Weekly COVID-19 numbers from Mass DPH, LPS internet update, commuter rail schedule changes, & more | January 8, 2021

JANUARY 8, 2021

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

Wednesday the City of Lynn announced it will continue in a modified Phase 2,Step 2 until further notice. Read more by clicking here.

The Project Beacon COVID-19 Testing Site is temporarily
closed today, more info. can be found below.

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. On Tuesday a new 24-hr new case record was broken with 210 new cases, breaking the previous record of 196 set less than a month ago. Since Dec. 23rd it has been rare for that number to be below 144, and before that numbers were consistently getting higher. 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 November & 23 in December.

The average daily incidence rate per 100,000 for Lynn over 14 days this week was 99.6. The positivity rate this week was 14.63%. 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 21.7 million cases, with 88.2 million cases reported worldwide. Daily records have been broken for new cases & deaths within 24 hours constantly over the past couple of months, in particular the last several weeks, proving right predictions that the holiday season would lead to higher numbers. The death toll in the US now sits at approx. 365K, with over 4,000 dying yesterday alone (another record set).

In Massachusetts there are currently 219 communities in the red category & 52 in the yellow category. At the time of our last summary 3 weeks ago there were 187 communities in the red & 73 in the yellow.

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


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 11,776 1,406 99.6 Lower 134,280 11,860 1,735 14.63% Higher
STATEWIDE 386,052 59,568 61.1 Higher 11,308,785 888,021 68,461 7.71% 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.

Previous Weekly Public Health Reports can be found  by clicking here.

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Update on Comcast internet through Lynn Public Schools

If you have the Comcast internet issued through LPS, please read the below:
“1. Our Technology staff are able to run a speed test on the students home internet access to determine if it’s running at the appropriate speed.
2. They will also login into the students laptop and see if there are other programs running in the background that would inhibit the performance. They have found that some students have been downloading programs that continue to run in the back ground and our staff has deleted them or turned them off. They explain this to the student/parent so they are made aware and of this problem.”
We are also looking into other ways to enhance the internet speeds for households with more than one student. So please let IT know how many LPS students reside and use the internet when speaking.
Therefore, if you receive a call from a family, please have them call our help desk at (781) 477 – 7342. Also tell them if it goes to voicemail they need to leave a voice mail (English or Spanish) with the students name and phone number so we can call them back.
If these two tests do not work we will be exploring other solutions to assist our families.

The above information was sourced from School Committee member Michael Satterwhite’s Facebook page.

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Update on COVID-19 vaccine from President of the North Shore Medical center

Below is a video message from Dr. David Roberts of North Shore Medical Center regarding the COVID-19 Vaccine. Please visit the MA Vaccination Plan website for more info. about when you are eligible to receive the vaccine by clicking here.

Click image for more info. on this virtual show

Commuter Rail Schedule Changes Approved in December Take Effect Jan. 23

Weekend service only on select lines effective Jan. 23rd.
Many lines to have train service at regular and predictable intervals.

The MBTA is reminding customers that, as of January 23, 2021, MBTA Commuter Rail schedules take effect which were approved in December 2020 by the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB). It represents an increase in weekday service levels from the current schedule and provides more than 50% of weekday service levels from the same time last year, while current ridership levels are approximately 10%.

As part of the Board’s direction to align service with ridership while maintaining access for transit-critical communities, effective January 23, 2021, Commuter Rail weekend service will only run on select lines and weekday service will increase slightly. New Winter Service Schedules will be available at www.MBTA.com on January 15, 2021, and print copies will be available at major stations starting the week of January 18, 2021. The Reduced Service Schedule currently in place will remain through January 22, 2021.

The new Winter Service Schedule starts to align service with the lower ridership levels experienced during the COVD-19 pandemic. Beginning January 23, 2021, Commuter Rail will only offer weekend service on the Newburyport/Rockport, Framingham/Worcester, Fairmount, Providence, and Middleborough Lines. These lines experienced more ridership gains over the last several months compared to other lines and serve transit-critical communities. All other Commuter Rail lines will not have weekend service. Ridership has remained low during the pandemic with approximately 8% of regular weekday ridership during the morning rush hour period in the fall of 2020 compared to fall 2019.

The new Winter Service Schedule includes additional trains on the Middleborough Line, Fairmount Line, and Newburyport/Rockport Line. These added trains help to fill in service gaps that existed in the previous schedule and help to offer more consistent train intervals, such as clockface service which makes riding simpler for passengers.

For instance, on the Fairmount Line, the new Winter Service Schedule offers clockface service every hour. From Readville, a train will depart on weekdays every hour at 30 minutes past the hour between 6:30 AM and 10:30 PM. This consistent interval is maintained for all stops on the Fairmount Line, and during higher ridership times additional trains are available.

Since March, Keolis and the MBTA have introduced new technologies, such as electrostatic sprayers, to help sanitize passenger areas quickly and thoroughly. As part of this enhanced cleaning, added attention is given to touch surfaces, employee areas, and air filtration systems. All coach cars continue to be cleaned at least every 24 hours as a protection for passengers and train crews.

The MBTA’s Forging Ahead initiative aims to preserve access and quality of service for transit-critical communities and to match service to existing ridership levels. Commuter Rail ridership is approximately 10% of its pre-COVID levels. As part of its Forging Ahead initiative, the MBTA organized a months-long process to solicit the public’s input, including more than 7,000 comments from riders and stakeholders and which was used to shape the final plan approved by the FMCB.

For more information, visit mbta.com/ForgingAhead, or connect with the T on Twitter@MBTA, Facebook /TheMBTA, or Instagram @theMBTA.

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COVID-19 update from Mayor McGee

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The Lynn Public Health Department has confirmed that as of today, the number of active, confirmed positive COVID-19 cases is 1,926 with 169 new cases today. 10,305 Lynn residents have recovered and 166 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 12,397. Please visit the City of Lynn COVID-19 Data Dashboard which is updated daily.

Project Beacon COVID-19 Testing Site Temporarily Closed Friday January 8th

The Project Beacon COVID-19 Testing Site at 398 Blossom Street will be closed for the remainder of the day today, Friday, January 8th, due to a small diesel oil leak from a generator on the property. The Lynn Fire Department, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, and Clean Harbors are on site. They have contained the leak, and are working together to clean up the site, with the hope that testing can resume tomorrow, Saturday, January 9th. Project Beacon is working to reschedule all of the previous appointments which were scheduled for today as quickly as possible, including the opportunity to rebook at another site this afternoon, where staff is standing by at their Framingham and Revere sites, or this weekend in Lynn once they reopen. Anyone who had an appointment should check the Project Beacon website: app.beacontesting.com. Thank you for your patience during this unanticipated situation.

Please visit http://www.ci.lynn.ma.us/covid19/resources.shtml#p7GPc1_2 for the most up to date COVID-19 Testing information.

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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