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 18,941 cases of COVID-19 and a total of 94,958 tests have been performed. In addition to these numbers, DPH has started reporting data based on race and ethnicity.
- Following the announcement of new guidance for the federal CARES Act, the state will start disbursing an additional $600 per week to individuals collecting benefits from regular unemployment compensation. Eligible claimants do not need to do anything for the additional $600 to be added to their weekly benefit amount. The federal guidance also allows self-employed, contract, gig, and other workers not covered under traditional unemployment insurance to apply for and access unemployment benefit programs. The Department of Unemployment Assistance expects to start accepting those claims on or about April 30, 2020. For information on these changes, click here. To file an unemployment claim, visit here. If you have trouble filing a claim, please contact my office for assistance.
- Today, the Administration announced details for the field medical station at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, called the Boston Hope Medical Center. This facility will be led by Partners Health Care in collaboration with Boston Health Care for the Homeless to provide an additional 1,000 beds for COVID-19 patients. If you are a healthcare provider, you can apply to work at the Boston Hope Medica Center here.
- Today, the Governor announced three new orders to continue to support the Commonwealth’s healthcare workforce. The first eases licensing restrictions for foreign-educated doctors to allow medical practice in the Commonwealth. The second expedites licensure of nursing students and graduates. The third mandates all insurers to cover all medically required costs of COVID-19 treatment in out-of-network hospitals or other medical facilities with no charge to the patient.
- In Needham, the Annual Town Election will take place on May 26, 2020. If you need to register to vote for this election, you must do so before Friday, May 15 at 8:00 PM. If you plan to vote absentee, your application must be received by the Town Clerk before 12:00 PM on Monday, May 25, 2020. Any person taking precaution related to COVID-19 can vote by absentee. You may also vote early by mail, and you must submit an application by 12:00 PM Monday, May 25, 2020. To learn more, click here.
- In Dover, the Chief of Police Peter McGowan shared a COVID-19 update on how the Dover Police Department is handling COVID-19. You can watch it here.
- In Medfield, the Town of Medfield has a dedicated page for Small Businesses as a resource in COVID-19. To visit this page, 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