Massachusetts - COVID-19 Covered

Massachusetts

Total Cases: 118,657 (August 4)
Tests Administered: 1,226,852 (August 3)
Fatalities: 8,648 (August 4)
Testing:
  • A list of Massachusetts COVID-19 testing sites can be found here. 
  • The Baker-Polito administration announced new free testing site locations in eight communities, under the “Stop the Spread” initiative. (July 8) 

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:

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • The Baker-Polito Administration announces $3 million in food security grants to help those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. (July 22) 
  • The Baker-Polito Administration has extended the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures until October 17. (July 21) 
  • The Baker-Polito Administration announced $20 million in rental and mortgage assistance for Massachusetts residents affected by COVID-19 pandemic. (June 30) 
  • The Baker Administration announced a $275 million COVID-19 relief package to generate economic growth in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. (June 26) 
  • The Massachusetts House passed a $1.1 billion budget bill to help cover economic hardships associated with the coronavirus 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)
  • The Baker Administration announced the launch of the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation through the federal CARES ACT. (May 21)
  • Governor Baker announced $56 million in aid “to combat urgent food security” for Massachusetts families who have been affected by COVID-19. (May 17)
  • The Baker Administration will distribute up to $502 million from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund to cities and towns in Massachusetts to aid in their COVID-19 response effort. (May 14)
  • The US Department of Health and Human Services has awarded more than $505,000 to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to support small rural hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic. (April 22)
  • 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)
  • Governor Baker signed into law a bill (H.4647) protecting homeowners and tenants from eviction and foreclosure during the COVID-19 emergency. (April 20)
  • Governor Baker announced the implementation of new federal unemployment benefits resulting from the CARES Act, including an additional $600 a week in unemployment compensation, as well as a 13-week extension on benefits. (April 9)
  • Governor Baker ordered the Department of Public Utilities to prohibit utility companies from shutting off gas, electric, and water utility service to any customer for failure to pay a bill until the State of Emergency is lifted. (March 25)

Business Support & Resources:

  • The Baker-Polito 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 Hogan 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-filed or late-pay penalties for certain taxes. (March 23)
  • The US Small Business Administration has approved a Massachusetts Disaster Declaration, allowing small businesses in the state suffering “substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus” to seek low-interest, federal disaster loans to provide them with working capital. (March 18)
  • 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:

  • Massachusetts implemented a new travel order effective August 1 for in-state residents and outofstate travelers. (August 1) 
  • The Baker-Polito Administration announces a new #MaskUpMA campaign to remind residents to continue wearing face-coverings in order to stop COVID-19 spread. (July 31) 
  • The Baker-Polito administration announced a new travel order, effective August 1, which includes self-quarantine and completion of “Massachusetts Travel Form.” (July 24) 
  • The Baker-Polito 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) 
  • Office of Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito announce new self-quarantine instruction of 14 days for anyone traveling to Massachusetts, excluding a list of certain states. (June 30) 
  • Beginning June 22, Step Two of Phase Two of Massachusetts’ reopening will allow the reopening of indoor table service at restaurants, close contact personal services with restrictions, and office space openings at 50% capacity. (June 19)
    • Step Two of Phase Two will also include the return of regular service on certain Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MTBA) lines, and increased service on other lines. (June 22)
  • Pursuant to Phase Two of Massachusetts’ reopening plan, beginning June 8, certain businesses may reopen “with contingencies,” including retail, childcare facilities and day camps, and outdoor service at restaurants. (June 6)
  • Effective May 18, Massachusetts will transition from a Stay at Home Advisory to a “Safer at Home” Advisory which instructs citizens to stay home “unless they are headed to a newly opened facility or activity.” (May 18)
  • As part of Phase One of “Reopening Massachusetts,” manufacturing facilities and construction sites may open May 18. (May 18)
  • Beginning May 7, Massachusetts golf courses can resume operations if they maintain strict social distancing guidelines. (May 7)

SCHOOL PLANNING

K-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:

  • 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 list of Massachusetts universities and colleges planning to reopen in the fall can be found here. 
  • 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 Oportunities

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