As of yesterday, March 19th, there were 8 cases of COVID-19 in Cambridge. Learn more here:https://bit.ly/2QvnYUU
There are 413 cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, including 144 cases in Middlesex County. 2,666 people have been tested in the state. Today, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced the first death from COVID-19 in Massachusetts, a man from Suffolk County in his late 80s. Learn more here:http://bit.ly/2WxWkL1
Last night, the City of Cambridge declared a state of emergency, which will allow for the expedited use of resources to respond to COVID-19. Cambridge was also awarded with $100,000 in emergency relief funding from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Learn more here: https://bit.ly/33AyCyS
Today, the city issued a temporary emergency order to to close the following types of establishments: tanning, nail salons, hair salons, barber shops, bodywork therapy and massage establishments, tattoo and body piercing parlors, eyebrow threading establishments, martial arts, group dance, and group exercise activities, health clubs, spas, gymnasiums, and fitness clubs. This order will take effect on Monday the 23rd. Learn more here: https://bit.ly/398uHL0.
Local restaurants in Central Square and Harvard Square will begin providing bagged or boxed lunches and dinners to shelters and programs in the city that need meals. If any restaurants would like to support this initiative, contact the City of Cambridge's Purchasing Department at email@example.com before 9 a.m. on Monday.
Updates on State Action
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Emergency Supply Hub has been established by MassBio with MassMEDIC, the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association, and the Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals. This will coordinate efforts to bring supplies and resources to health care institutions. Learn more here:https://www.massbio.org/news/blog/calling-on-all-life-sciences-and-healthcare-organizations-to-donate-supplies-to-fight-covid-19-151858
The first large scale testing site in Massachusetts has been set up at the CVS in Shrewsbury.
The Attorney General's Office has prohibited price gouging on goods that are necessary for public health and safety. This will prevent the price gouging of things like hand sanitizer, face masks, and gloves. Learn more here: https://www.mass.gov/news/ag-healey-issues-emergency-regulation-prohibiting-price-gouging-of-critical-goods-and-services
Today, Governor Baker announced a $200 million infusion in cash at MassHealth. This funding will go to MassHealth and safety-net hospitals.
The state is filing a waiver request for MassHealth that would allow for fast-tracked enrollment, give more authority to Physician's Assistants, allow out of state providers to practice in MA, and allow the use of non-traditional care sites to have surge capacity.
MassHealth and the Health Connector will protect coverage for all individuals enrolled as of March 18th until a month after the national epidemic has been declared over. No paperwork will be required.
The Federal Income Tax filing deadline has been moved to July 15th. Learn more here: https://bit.ly/2WyPPar
Small Business Updates
Starting today, the Department of Revenue will waive late-file or late-pay penalties for returns and payment due for meals and room occupancy taxes until May 31st. Learn more here: http://bit.ly/2vxefGl
Governor Baker announced today that MassDevelopment's Board of Directors will meet next week to vote on an additional $10 million added to the Small Business Recovery Loan Fund.
Eversource is offering extended payment arrangements to its small businesses customers. They are offering $0 down payments and a one year payment arrangement. The first payment would not be due until June 1st.
All non-commercial vehicle inspection stickers that expire on March 31st will now be extended until May 31st. All non-commercial vehicle inspection stickers that expire on April 30th will now have to be inspected by June 30th. Any motorcycle inspection stickers that were set to expire on May 31st will now need to be inspected by June 30th. Learn more here: https://bit.ly/2xcfwTJ
Today, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education recommended that all local school districts continue to pay hourly employees.
If you would like to see previous COVID-19 updates, go here: https://www.decker4rep.com/news/ and as always, do not hesitate to reach out to me at Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov with questions and concerns.