CORONAVIRUS / COVID-19 UPDATE #18
Wednesday, May 6, 2020
I hope you’ve been able to enjoy some of today’s glorious sunshine.
With rescheduled town elections just around the corner, I want to make sure all of you have all the information you need to vote safely during this pandemic period. Remember, local elections are very important, as local government routinely make decisions about property taxes, zoning, roads and other infrastructure elements in town, supports for senior centers and community spaces, and a host of other elements of daily life and town culture.
I’ve put all the information you need to get your mail-in ballot on my website. Here are the rescheduled in-district election dates:
Remember, in this public health crisis, it is extra
important that as many people as possible vote by mail. It’s not as easy to do as it could be, but with a little leg work, you can get your mail-in ballot from your town clerk.
a few additional updates about our state-level efforts to combat COVID-19:
As always, my team and I are here for you. Call us at 617-722-1555 or email me directly at email@example.com and one of us will get back to you as quickly as we can. Please follow me on Twitter
- Facemask Order Goes into Effect: Today, Governor Baker’s order requiring face masks in public went into effect. Face Masks must be worn in all public spaces -- both indoor and outdoor -- where adequate social distancing cannot be achieved (like on the sidewalk in densely populated areas!). The order allows businesses to refuse service to anyone not wearing a mask, and includes a possible $300 fine for noncompliance. I encourage you to wear a facemask as much as possible outside your home; this is a critical step to protecting ourselves and our neighbors, reducing coronavirus transmission, and helping our communities open up sooner.
- Town Meeting Changes: As the Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government, I’ve been hard at work throughout the pandemic on legislation to support our local governments. Most recently, this work focused on figuring out how to conduct representative town meetings remotely. On Monday, the Senate passed legislation to give towns the flexibility to do just that -- adapt their procedures to allow representative town meetings to proceed virtually, even under necessary social distancing conditions. Next up: virtual process for open town meetings. In the interim, the bill we passed earlier this week allows open town meetings to reduce the quorum requirement to take up a limited agenda. The bill now awaits action by the House.
- MA Joins Regional Consortium for Coronavirus Response: Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Delaware have formed a regional consortium to jointly find and purchase personal protective equipment, COVID-19 tests, ventilators, and other medical equipment. This will aggregate demand among the states, reduce equipment costs, and stabilize the supply chain. The states will also coordinate policies regarding the inventory of PPE in each state's health care infrastructure in the event of a second wave of COVID-19.
- Healthcare Rights for Immigrants: You have a right to health care regardless of your immigration status. Do not avoid healthcare because of your status. MassHealth Limited can pay for testing and treatment for immigrants not eligible for other government programs and will NOT be considered for public charge decisions, meaning it will not affect access to a Green Card.
- COVID by the Numbers: Every day, the Department of Public Health issues a comprehensive dashboard of data, including a breakdown of coronavirus cases by county and other demographic distinctions. Town and city level data is updated weekly.
for real-time updates.
Wishing you and your families strength, health, and resilience.
Yours in service,
Senator Becca Rausch