As we continue to move through Massachusetts phased reopening, I wanted to share with you the new information from Needham, Dover, Medfield, and across the Commonwealth:
- In Massachusetts, there are a total of 109,400 cases of COVID-19 and a total of 1,161,454 individual tests (molecular testing) 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.
- The Department of Public Health is monitoring the presence of mosquito-borne diseases in Massachusetts, including West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). Currently, Massachusetts has found 16 positive samples of EEE in Mosquitos in Franklin and Plymouth Counties and 19 positive samples of WNV in Mosquitoes in Suffolk, Middlesex and Norfolk Counties. For more information, click here.
- Notwithstanding significant budget challenges, the Legislature recently reached a tentative agreement to fully fund Chapter 70 school funding and local aid for Fiscal Year 2021. The Chapter 70 funding is calculated using updated enrollment and inflation data, which would provide an additional $107M in aid statewide over FY20.
- Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a bill to support resiliency in healthcare. This legislation is an immediate response to identified problems and newly tested solutions. For more information, click here.
- Today, the House of Representatives is meeting in formal session to debate H.4912 An Act creating a 2050 roadmap to a clean and thriving commonwealth.
- CLARIFICATION: Tuesday’s edition of the Tuesday and Thursday Report inadvertently left out Rhode Island from the list of states exempted from the new travel restrictions. The following states have been exempted from the new travel restrictions that will begin August 1: New York, New Jersey, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Hawaii, and Rhode Island. For more information on this travel restriction. click here.
- The Department of Agricultural Resources warns to not plant any unsolicited seeds that you may receive in the mail. Many residents of the Commonwealth have reported receiving these packages and are being asked to send them to a lab for identification and processing. If you receive these seeds, please fill out the form here and follow the instructions provided.
- The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has added additional staff training days to the fall to ensure educators and staff are prepared for a safe and successful reopening of schools. School districts now have 10 additions days at the start of the school year to prepare. For more information, click here.
- The Charles River Center 5K Run/1 Mile Walk will be taking place virtually this year. Individuals and teams can sign up and run or walk and submit their time during the week of Sunday September 20 to Sunday, September 27. For more information and to register, click here.
- In Needham, the Needham Health Department is providing signs for local businesses to help enforce face cover requirements. Businesses are not required to post these signs. These signs can be printed here or you can contact Tara Gurge to deliver a copy to your business.
- In Dover, the Dover Cultural Council is seeking new members. The cultural council supports the local community by awarding grants for local cultural enrichments programs. To learn more about the cultural council how to become a member, click here.
- In Medfield, the Town has opened the Affordable Home Ownership Lottery for a 3 bedroom home at 4 John Crowder Road. By the Town’s request this opportunity is offered to households needing 3 bedrooms. For more information, click here.
Reopening Updates – Phase 3: Vigilant
- On Monday, July 7, the state entered into the first step of Phase 3 in Massachusetts Reopening. This includes: casino gaming floors, horse racing tracks, indoor recreational and athletic fields, fitness centers and gyms, museums, indoor historic spaces, aquariums, outdoor theaters and performance venues, outdoor event space, indoor event space, indoor non-athletic instructional classes, indoor recreational businesses, movie and TV production, sightseeing and other organized tours, movie theaters, and post-secondary, higher ed, vocational tech, and occupational schools regular operations.
- If you have questions, input, or comments regarding the Reopening Massachusetts plan, you can submit comments online. These comments can be used by the Administration to support efforts to methodically reopen the economy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for the form.
- 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.
- 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 8 AM-7 PM & Saturday from 10 AM-2 PM.)
- 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.
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: https://stories.opengov.com/needhamma/published/lP3WUJtv_
Medfield Updates: http://www.town.medfield.net/1860/Coronavirus-Info-COVID-19
Dover Updates: http://doverma.org/AlertCenter.aspx?AID=Dover-COVID19-Updates-Information-3
Department of Public Health: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-updates-and-information, call 2-1-1, or text COVIDMA to 888-777.
Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html