Showing posts with label DPH. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DPH. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Why 2290 purple flags?

"In recognition of Overdose Awareness Day, an annual observance in Massachusetts and around the world, Governor Charlie Baker, Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders, Department of Public Health Deputy Commissioner Jennifer Barrelle, DPH Director of Bureau of Substance Addiction Services Deirdre Calvert, and other state and local officials today joined families, friends, and volunteers in planting 20,000 flags on Boston Common, signifying the Massachusetts residents who died as a result of drug overdose in the past 10 years. The Baker-Polito Administration also issued a proclamation declaring August 31st Overdose Awareness Day across the Commonwealth.

The purple flags were planted at the Common’s Liberty Mall in front of the State House to honor and remember individuals who lost their lives to overdose, acknowledge the loss felt by family and friends, raise awareness, and remove the stigma of drug-related deaths. An information booth was set up to offer addiction prevention and recovery support resources."

Franklin's awareness event is scheduled for Wednesday at 6:30 PM on the Town Common. The SAFE Coalition is hosting the event and planting 2290 flags to recognize the number of overdose deaths in MA during 2021.

You can join the remembrance event and volunteer to help set up the flags

Saturday, July 9, 2022

COVID-19: "Headed in a bad direction" yet MA "State officials will scale back the frequency of COVID data reporting"

The BA.5 version of COVID-19 has become the majority variant of the virus in America in a matter of weeks, in a troubling development that comes amid what may already be America’s second-largest wave of the pandemic.

It also comes at a time when much of the US has relaxed nearly all COVID restrictions in public and life has largely returned to normal.

“COVID-19 is very clearly not over. We’re seeing dramatic increases in the number of cases and hospitalizations in many places throughout the United States,” said Jason Salemi, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of South Florida’s College of Public Health.

As BA.5, one of the Omicron sub-variants, begins buffeting the US, “we’re headed in a bad direction”, Salemi said. “We’ve seen it coming for a while … We’ve seen it go pretty unabated.”

Continue reading The Guardian article ->

State officials said Friday they will scale back the number of times each week that they post COVID-19 data to the official dashboard from five days a week to just one, an alteration they say reflects the changing nature of the pandemic.

The data will be posted every Thursday and the change takes place next week, the Department of Public Health said in a statement.

Under the new plan, the contact tracing and clusters tabs will be removed from the COVID-19 Cases category. That data, the statement said, no longer represents the situation due to changes in investigation and tracing practices. 

Continue reading the Boston Globe article (subscription may be required) ->
Town of Franklin Health Dept COVID portal ->

Town of Franklin Health Dept COVID portal
Town of Franklin Health Dept COVID portal

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Mass. Public Health: updated guidance on masks

Mass. Public Health (@MassDPH) tweeted  Tue, Feb 15, 2022:
Massachusetts Department of Public Health releases updated face covering advisory: 

"Today (2/15/22), the Department of Public Health (DPH) released updated guidance regarding the use of face coverings and masks by individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 
Recognizing that Massachusetts is a national leader in vaccine acceptance, and in light of recent improvements in COVID-19 indicators, DPH now advises that a fully vaccinated person should wear a mask or face covering when indoors (and not in your own home) if you have a weakened immune system, if you are at increased risk for severe disease because of your age or an underlying medical condition, or if someone in your household has a weakened immune system and is at increased risk for severe disease or is unvaccinated.
Individuals who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear a face covering or mask when indoors with others to help prevent spreading COVID-19.
Individuals who have tested positive or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 must follow the isolation and quarantine guidance which includes wearing a mask in public for 5 more days after leaving isolation or quarantine on Day 5, regardless of vaccination status.
All people in Massachusetts (regardless of vaccination status) are required to continue wearing face coverings in certain settings, including on public transportation and in health care facilities.  
Please see for a complete list of venues where face coverings have remained mandatory since May 29, 2021.
Ben's guide to mask wearing - #DoYourPartFranklin
Ben's guide to mask wearing - #DoYourPartFranklin

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Oh my! omicron continues driving new record, how high will we go?

Franklin, MA COVID-19 case counts continue to be driven by the omicron variant. Two weeks ago the positivity was 8%, last week we were at 17.06%. This week the positivity rate is at 22.83%.

This week positivity rate  is at 22.83%
This week positivity rate is at 22.83%

chart for week of 1/13/22 - note scale for Y axis same as last week
chart for week of 1/13/22 - note scale for Y axis same as for last week

Remin via -> "3 things you can do to protect yourself from Omicron (vax, boost, mask!)"

Make your own data visualization from this

Boston Globe community coverage COVID-19 page ->

The CDC page for COVID-19 tracking  ->

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

“We have mask mandates in specific places and are not considering a universal mask mandate at this time”

"Arguing the state has been too hands-off in quelling the latest COVID-19 surge, Democratic state lawmakers on Tuesday pressed Governor Charlie Baker to take a more aggressive posture on testing in schools, masking rules, and public messaging. 
The leaders of a legislative committee peppered Baker and his health secretary, Marylou Sudders, with questions over a combined 75 minutes, at times engaging in testy exchanges about the governor’s turbulent distribution of masks to educators and his administration’s resistance to a universal mask mandate. 
A through-line of their requests: more."
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

"GOV. CHARLIE BAKER often says he and his political opponents will “agree to disagree.” That could have been the mantra of Tuesday’s oversight hearing of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on COVID-19 and Emergency Preparedness and Management.

As the Omicron variant of COVID-19 surges through Massachusetts, overwhelming hospitals, lawmakers monitoring the state’s response questioned Baker and Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders in a 1 1/2-hour virtual hearing. They pressed the officials on vaccination outreach, education policy, and how to help the state’s struggling health care system. "

CommonWealth Magazine coverage called the session more 'testy' than the Globe

Governor Charlie Baker spoke at a press conference on Tuesday.JONATHAN WIGGS/GLOBE STAFF
Governor Charlie Baker spoke at a press conference on Tuesday.JONATHAN WIGGS/GLOBE STAFF

Mass. has issued new guidance on when should you get a COVID test

"Massachusetts on Tuesday issued new guidance on when residents should seek COVID-19 testing, aligning the state with measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The guidance was updated as Governor Charlie Baker on Tuesday announced that the state has secured an order to get 26 million rapid antigen COVID-19 tests over the next three months.

Here’s a look at the Department of Public Health’s new guidance on COVID testing:

When should you get tested?
The state is recommending that residents get a COVID test when they’re experiencing symptoms of the virus or five days after a known close contact with someone who has tested positive."
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)
Rapid antigen test kits.JOHN TLUMACKI/GLOBE STAFF
Rapid antigen test kits.JOHN TLUMACKI/GLOBE STAFF

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Town of Franklin, MA: free COVID test kits for those who "live or work in a congregate settings"

Town of Franklin, MA (@TOFranklinMA) tweeted on Mon, Dec 27, 2021:

Free lab-based PCR testing w/ home collection is available to all Massachusetts adults who...
▪️ live or work in a congregate settings
▪️ have symptoms
▪️ had a COVID-19 exposure
▪️ have been referred for testing
Learn more and request a kit here:

Town of Franklin, MA: free COVID test kits for those who "live or work in a congregate settings"
Town of Franklin, MA: free COVID test kits for those who "live or work in a congregate settings"

Friday, December 24, 2021

Be careful this holiday season, the COVID-19 cases are climbing, and that is not good

Via Nathan Ahlgren, the updated State and Franklin numbers in Flourish

Be careful this holiday season, the COVID-19 cases are climbing, and that is not good
Be careful this holiday season, the COVID-19 cases are climbing, and that is not good

Customize your own view of the data -> 

THE MA DPH numbers as of Thursday, Dec 23, 2021 show Franklin with a 5.49 positivity rate. up about 1 each of the last 2 weeks. Not the way to go Franklin

COvid-19 cases 12/23/21
COvid-19 cases 12/23/21

The Omicron variant spreads more easily than the original virus that causes #COVID19. Help stop Omicron by using all the tools to protect yourself and others.

Learn more:
Help stop Omicron by using all the tools to protect yourself and others
Help stop Omicron by using all the tools to protect yourself and others


Friday, November 12, 2021

‘The pandemic is not over’

"Massachusetts coronavirus case numbers have lurched upward in recent days, in a worrisome development that experts say underlines the need for people to get vaccinated and to take precautions such as wearing masks in indoor public spaces.

Case numbers began rising from rock-bottom levels in early July, hit a peak in mid-September, and then declined until early this month. But in the past week or so, they began to rise again. The seven-day average of reported cases was 1,182 on Nov. 3. A week later, as of Nov. 10, it had jumped to 1,481. "

Continue reading the article online. (Subscription maybe required)

‘The pandemic is not over’
‘The pandemic is not over’

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Sen. Becca Rausch reminder on DPH vaccination rates released weekly

Sen. Becca Rausch (@Becca_Rausch) tweeted  Mon, Oct 25, 2021:
#DidYouKnow @MassDPH issues weekly #vaccination rates by town/city? 
It's true. Every Thursday.  Download here: 
Here are the overall rates in communities in my current district & those that will come into the district in 2023.
#MApoli #COVID19 #transparency
Shared from Twitter:

Sen. Becca Rausch reminder on DPH vaccination rates released weekly
Sen. Becca Rausch reminder on DPH vaccination rates released weekly

Monday, October 11, 2021

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Mass. Public Health - in-home vaccination available

"Massachusetts offers in-home vaccinations for anyone who can't travel to a vaccination location. To learn more and sign up for an in-home vaccination, call (833) 983-0485. 
Learn more about the in-home vaccination program: 
#TrustTheFacts #GetTheVax"

Shared from

Mass. Public Health - in-home vaccination available
Mass. Public Health - in-home vaccination available

Monday, September 27, 2021

Mass. Public Health: Get Outraged! Information on vaping

"Vapes come in all shapes and sizes. But most have one thing in common: nicotine. 
Get Outraged was created to help parents uncover the truth about vaping and keep kids healthy and safe. 
Learn more at " or

Shared from Twitter:

Video link ->

"Vaccines shine in preventing deaths"

Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH (@ashishkjha) tweeted on Sat, Sep 25, 2021:
"The southern surge is slowing

And cases in some Northern states rising

So it is all seasonal? Are vaccines working?

Let's look at data

Today the 10 LEAST vaccinated states had

2X the cases
3X the hospitalizations
5X the deaths

compared to 10 most vaccinated states

Thread ->

A lot of folks have been arguing the summer surge was "seasonal" And now, the northern half of US poised to get hit And if you look at states with biggest outbreaks today Alaska, ID, WY, WV, MT, KY, ND Largely not in the deep south So should all northern states worry? 2/4

While we see cases rising in northern states There are two distinct patterns here: 1. States with low vax rates getting slammed, having to ration hospital beds 2. States with high vax rates rising slowly with lots of hospital capacity And the most interesting part?

Widening gap in cases vs deaths! High vax states: 50% fewer cases per capita But 80% fewer deaths! Vaccines shine in preventing deaths So if you're worried about this fall More testing, masks will help But getting more folks vaccinated still key to avoiding bad surge End

#TrustTheFacts #GetTheVax
#TrustTheFacts #GetTheVax


Thursday, September 23, 2021

MA Public Health reminds us to practice self-care and support your mental health; Boston announces pilot program

"It's more important than ever to practice self-care and support your mental health. Relax, stay socially connected at a safe distance, and take a deep breath. 
If you're in a crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. #StopSuicide"

Shared from Twitter:

Mass. Public Health reminds us to practice self-care and support your mental health
Mass. Public Health reminds us to practice self-care and support your mental health

Franklin participates in a grant program with Medway to implement this support for 911 calls and now Boston is starting a pilot program.
"Amid a nationwide push to rethink policing strategies and reduce the use of force when possible, a new Boston program seeks to scale back police involvement in 911 mental-health calls.

Last month, Acting Mayor Kim Janey announced a pilot program encouraging greater use of mental-health workers, EMTs and trained community members during 911 mental health calls. In a city that received 10,000 such calls last year, officials are seeking to de-escalate fragile mental-health interactions while easing the strain on police resources.

“This mental-health response will help us evaluate how to deliver the best possible response for our residents when they are in crisis,” Janey said during an Aug. 5 press conference. “These investments will help connect residents and their families with the care they need. They will also help us send officers to where they are needed most.”

Franklin Police in its Annual Report section for 2020 touted the program

Saturday, August 28, 2021

COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine updates, including Franklin's vaccine stats - a quick recap

1 - Maura George (@maurageorgemd) tweeted Fri, Aug 27, 2021:
As a mom of 3 little boys, I am desperate to get my kids' childhood back to normal. As a doctor, I want data to know that what we're doing is actually effective. I was floored when I graphed these numbers from ATL schools this week. #maskmandate
Shared from Twitter:

Georgia Dept. of Public Health data ->

COVID-19 cases in Atlanta students, mask mandate
COVID-19 cases in Atlanta students, mask mandate

2. "Children’s hospitals around the country are seeing a surge in Covid-19 patients"
"As the Delta variant grips the country, children who are not yet eligible for vaccination are at higher risk of being infected — especially in places where the virus is surging. A New Orleans children’s hospital had so many Covid-19 patients that a federal “surge team” was called in to bolster an exhausted staff.

Children under 12 may have to wait until the end of the year to get vaccinated. Half of the adolescents in the U.S. have now received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, the White House said on Friday."
Via the New York Times Friday highlights->

The full article and heart rendering photos can be found ->

3 -  "Why Provincetown’s Response to Its COVID Outbreak Was So Effective"
"Source investigation complements standard contact tracing; it’s not a substitute. When outbreaks are detected, people need to be informed immediately, so they can get tested and ensure they are not unknowingly spreading the virus. Once a cluster is detected, venues should re-evaluate their COVID mitigation measures and ensure that staff are vaccinated and ventilation systems refresh indoor air at least four to six times per hour. High-risk venues should keep lists of patrons, and outreach to customers through social media can be very effective. Mandating that customers are vaccinated, as New York, San Francisco and New Orleans have done, may not suffice to prevent outbreaks. Some European countries are requiring evidence of a negative coronavirus test for unvaccinated people entering indoor entertainment venues.

The Provincetown outbreak occurred as thousands of people arrived to celebrate the Fourth of July, believing their vaccinations would protect them against infection. When infected people began feeling ill, some didn’t immediately attribute their symptoms to COVID-19 because of the widespread belief that breakthrough infections were almost impossible. After the cases emerged, the local health department’s investigation was undoubtedly helped by strong word-of-mouth communication, as many infections affected members of the gay community, a group that for decades has witnessed the effects of the AIDS pandemic. Since then, many local businesses have reassessed their COVID mitigation measures, the town reinstituted an indoor mask mandate and new cases have leveled off."
Also from the New York Times, where the full article can be found ->

4 -CNN’s Leana Wen: ‘Public health is now under attack in a way that it has not been before’

An excerpt from the full interview (which is definitely worth reading to get the full context:
"Yeah. It’s the height of American exceptionalism that we are where we are. I have family in other parts of the world where health-care workers and vulnerable elderly people are begging to get the vaccine. And here, we’re sitting on stockpiles and begging people to take the vaccine.

I think how we got here is complicated, right? I agree with the surgeon general in issuing the advisory about misinformation and disinformation — certainly that plays a big role here. There are individuals out there who are knowingly spreading misinformation. There are others who are clicking and then, unfortunately, sharing misinformation that’s leading to question that and the efficacy of vaccines. That misinformation is taking away people’s freedom to make decisions for themselves and their families.

And I think the Biden administration needs to take some responsibility here, also, for their miscalculation and misjudgment in being so uneasy about vaccine verification and relying on the honor code. Come on. Did they really think that the honor system was going to work during a pandemic when many people behaved so dishonorably? The honor system did not work. And, of course, the unvaccinated are now running around living their lives as if they are vaccinated. And that’s led to the surge that we are now seeing. We lost the powerful incentive to increase vaccines in that really important window."

5 - Via the DPH weekly updates, here is the vaccine statistics by age group for Franklin, Not that the population up to 11 years old is excluded as the vaccine is not yet authorized for them.

Boston Globe article with their coverage on this week's data

My downloaded copy filtered for Franklin data (as of 8/26/21)

The full data file can be found on the MA Gov page

Franklin's vaccine stats as of 8/26/21
Franklin's vaccine stats as of 8/26/21

Friday, August 27, 2021 #COVID19MA vaccine update - Aug 26, 2021 (@MassGov) tweeted Thu, Aug 26, 2021:
Today's #COVID19MA vaccine update:

- 10,262,940 doses shipped to MA
- 9,146,498 total doses administered, 11,417 more than yesterday
- 4,472,630 people are fully vaccinated.

Read the full report:
Shared from Twitter: #COVID19MA vaccine update #COVID19MA vaccine update

Friday, August 13, 2021

08/13/21: Let's keep it going Franklin

The Department of Public Health released new town-by-town data for coronavirus cases on Thursday, the latest set of such data showing how the virus has impacted individual communities throughout Massachusetts.

The state releases its weekly public health dashboard on Thursday of each week. 

Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required) 

Franklin OVID-19 cases in past 14 days
Franklin OVID-19 cases in past 14 days

Franklin vaccination status to date
Franklin vaccination status to date