Monday 3/23: COVID-19 Updates and Resources

I write to you with important updates on COVID-19, including information on the stay at home advisory announced this morning.

As of today, there are 20 cases of COVID-19 in Cambridge. Learn more here: https://bit.ly/2J2BnQj. There are currently 777 cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, including 232 in Middlesex County. 8922 patients total have been tested in the state. A total of 9 COVID-19 patients in the state have passed away. Learn more here: http://bit.ly/2WxWkL1 As a reminder, do not be alarmed as numbers of COVID-19 cases continue to increase over the next couple of weeks as testing increases.

I was proud in my capacity as House Chair of the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery to participate in the Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery’s policy forum tonight, organized by MOAR’s Executive Director Maryanne Frangules. The forum brought together policymakers from the city and state level, providers, advocates and, most importantly, those in recovery who shared their concerns and success stories in managing safe access to recovery services during the COVID outbreak.

Cambridge Updates:

Starting today, City of Cambridge basketball courts, playgrounds, tennis courts and tot lots are closed to the public until further notice.

Resident and Visitor Parking Permits that were set to expire on March 31st will now be honored until further notice. 2020 Parking Permit application processing, parking ticket hearings, and ticket dispute processing are on hold until City offices reopen.

State Action Updates:

Earlier today, Governor Baker issued a two-week stay at home advisory, starting at NOON tomorrow, March 24th, and ending on April 7th. You can read the full order here: https://bit.ly/39fH1sM

All non-essential businesses will be required to close their physical operations. Below is a list of essential services that will be allowed to remain open:

  • Healthcare, Public Health, and Human Services
  • Law enforcement, safety, and first responders
  • Food and agriculture businesses
  • Energy
  • Water and Wastewater
  • Transportation and logistics
  • Public works
  • Communications and Information Technology
  • Critical manufacturing
  • Hazardous materials
  • Financial services
  • Chemical
  • Defense industrial base
  • Other community-based essential functions and government operations

You can read the full, detailed list of essential services here: https://bit.ly/2QDB6Y6

If your business has NOT been deemed “essential,” you can request essential service designation. Learn more and apply here: https://bit.ly/33Md0zN.

Restaurants currently providing take out and delivery services may continue to do so, following the Department of Public Health’s social distancing guidelines.

The Governor has prohibited gatherings of more than 10 people.

The state has begun speaking with deans of public health schools and medical students who will not start rotations until June to have students assist with contact tracing to identify those who have come into contact with others who have COVID-19.

Today, the House and Senate passed legislation that will allow cities and towns to postpone and reschedule certain municipal elections. Municipal governments will be allowed to postpone elections and caucuses scheduled for before May 30th to a date before June 30th. It also allows all eligible voters to vote early by mail prior to June 30th.

MassDOT Updates

Public transportation will still be up and running throughout the stay at home advisory, but people should only be using it for essential services and activities, i.e. healthcare workers getting to work, or residents heading to the grocery store.

If you are interested in seeing previous COVID-19 newsletters you can find them here: https://www.decker4rep.com/news/ As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me at Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov with any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Marjorie

 

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