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 42,944 cases of COVID-19 and a total of 180,462 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.
- Yesterday, the House passed legislation to require long-term care and housing facilities to report and track COVID-19 positive cases and mortalities. This is part of the House’s work to put in place plans for older adults in congregate care settings.
- Today, the Administration announced expanded access to high-speed internet for unserved cities and towns throughout Massachusetts that do not yet have a completed last-mile broadband network. These communities will get a temporary 250 megabit per second wireless hotspot, allowing increased broadband access for residents, families, and students impacted by COVID-19. For more information, visit: https://broadband.masstech.org/wifi.
- Today, the Administration announced the Community Health Care Center COVID-19 Testing initiative in partnership with Quest Diagnostics and Mass League of Community Health Centers. Community health centers in areas of high need with the ability to increase testing capacities will receive test kids from Quest. These will increase testing capacity for community health facilities located in Boston, Lowell, Quincy, Fall River, Provincetown, and Worcester.
- If you are in need of health insurance, the Massachusetts Health Connector has extended enrollment for uninsured residents through May 25. If you need coverage that starts May 1, you must apply by tomorrow, April 23. Click here to learn more.
- The Department of Early Education and Care, in partnership with the WGBH Educational Foundation, has created a media-rich website of educational resources to help support adults who teach, nurture, and care for children from birth to age five. These resources were developed by a team of early childhood experts, educators, and parents and they are available in both Spanish and English. To access these resources, please 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 11AM-12:15PM and 1:00PM-2:15PM. Meetings can be conducted via Zoom or phone call. To sign up for a slot click here.
- In Needham, Youth and Family Services and Aging Services are now offering a Phone Pal Program. Students in grades 6-12 can sign up to make phone calls to older adults in Needham to check in on them and create new friendships. If you are a parent of a student looking to participate, contact Sara Shine at email@example.com and if you are a senior looking to participate contact Aicha Kelley at Akelley@needhamma.gov.
- In Dover, the Director of the Council on Aging, Janet Claypoole, has provided an update on the work the COA is doing to address COVID-19. To watch, click here.
- In Medfield, the Board of Selectmen voted to extend the deadline for 4th quarter real estate tax bills to June 1, 2020. Payments can be submitted via the Town website, by placing a check in the green drop off boxes behind the Town House, or by mail. For more information, 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