, to help out the City of Lynn Fire Department.

Lynn returns to modified Phase Two, Step Two of Reopening Plan, starting today

Mayor Thomas M. McGee announced that the City of Lynn is joining the City of Boston and several other Greater Boston area communities in a return to a modified Phase Two, Step Two rollback of the Massachusetts Reopening Plan effective Friday, December 18th. The City of Lynn has seen a drastic increase in COVID-19 cases since Thanksgiving within our community with a percent positivity rate of 13.74% and an average daily incidence rate per 100,000 of 130.4 over the last 14 days as reported in the latest Massachusetts COVID-19 Community Report. Lynn has consistently been categorized as a high risk, red community by the state as we now have over 9,500 reported cases in the City of Lynn since the start of this COVID-19 pandemic.

“We need to take action now to prevent a repeat of what our hospitals and healthcare workers went through back in the spring trying to care for hospitalized COVID patients,” said Mayor Thomas M. McGee. “As we continue to see an uptick in cases since Thanksgiving, unfortunately we anticipate there will be an equal if not greater surge after the December Holidays. I am continuing to advocate for additional financial support at the state level for our small businesses and I hope the State will work to pass the Economic Development Bill which is up for debate right now. Our communities are also desperately in need of a second federal relief bill to get our residents through the remainder of this pandemic.”

The return to a modified Phase Two Step Two is done with the main goal of limiting the sizes of social gatherings and require certain businesses to close which were allowed to open when we transitioned to Phase Three. Gatherings in private and public settings are required to remain below 10 people for indoor settings and 25 for outdoor settings. We need to continue to limit our interactions with people outside of our immediate household and continue to follow the guidelines to limit the level of community spread of COVID-19 within our community.

“It was a very difficult decision, but one that needed to be made,” said Lynn Public Health Director Michele Desmarais. “However, the numbers show that additional action needed to be taken I would encourage everyone to make a concerted effort to continue to wear your mask, social distance and stay home.”

These changes, which go into effect on Friday in Lynn, allow for indoor dining in restaurants to remain open with particular adherence to bar seating guidelines. Ancillary activities such as pool tables, darts, and trivia are prohibited.

Bar seating is permitted provided that:

  • Installation of plexiglass or other non-porous surface around the bar separating patrons seated at the bar from the bartender and separating parties seated at the bar; or
  • Ensuring the designated active work/service bar area is separated by more than six (6) feet from any patrons.
  • Without the installation of plexiglass between the patrons seated at the bar and the bartender, a licensee may propose to pull up a table to the bar, increasing the space between the patrons and the bartender, and seat patrons at the far end of the table not adjacent to the bar.

In order for restaurants to continue with bar seating, they will be required to submit their bar seating plan and receive approval from the Lynn Public Health Director to ensure they are following state regulations by close of business, this Friday, December 18th. That plan should include:

  • Photograph of the bar area in the proposed set-up (without patrons;
  • Diagram of the bar area (may be hand drawn) identifying the dimensions of the bar, each seat, active work/service area, and any installed plexiglass including location and height;
  • Number of seats at the bar pre COVID-19;
  • Number of seats at the bar proposed under this bar seating plan;
  • Acknowledgement that bartenders must work from a designated active work/service area that must be separated form patrons by a minimum of six (6) feet or enclosed by plexiglass or other non-porous materials and an explanation of how the proposal adheres to this requirement.
  • Will the license be pulling up a table to extend the bar and seating patrons at the end of the table (not adjacent to the bar)?;
  • Is there a plexiglass separation between the patrons and the active work/service area? If so, provide height and dimensions;
  • Is there plexiglass separation between parties sitting at the bar? If so, provide height and dimensions.

    The following industries in the City of Lynn are required to close starting Friday, December 18th:

  • Indoor fitness centers and health clubs, including gyms using alternative spaces. One-on- one personal training sessions are allowed.
  • Indoor non-athletic instructional classes in arts, education & life sciences for persons 18 years and older.
  • Indoor recreational and athletic facilities (except for youth 18 and under).
  • Indoor recreational venues with potential for low-contact (batting cages, driving ranges, bowling alleys, rock climbing).
  • Indoor historical spaces and sites.
  • Indoor event spaces (meeting rooms, ballrooms, private party rooms, social clubs). Social clubs may remain open if they are functioning currently as restaurants.

Please click here to read the full Executive Order.

The above press release was sent to us by Mayor McGee’s office earlier in the week. COVID-19 stats listed were updated to reflect more current numbers.


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LEHS Drama Club releasing virtual productions on Jan. 8th

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What do the three short plays that the English Theater Collective is working on have in common: the will of the students of this high school drama club to make art and entertainment in these difficult times. Despite remote learning and restrictions that prevent them from ever being in the same room at the same time, the students of the LEHS drama club are creating three short works to premiere virtually on January 8 2021.

The Lost Girl, or First Chair by Lauren Yee: When the first chair violinist at a performing arts high school disappears, the competition is on to find her replacement. As the girls who occupy the second to fifth chairs vie for the prime spot, the mystery of what exactly happened to Katie, the first chair, unfolds.

Old Folks by Max Posner What separates the teen years from the seventies, eighties and nineties? Not as much as you might think. As these old folks reminisce about each other and their pasts, their younger selves come forward to give a glimpse of their youth before they move on.

The Astonishing and Dangerous History of Mazefield the Frog by Jen Silverman What do you get when you mix jealous sisters, the meanest kids on the planet, skateboarders, internet dating, foreign spies and a homicidal vigilante frog? The best school dance ever!

Three for One is a collection of three short plays all created specifically by professional contemporary playwrights to be performed by teen actors. Taking the audience from the cut-throat world of high school competition to the very end of life, from hilarious to sad and sweet, from nostalgia to nuttiness to a desert island somewhere in the middle of the ocean, these three plays will make for an evening of fun for the whole family. The students of the English Theater Collective have found a way to safely beat the quarantine to make sure that this year will not be a loss for themselves or their audiences. This play is free for anyone who wishes to see it. We are only asking for generous donations (from those who can help) to keep our little group afloat during these rough times. To see the show visit showtix4u.com and search for LEHS Drama Club. There you sign up to get a ticket (student tickets are free, adults pay what you can) and then you can make a donation using a credit or debit card. The show will be available for viewing from January 8-14 but you can get your ticket now!

The above press release was sent to us by the Lynn English Drama Club.


Please contact Ronnie via text at 781-913-4404 to set up delivery.
For more info on this collection, and others, please click here


Local COVID-19 Vaccine study looking for participants

Click to go to the Facebook post this info was taken from
From Coco Alinsug: To my fellow Lynn residents. Interested in joining the fight to end COVID-19?The COVID-19 Vaccine study at my organization Fenway Health is testing how safe and effective the vaccine is in protecting against COVID-19.
Our Mobile Research Unit will be at 73 Buffum St., Lynn MA Monday, December 21, 2020 – Wednesday, December 23, 2020 and Monday December 28, 2020 – Thursday, December 31, 2020 between the hours of 8 – 4 PM.

There are 10 or more visits over the span of 1-2 years. Participants will be compensated up to $1600. To see if you may be eligible complete our survey, http://tinyurl.com/C19vaccine then call or text us 617.927.6450 at or email Bethechange@fenwayhealth.org to confirm.


Click for full-resolution image

Project Beacon COVID-19 Express Testing Site opening delayed due to snowstorm, now opening Wednesday, Dec. 23rd. “Stop The Spread” sites at Lynn English & Federal St. extended 1 week

The Project Beacon COVID-19 Express Testing Site at the Blossom Street Extension will now open on Wednesday, December 23rd due to set up delays caused by yesterday’s snow storm. The site will be run by Project Beacon which specializes in high-volume appointment only testing through at least March 31st.

Due to the one-day delay of the opening of the high capacity express testing Project Beacon site, the “Stop the Spread” testing sites located at Lynn English High School and behind the Western Avenue Lynn Fire Station have been extended another week and will now hold their last full day of testing on Monday, January 4th. The Lynn Community Health Center testing site will continue to remain open by appointment and walk-up through March 31st.

Due to the holidays, all four testing sites will be closed starting at noon on December 23rd and completely on December 24th & 25th, and again be closed starting at noon on December 30th and then completely on December 31st & January 1st. Please check with the City of Lynn COVID-19 Resources Testing page for the most up to date information at: https://www.lynnma.gov/covid19/resources.shtml.

As previously announced, the Project Beacon Express Testing Site at the Blossom Street Extension parking lot, commonly known as the Lynn Ferry Terminal, will have the capacity to perform up to 2,000 tests per day once the site reaches full capacity in early January. Residents will be able to schedule their test appointment in advance, drive up to the site at their assigned time, be tested from the comfort of their car, and receive their results within 24 hours. There will be no pedestrian, walk-up access allowed at this site. For all Massachusetts residents, there is no cost for this test, no health insurance is required, and you will not be asked about your immigration status.

“I am glad that Lynn was selected for one of the four express testing sites being established across the Commonwealth. This new site at the Blossom Street Extension, along with maintaining the critical Downtown site at the Lynn Community Health Center, will expand our testing capacity and allow our residents to receive test results back more quickly to assist our Public Health officials in identifying COVID positive cases to stop the spread sooner,” said Mayor Thomas McGee. “We expect this appointment-based system to be a faster process overall for our residents who will no longer need to wait in long lines to be tested making it as easy as possible to access a test as we continue to take a multi-pronged approach to fight this virus.”

Residents can create an account, make appointments, and view their test results all through one, online platform for the Project Beacon COVID-19 Express Testing site at the Blossom Street Extension by visiting app.beacontesting.com. If you have questions about getting tested or issues regarding appointments or results at Project Beacon, please go to www.mass.gov/express-testing, call Project Beacon’s Call Center at 617-741-7310, or email at help@beacontesting.com. Appointments will become available several days in advance at a time.

In the event of a City of Lynn snow emergency, testing may be cancelled or limited based on the weather conditions. Please check the City of Lynn website at www.lynnma.gov for information about possible testing cancellations due to inclement weather.

The above press release was sent to us by Mayor McGee’s office.

Click for full-resolution image

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 1,798 with 94 new cases today. 8,100 Lynn residents have recovered and 147 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 10,045. Please visit the City of Lynn COVID-19 Data Dashboard which is updated daily.

There is also a new slide below including age ranges of the positive cases reported in the last week from December 10-17 which will be released each Friday moving forward.

Lynn City Hall to provide City Services Remotely through Monday, January 4th

Lynn City Hall will be providing city services remotely through January 4, 2021, out of an abundance of caution during the holiday season. There will be no in-person access to City Hall during this time. The Mayor has asked other City facilities, including the Library, to act accordingly as well. The CDC, Massachusetts Department of Public Health and many health experts have expressed that actions such as this should be taken to reduce community spread throughout the holidays.

Employees that are considered essential and will continue to report in person include public safety, custodial and maintenance staff, parking enforcement, DPW work crews, and our IT team.

All appointments scheduled with City Hall staff will either need to be held virtually or postponed and those respective departments will be in contact with you about those changes. Please visit lynnma.gov for updates and for online access to department services.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.

Please visit http://www.ci.lynn.ma.us/covid19/resources.shtml#p7GPc1_2 for more information and updates on how you can get a free COVID-19 test in the City of Lynn.

We will continue to provide regular updates on COVID-19 and any Snow Emergency Parking Bans 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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