January 7, 2021 – The Town of Needham and Needham Public Health today provided the following update regarding COVID-19.
State DPH COVID-19 Numbers
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reports the number of positive cases and deaths daily on the state's COVID-19 dashboard.
Town-specific case numbers are published by the state every Thursday.
- 926 Needham cases to date (1/7/2021). This is an increase of 88 cases since the 12/31/20 report. Needham is in the YELLOW category this week. Read the state’s Weekly Public Health Report here.
- 95 Coronavirus deaths in Needham to date (12/31/20).
First Responders to Begin Receiving Vaccine Monday
Needham Public Health will begin vaccinating police and fire personnel serving Needham and surrounding communities on Monday, January 11th. Please note, Needham Public Health is not able to offer the vaccine to other categories of individuals or the general population at this time. Needham Public Health is following the distribution plan laid out by the state. You can read more about the state’s vaccine distribution plan here.
Governor Extends Business Restrictions, Gathering Limits
The Governor today extended the current business restrictions until January 24th. Capacity at restaurants, offices, places of worship, retail locations, grocery stores, gyms, and more will remain at 25 percent based on these restrictions, which have been in place since December 26, 2020. Gathering restrictions also limit the number of people at private homes, event venues and public spaces to 25 people outdoors and 10 people indoors.
MBTA Service Changes Effective January 24th; No Weekend Commuter Rail in Needham
The MBTA today said that beginning January 23, 2021, Commuter Rail will only offer weekend service on the Newburyport/Rockport, Framingham/Worcester, Fairmount, Providence, and Middleborough Lines. There will be no weekend service on the Needham Commuter Rail Line. In addition, the MBTA announced that the reduced Service Schedule currently in place will remain through January 22, 2021. Read more about the scheduled changes here.
Funding Available for Small Business Support
Are you a small business owner who needs help during the pandemic? The state is offering small business relief grants through the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC). The deadline to apply is next Friday Jan. 15. This new round of grants (up to $75,000) focuses on hard hit industry sectors. Sector preferences include restaurants/bars, independent retailers, indoor recreation and entertainment, personal services and event support companies. Businesses that already applied to MGCC's first small business relief program from October do not need to reapply to the new program. All applications in the existing program are currently being reviewed. Businesses that applied through the first program will be notified of their status by Jan. 18. More info here.
State Updates COVID-19 Dashboard
The state this week rolled out a new interactive Covid-19 dashboard that allows the public to better sort and understand cases, trends, hospitalizations and deaths. All of the same data previously provided is still available, including: data on confirmed and probable cases, testing, hospitalizations, hospital capacity and deaths. Some information previously shown in the weekly dashboard is also included: age groups, race and ethnicity, and sex of cases, hospitalizations and deaths; and city/town specific metrics.