COVID-19 Updates: State and Local Resources

State & Local Resources

  • To volunteer in public health, healthcare or emergency response capacities, click here.
  • Buoy Health has provided an online symptom checker which can be used to assess your risk for COVID-19.
  • Text COVIDMA to 888-777 for up-to-date alerts straight to your phone.
  • To donate personal protective equipment (PPE) to the Massachusetts COVID-19 Donation Program, click here.
  • If you are looking to sell PPE goods to support the Massachusetts COVID-19 response, you can go directly through the state procurement program, here.
  • The Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition COVID-19 Resources page 

Contact Tracing
Massachusetts is the first state in the nation to launch a contact tracing effort with Partners In Health.

  • The COVID-19 Community Tracing Collaborative (CTC) will focus on tracing the contacts of all people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and support them in quarantine. 
  • CTC will support the efforts to expand bed capacity and increase PPE’s and other supplies.
  • The program will hire 1,000 contact tracers who will work remotely. Apply to be a contact tracer here.

The MBTA

In order to protect their workers and to accommodate lower ridership, the T has released a modified schedule. Visit the MBTA’s website for more information.

Utilities

Eversource has announced that it will be postponing disconnections for nonpayment to residential and business properties, for electric, gas, and water. If you are having problems paying your bill you are encouraged to visit eversource.com or call 800-592-2000.

Grocery Stores
As some of you may have noticed, compliance with recommended social distancing (which experts say is a distance of 6 feet) has not been remarkably well observed at some supermarkets. This poses a risk to both shoppers and the employees who are working hard to help us at a difficult time.

I have a wonderful neighbor across the street who works at Whole Foods and tells me some shoppers are coming directly up to him to ask questions such as which aisle contains a certain product. That is wholly inappropriate at this time and I worry about my neighbor and many countless others similarly situated at this time. These folks are trying to help us under very difficult circumstances.

As a consequence, I have been in touch with senior staff in the Governor’s office and directly in touch with Maura Healey, our outstanding Attorney General, with suggestions on how we can improve compliance and protect public health in our supermarkets, one of the few places people are still congregating in large numbers. The guidance that came out, as a result, can be viewed here: https://www.mass.gov/doc/march-25-2020-pharmacy-grocery-order

One of my ideas I discussed with the Attorney General is pretty straightforward. All stores should have signs be put at the entrance and/or inside each store as a reminder of appropriate distancing. Having just been to the supermarket recently after the order when into effect, it is good to see these changes being implemented.
Governor Baker issued an order on April 7th that requires grocery stores to limit occupancy to 40% of their maximum occupancy allowance to ensure safe social distancing.

  • Stores with capacity for 25 people or less are exempt from this order.
  • The occupancy count will include employees and customers.
  • Store employees are required to monitor the amount of people within the store at a given time and if lines form outside, employees should also monitor those to ensure social distancing is being properly observed.

Further, the Baker Administration and the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security have given grocery store workers access to the priority testing sites established for first responders.

  • Testing began April 11th for these workers.
  • Testing sites are located at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro and the Big E fairgrounds in West Springfield.
  • Appointments must be made in advance by a supervisor or manager and employees do not need to be symptomatic to qualify.

Stop and Shop has announced that during the hours of 6:00AM-7:30AM daily, all stores will be open exclusively for residents 60 years of age or older. Again, if you are not 60 years of age or older, please check on your older friends and neighbors or those who may have compromised immune systems and ask if you can do their shopping for them. All Whole Foods Markets and Target stores will open up an hour early (8:00am) for senior customers over 60 years of age.  Select Traders Joe’s stores will open early for seniors and are limiting the number of people who can enter at a time.

The COVID-19 outbreak has led to an increase in scam activity. There is information on eversource.com to reminding customers to be wary of any unsolicited calls that threaten to disconnect their utility service and that demand payment by unusual means. Eversource would like to remind everyone that will never ask a customer for personal information over the phone in this manner and does not accept payments via gift cards or other common tools used by scammers.

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Contact Dave

Please never hesitate to contact me for any reason.

Phone: 617-722-2637
Email: dave.rogers@mahouse.gov
Mail: State House Room 544, Boston, MA 02133