Massachusetts - COVID-19 Covered

Massachusetts

Total Cases: 149,488 (October 25)
Fatalities: 9,839 (October 25)
Testing:
  • A list of Massachusetts COVID-19 testing sites can be found here. 

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

Essential Service Designations:

  • In conjunction with Governor Baker’s order to close all non-essential businesses, he issued a list of those that qualify as essential services: health care/public health/human services, law enforcement, public safety, first responders, food and agriculture, energy workers, water and wastewater workers, transportation and logistics workers, public works employees, communications and IT, community-based and government operations, critical manufacturing, hazardous materials and chemicals, financial services, and defense employees. (March 23)

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • Massachusetts issued mandatory safety standards for workplaces which will apply universally to all reopening workplaces. Details can be found here 
  • Massachusetts released additional reopening guidance for Child Care, Camps, and Summer Recreational Programs and Close Contact Personal Services 
  • Governor Baker announced the creation of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program, which provides unemployment benefits for individuals who are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits, including “self-employed workers, independent contractors, gig economy workers, and those with limited work history.” (April 20) 

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • The Baker-Polito Administration has awarded over $6.5 million to 13 Massachusetts organizations to develop new products to assist in the response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The new grants from the Massachusetts Manufacturing Emergency Response Team (MERT) will expand the Commonwealth’s work to drive in-state manufacturing of critical products, an effort that produced more than 11 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical pieces as of September. (October 15) 
  • Building on efforts to ensure a resilient, secure food supply chain in the Commonwealth, the Baker-Polito Administration today announced over $5.5 million in grants to address urgent food insecurity for Massachusetts residents as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. (September 30) 
  • The Baker administration announced a new grant program to help prevent and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in communities of color. Open to applicants until October 14, the $650,000 grant program is available to faith-based organizations and community groups serving Black, Latinx, and other people of color in cities and towns hardest hit by COVID-19. (September 23) 
  • Governor Baker also announced another $5 million in Massachusetts Department of Transportation and federal CARES Act funding would be made available through the Shared Streets and Spaces program, which helps create space for socially distanced commerce, dining, and walking. (September 10) 
  • Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito announced the launch of My Local MA to encourage residents of the Commonwealth to support their local economies by shopping at local Massachusetts businesses and attractions, safely – in person, online, and using curbside pickup or takeout. (August 26) 
  • The Baker administration said it has received approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to distribute $300 per week in addition to regular unemployment benefits to those who qualify. (August 25) 
  • The Baker administration announced $3.3 million in grants for combatting food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (August 18) 
  • The Baker administration announces $1.8 billion in capital funding for new public safety, food security, and information technology measures, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (August 7) 
  • The Baker administration announces $3 million in food security grants to help those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. (July 22) 
  • The Baker administration has extended the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures until October 17. (July 21) 
  • The Baker administration announced a $275 million COVID-19 relief package to generate economic growth in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. (June 26) 
  • The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a $1.1 billion budget bill to help cover economic hardships associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. (June 25) 
  • Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced that the city will add another $5 million to its Rental Relief Fund to provide aid to residents who are struggling to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic. (June 3) 
  • Governor Baker signed into law a bill (H 4647) protecting homeowners and tenants from eviction and foreclosure during the COVID-19 emergency. (April 20 

Business Support & Resources:

  • Governor Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Senate President Karen Spilka, and House Speaker Robert DeLeo today announced an extension of administrative tax relief measures for local businesses that have been impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, especially in the restaurant and hospitality sectors. (September 15)
  • The Baker administration announced $20 million will be allocated to support social services and small businesses through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. (July 16) 
  • Governor Baker announced additional administrative tax relief measures for Massachusetts businesses, especially those in the restaurant and hospitality sectors. (June 19 
  • Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced the city will set up a $6 million fund to support the city’s small businesses as they reopen. (May 26) 
  • Governor Baker announced tax penalty relief to support small businesses, waiving any late-file or late-pay penalties for certain taxes. (March 23) 
  • Governor Baker also announced a $10 million small business recovery loan fund to provide financial relief to those affected by COVID-19. The fund will provide emergency capital up to $75,000 to Massachusetts-based businesses with under 50 full- and part-time employees, including non-profits.  (March 16)  

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Reopening:

  • Due to rising cases of COVID-19 connected to indoor ice hockey, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health issued a new public health order prohibiting indoor ice rinks and ice skating facilities from operating from October 23 to November 7. (October 22)  
  • Baker-Polito Administration announced a comprehensive set of resources, known as the Eviction Diversion Initiative, to support tenants and landlords during the financial challenges caused by the pandemic. (October 12) 
  • The Baker administration today announced new guidance that allows safe indoor visitation to resume in nursing homes and rest homes, and further expands indoor visitation options in assisted living residences starting Friday, September 25. (September 24) 
  • Governor Baker is expected to sign executive orders that address outdoor dining and arcade reopenings. (September 10) 
  • Massachusetts cities and towns at lower risk of coronavirus could soon see restrictions limiting business relax, a move Governor Baker and business leaders say could help save struggling restaurants. (September 11) 
  • Governor Baker announced new set of initiatives and stricter statewide rules on private gatherings to combat the spread of COVID-19. (August 7) 
  • Massachusetts implemented a new travel order effective August 1 for in-state residents and outofstate travelers. (August 1) 
  • The Baker administration announced a new #MaskUpMA campaign to remind residents to continue wearing face-coverings in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. (July 31) 
  • The Baker administration announced that Phase 3 of the reopening plan for most of the commonwealth will begin on July 6. The City of Boston will enter Phase 3 on July 13. (July 2) 
  • The Baker administration announced new self-quarantine instruction of 14 days for anyone traveling to Massachusetts, excluding a list of certain states. (June 30) 

SCHOOL PLANNING

K-12:

  • Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced that the city will delay plans to reopen schools after the COVID-19 positivity rate climbed higher than four percent. (October 7) 
  • Governor Baker announced 70% of Massachusetts schools will offer hybrid or in-person learning this fall. (August 18)
  • The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education releases guidelines for reopening schools. (August 12) 
  • Massachusetts schools will be allowed to start ten days later so districts can have more time to prepare for the school year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (July 27) 
  • The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issued “Initial Fall School Reopening Guidance” for in-person learning. (June 25) 
  • The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issued preliminary reopening guidance for schools in the fall, including required masks and limiting class sizes to 10. Details can be found here. (June 8)

State Higher Education:

  • A list of Massachusetts universities and colleges planning to reopen in the fall can be found here. 
  • Harvard University announced that all classes will be held online this fall. (July 6) 
  • UMass Amherst students will have the option of living on campus or at home as nearly all of the university’s courses will be taught remotely this fall. (June 29) 
  • A group of Massachusetts colleges and universities have submitted their recommendations for a four phased approach to reopening campuses in the Fall. Details can be found here. (May 27)   

 

Giving Opportunities

April 20, 2020

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency is requesting surgical/procedure masks, N95/N99 masks (respirators), face masks with integrated shield, PAPRs, goggles, gloves, protective suits/gowns, booties/shoe covers, head covers, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes.

Produced by Marathon Strategies, an independent PR firm that delivers intelligent communications and research solutions. For information, email Phil Singer at COVID-19@marathonstrategies.com