As the COVID-19 Response Command Center and other agencies and organizations provide updates on COVID-19, I wanted to share with you the new information being reported:
- In Massachusetts, there is a total of 41,199 cases of COVID-19 and a total of 175,372 tests have been performed. You can access a summary of case details and lab testing, cases by municipality, and cases by hospital facility and additional COVID-19 response reporting on the dashboard here.
- On Monday, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program launched. This means self-employed individuals, those seeking part-time employment, claimants with insufficient work history, and claimants that have been laid from churches and religious institutions, will be eligible to file unemployment claims. Click here, to learn more.
- On Monday, the Governor signed legislation into law to protect homeowners and tenants from evictions and foreclosures during the COVID-19 emergency order. The legislation can be found here.
- Today, Governor Baker issued an emergency order extending the closure of all public and private schools through the end of the school year and the closure of all non-emergency child care programs until June 29, 2020. For more information, click here. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will issue guidelines for schools to support remote learning efforts throughout the school year, including expanded STEM learning.
- The Department of Higher Education is deferring scheduled repayments for its No-Interest Loan Program for a duration of four months to support relief efforts during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- The US Department of Agriculture has approved Massachusetts to operate Pandemic EBT (P-EBT). This additional food assistance will provide much-needed relief for the approximately 500,000 Massachusetts students who have lost access to free or reduced-price meals during school closures. For more information, click here.
- On Monday, April 27, I will be offering another opportunity for virtual office hours. There will be 15-minute slots for constituents to sign up for and share their issues and concerns between 11 AM-12:15 PM and 1:00 PM-2:15 PM. Meetings can be conducted via Zoom or phone call. To sign up for a slot click here.
- In Needham, the Newton-Needham Chamber announced that the annual Street Fair in June will be canceled due to COVID-19.
- In Dover, the Board of Selectmen has voted to waive interest and fees on any bill due after March 9 and paid by June 29, including property tax bills. They also voted to extend the filing deadline for property tax exemptions and deferral applications to June 1.
- In Medfield, the Medfield Board of Health issued a memo regarding their recommendations for facial coverings at essential businesses. The Board of Health recommends that employees and customers of essential businesses wear cloth face coverings over their mouth and nose. To read the memo, click here.
- If you or someone you know is at risk for sexual and domestic violence, service providers are still accessible. You can find local services by clicking here. You can also call SafeLink, the statewide domestic violence hotline, at 1-877-785-2020. SafeLink can provide resources and support services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
- To file an unemployment claim, visit here. If you have trouble filing a claim, please contact my office for assistance.
- Anyone feeling overwhelmed with sadness, anxiety or stress, or who wants to harm themselves or others, can access the mental health, emotional support, and suicide prevention program Call2Talk by dialing 2-1-1. Call2Talk is also available by calling 508-532-2255 or by texting C2T to 741741.
- Text COVIDMA to 888-777 to receive daily text updates from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Please remember social distancing is the most effective tool to contain the spread of COVID-19.
In addition to these updates, my office is still accessible so please continue to reach out and we will get back to you.
Our local boards of health, the Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control are continuing to maintain websites with the most updated information regarding COVID-19 that you can access here:
Needham Health Department Updates: http://www.needhamma.gov/85/Public-Health
Medfield Updates: http://www.town.medfield.net/1860/Coronavirus-Info-COVID-19
Dover Updates: http://doverma.org/
Department of Public Health: https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19, call 2-1-1, or text COVIDMA to 888-777.
Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html