As the Department of Public Health 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 328 cases of COVID-19. The State Public Health Laboratory has tested 2208 individuals in the Commonwealth: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-cases-quarantine-and-monitoring
- Today, the House of Representatives and the Senate voted to pass legislation that grants certain workers a waiver from the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits. This legislation applies to individuals who have become separated from work as a result of circumstances relating to or resulting from the outbreak of COVID-19 or the effects of the Governor’s March 10, 2020 declaration of a State of Emergency. For more information and to file a claim, visit: https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-unemployment-and-coronavirus-covid-19.
- All early education centers and daycares in Massachusetts will close starting Monday, March 23. The state will set up a program to provide childcare for healthcare, first responders, and other critical employees who have to go to work. The Department of Early Education and Care says it will continue to pay subsidized rates regardless of whether or not a center is open – parents will not lose their subsidy.
- There will be administrative tax relief measures for small local businesses impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, especially in the restaurant and hospitality sector. This tax relief includes postponing the collection of regular sales tax, meals tax, and room occupancy taxes due in March, April and May. These taxes will now be due on June 20.
- Eversource has announced that they are postponing disconnections for nonpayments for residential and business customers across their electric, natural gas, and water operations.
- You are able to complete the Census online, by phone, or by mail. The Census has paused field operations for the 2020 Census until at least April 1. Learn more on this order: https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2020/operational-update.html
- The Massachusetts Trial Courts are closed to the public, except for emergency through April 6: https://www.mass.gov/alerts/supreme-judicial-court-restricts-court-appearances-to-emergency-matters#undefined
- MassDOT is extending the expiration date of certain credentials to reduce the number of customers in service centers and AAA locations. Learn more: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/rmv-covid-19-information
- Mass Cultural Council has put forward five items they will be doing to help the cultural sector in managing financial disruptions. Learn more: https://massculturalcouncil.org/blog/an-update-to-our-response-to-covid-19/
In addition to these updates, my office is still accessible so please continue to reach out to my office 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 Or call 2-1-1.
Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html