Hi Friends. This is Mayor Mike Cahill with a Monday night update. This evening, I want to share updates on COVID-19 trends, on testing, and on vaccinations.
First, according to state Department of Public Health data, in the first 25 days of this new year, 25 Beverly residents have lost their lives to COVID-19. Let’s please keep them and their loved ones in our thoughts and prayers tonight. On a hopeful note, after a significant spike in people hospitalized locally with Covid throughout and after the holidays, these numbers have leveled off and trended downward for the past two weeks. As best I understand where this leaves us, we need to keep being thoughtful in our actions – wear masks whenever we interact with others, especially indoors, keep a six foot distance, don’t get together indoors with people outside our family, and wash our hands frequently.
Second, I have been asked about local testing opportunities. We are evaluating available resources and hope to be able to offer some additional testing sites and dates soon. In the meantime, please know that the state funded Stop the Spread sites in Salem and Lynn (and for that matter all Stop the Spread sites throughout the state) are meant for you and me. You can find information for all these test sites on the COVID page of our city of Beverly website – www.beverlyma.gov Please take advantage of this state funded testing, free to all Massachusetts residents, any time you feel the need to get tested.
Third, vaccines. As you likely know, the federal government is working to increase the manufacture and distribution of vaccines to states. Massachusetts is currently only receiving about 80,000 vaccine doses per week, a number that hopefully will increase many times over in coming weeks. The state, and we in Beverly, are all working to prepare and set up the vaccination infrastructure necessary to get vaccines in the arms of every resident of this state as soon as possible. So that, once the flow of vaccines is wide open, we can collectively make it happen.
Locally, the state is about to open a regional site at the Double Tree Hotel in Danvers. Further, Beverly and Salem Hospitals will each be opening clinics for residents whose primary care doctors are part of each hospital’s system. These clinics are intended to be open for the beginning of Phase II. Please note if you are unsure when you will be eligible to get vaccinated, this information can be found on the state website’s COVID-19 page – at www.mass.gov
Further, we in Beverly are working cooperatively with neighboring cities and towns and hope to set up several regional vaccine clinics; it is my understanding that each resident will have multiple options for where to get vaccinated once eligible. There are many moving pieces and we learn more each day. I will continue to do my best to keep information flowing and help each of you navigate this vaccination process.
Please reach out as you have questions. And please do stay vigilant. There are good days ahead for us. Let’s do everything we can to help each other get to the other side of this pandemic. And in the meantime, please reach out and help friends, family members, and neighbors find hope, find good, and find joy in each day and in every way that we can. Thank you, All. I hope you have a good evening.