COVID-19 update #6
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to test us, but our Commonwealth and communities have stepped up to the challenge. Our goals are to keep infections down and to watch out for one another. Communication is key at this time and that's why I send along these updates regularly in addition to updating my website. New information is coming out regularly and in great volume. To keep the information timely and manageable, I will continue to post only new information in these update emails. Please visit https://jeffreyroy.com/covid-19-updates/ for a compilation of all of the updates. That site will be updated frequently to keep you up to speed on the latest developments. Here are the updates since my last email:
Current cases. In Massachusetts, there are a total of 4,955 cases of COVID-19, out of the 39,066 individuals that have been tested. Forty-eight deaths in Massachusetts have been related to the virus. The state's capacity to test has been expanded so we expect that number to continue to rise as more people get tested. For complete details, click here.
Producers and volunteers. To donate goods for use in Massachusetts' response to the COVID-19 public health emergency: click here. To provide information about goods you are looking to sell to support Massachusetts' COVID-19 response efforts: click here. To adapt your business to produce Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): click here. To volunteer to assist in public health, health care, and emergency response: click here.
Screenings available. MA residents who suspect they might have COVID-19 can now use this Buoy Health COVID-19 Web App, which will help to screen them based on a series of questions and connect them to a health care provider via telehealth. Click here to get to the site.
COVID-19 Text Alerts. Today, Massachusetts launched a text alert system called AlertsMA. The new messaging tool will allow residents to subscribe to real-time notifications by texting the keyword COVIDMA to 888-777. After signing up, state and public health officials can send short messages and links to information directly to a resident’s cell phone or other mobile device.
State Tax Deadline Extended. Massachusetts has moved the state personal income tax filing and payment deadline to July 15, consistent with the federal government, in order to provide additional flexibility to filers during this crisis.
Remote learning. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is requesting that educators continue to develop high-quality educational materials to provide students with effective remote learning resources through the month of April. The Department is also creating a model for districts to use and modify in collaboration with local stakeholders to fit their school district’s needs, and will continue to work with schools to identify best practices for implementing effective remote learning. Additionally, through a new partnership between DESE and WGBH, educational resources will be posted on the department’s website, and middle and high school students can access WGBH and WGBY educational programming on WGBH and WGBY on the WORLD channel from noon to 5 p.m.
Franklin information portal. You can view other information on Franklin's portal by clicking here.
Medway information pages. You can view the Medway School Department's update page by clicking here. The town's health page can be accessed by clicking here.
Further guidance and recommendations. Health-related guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for various audiences can be accessed by clicking here. I wish you the best as you navigate this public health crisis.
Please look out for your friends and neighbors and stay informed with the links above.
If you have additional questions or need additional information, please let me know. I am not a medical doctor, so please contact your health care provider if you have specific health concerns. But I am happy to try and chase down any policy or state government related questions you might have. You can reach my State House office at 617-722-2030 or email me at Jeffrey.Roy@MAhouse.gov.