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 58,302 cases of COVID-19 and a total of 254,500 tests have been performed. You can access a summary of case details and lab testing and cases by hospital facility and additional COVID-19 response reporting on the dashboard here.
- Today, Governor Baker extended his emergency order requiring non-essential businesses to keep their physical workplaces and facilities closed until May 18. This order also extends the ban on gatherings of more than 10 people until May 18.
- Today, the Department of Public Health announced that the stay-at-home advisory will continue to remain in effect. Residents are encouraged to stay at home and avoid unnecessary travel. Those that are considered high risk should limit social interactions with others as much as possible.
- Today, the Governor announced the formation of the Reopening Advisory Board, which will be co-chaired by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kenneally. This board, which is comprised of public health officials, members of the business community, and municipal officials from across Massachusetts, is charged with advising the Administration on strategies and developing a plan to reopen the economy in phases based on health and safety metrics.
- The Department of Unemployment Assistance is offering virtual town halls that provide information on how to apply for unemployment assistance. These town halls take place every day and will take you through the step by step process of applying for unemployment. To learn more, click here.
- The Children’s Trust of Massachusetts is now providing free parenting resources during the COVID-19 outbreak, including its digital, evidence-based parenting resource, All Babies Cry. To learn more, click here.
- Today, Comcast announced that they will extend their comprehensive COVID-19 response policies to June 30, 2020. This includes no disconnects and waiving late fees, Xfinity WiFi free for everyone, pausing their data plan, and extending their internet essentials offer. Click here to learn more.
- Yesterday, the Attorney General’s office released guidance on protecting the rights of people with disabilities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read the guidance here: https://www.mass.gov/doc/covid-19-disability-rights-guidance/download.
- In Needham, the Board of Health adopted an emergency order requiring residents over the age of 5 to wear face coverings indoors. The use of face coverings is also mandated in the common areas of commercial and residential building complexes. Face coverings do not replace social distancing and you must still maintain a 6-foot distance from others while wearing a mask. To read the order, click here.
- In Dover, Dr. Kay Petersen from Dover Board of Health has released a video discussing hitting the plateau in Massachusetts, the success of social distancing, masks, and more. To watch, click here.
- In Medfield, the Medfield Employers and Merchants Organization (MEMO) is holding a Gift Card-A-Palooza. To enter the Gift Card-A-Palooza you can purchase gift cards from participating businesses to enter into a grand prize. To learn more, 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.
- If you do not qualify for traditional unemployment benefits but have lost your job due to COVID-19, you may qualify for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance under the federal CARES Act. To learn more, click here.
- To apply for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)benefits call Project Bread’s Food Source Hotline at 1-800-645-8333 (M-F from 8am-7pm & Saturday from 10am-2pm.)
- The WIC (Women, Infants, & Children Nutrition) program provides families with healthy foods, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and referrals to healthcare and other services for families. To check your eligibility and apply for WIC, click here.
- 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