As the COVID-19 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 are a total of 90,084 cases of COVID-19 and a total of 501,486 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.
- The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) has developed an interactive map of COVID-19 test site locations in the Commonwealth. To view this map, click here.
- On Wednesday, May 20, the House of Representatives passed legislation authorizing up to $1.7 billion in spending for the improvement of information technology equipment and related projects in Massachusetts, which will be even more crucial as we work to overcome this pandemic. This legislation includes $650 million in IT needs, including $40 million in education grants to public schools to enhance remote learning environments and services. The bill now moves to the Senate.
- On Tuesday, May 26, Representative Garlick 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 11:00 AM-12:00 PM and 1:00 PM-2:00 PM. Meetings can be conducted via Zoom or phone call. To sign up for a slot click here.
- In Needham, the Annual Town Election will be held on Tuesday, May 26, 2020. You may vote by absentee for this election instead of voting in person. You may apply for an absentee ballot by sending a signed request to the Town Clerk’s office or filling out the absentee ballot application, available here, and dropping it off at the drop box by Town Hall. Ballot applications must be received by tomorrow, May 22 at 12:00 PM. For more information, click here.
- In Needham, the Select Board voted to host the June 8, 2020 Town Meeting at the Memorial Field Parking Lot at 5:00 PM. The rain dates for the meeting are June 10 and June 11. For more information, click here.
- In Medfield, the Medfield Coalition for Suicide Prevention invites community members to join their 2020 Medfield Shows Their Heart campaign. They are promoting resources, information, and events as part of their efforts to promote mental health and reduce stigma. To access this information visit their Facebook page, here.
- In Dover, the Dover Town Library is creating a film for the Dover-Sherborn High School graduating Class of 2020. Parents, teachers, students, and community members are welcome to film a short message of luck and congratulations to the senior class, then email it to Angie Howes by June 3 at 1:00 PM. For more information, click here.
Reopening Updates – Phase 1: Start
- We are currently in Phase 1. The first step of Phase 1 allows construction, manufacturing, and places of worship to reopen under sector-specific guidance that details necessary safety measures.
- To learn more about the reopening process and to read the guidance, click here.
- The second step of Phase 1 will begin on May 25 and will allow lab space, office space, limited personal services, and retail to reopen in the coming weeks. You can read the sector-specific protocols and best practices for these services at mass.gov/reopening.
- The personal services that will be permitted to reopen are hair salons and barbershops, car washes, and pet grooming services.
- 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.
- 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