Virus notes: Mass. among top states on testing
Wear masks, says Korean doc; Baker seeks public’s help
MASSACHUSETTS IS MOVING into the very top tier of states doing testing for COVID-19.
As of Sunday evening, the state had conducted 39,066 tests, placing it fifth among the states in terms of total tests and third in tests per million people, behind only New York and Washington.
Massachusetts conducted 4,017 tests between Saturday and Sunday, above the Baker administration’s goal to do at least 3,500 tests a day. If the state averages 3,500 tests a day over the next week, it would reach 63,566 total tests by next Sunday and 9,111 tests per million people.
Two great YouTube videos to watchMassachusetts conducted 4,017 tests between Saturday and Sunday, above the Baker administration’s goal to do at least 3,500 tests a day. If the state averages 3,500 tests a day over the next week, it would reach 63,566 total tests by next Sunday and 9,111 tests per million people.
One video, which is bouncing all over the internet, is a fascinating virtual rendition of young artists and musicians, many of them students at colleges in the Boston area, performing the song What the World Needs Now.
The other is a far more serious but very enlightening interview with Kim Woo-Ju, a professor of infectious diseases at Korea University College of Medicine. His words carry a lot of weight because he has been on the medical frontlines in a country that is widely regarded as one of the most successful in combatting COVID-19.
One of his biggest recommendations is for people to wear masks when they go out. He said he found quite odd the recommendations of the US Surgeon General and the World Health Organization not to wear masks. He thinks the US Surgeon General’s recommendation was mostly designed to discourage hoarding by regular Americans so medical staff would not run out.
“One of the reasons South Korea has such a low rate of infection is because everyone is wearing a mask and washing their hands,” he said.
Mass. solicits help in COVID-19 fight
State House News Service
The state’s request for gear and a corresponding call for health care professionals to volunteer to assist the state response to the pandemic comes while at least 4,257 people in Massachusetts are battling COVID-19. As of Saturday, 44 people in the Bay State have died of the respiratory disease.
The state’s new COVID-19 PPE Procurement and Donation Program will streamline procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) and allow the state to better ensure that the gear in short supply gets into the hands of the people who need it the most, Gov. Charlie Baker said.
“We also need more volunteers to help support our response to this unprecedented public health emergency, and urge people to sign up to lend a hand,” the governor said. “Our administration will continue making every effort to secure supplies from all possible resources to support our front line workers during these tough times.”
The list of items the state is seeking includes N95 or N99 masks, facemasks with built-in shields, surgical masks, powered air-purifying respirators, goggles, gloves, gowns, booties, head covers, sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer. All the items have been in short supply around the world as the coronavirus sweeps across continents.
Feds approve disaster declaration
The federal government approved Massachusetts’ request for a major disaster declaration due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The White House and FEMA announced the approval Saturday.Under the declaration, state agencies, local governments, and some nonprofits will be eligible for reimbursement for 75 percent of their costs for certain expenses related to the pandemic. This includes things like establishing beds for homeless people who need to be isolated or quarantined, paying for personal protective equipment for first responders, disinfecting public facilities, or purchasing specialized medical equipment.
There will also be money provided for the Department of Mental Health to provide crisis counseling for individuals and families.