CORONAVIRUS / COVID-19 UPDATE #13
Friday, April 17, 2020
Warm greetings from virtual Beacon Hill. The Legislature has been hard at work this week. I was proud to participate in the first and second virtual public hearings ever to occur in Massachusetts, in my capacities as the Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Elder Affairs and a member of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities. I expect more of these virtual hearings to come in the near future, especially with regard to election reform and my 2020 Vote By Mail Act. I’ve also been hard at work on efforts to support our first responders and public safety personnel.
We got some big news today in access to our democracy and elections -- the Supreme Judicial Court issued a ruling halving the signature requirements for all seats, pushing the deadline for signature submission back as far as it could go, and requiring the Secretary of the Commonwealth to go digital. I’ve supported signature reductions all along, and am glad to see this ruling.
As you likely know, we are in the coronavirus surge period. Everyone, please maintain extensive social distancing. Wear facial coverings if you need to go out in public, including going to the grocery store. Wash your hands. Stay hydrated. Get sleep. Get some exercise every day, preferably outside (if we’re not in the middle of a massive wind and rainstorm). Be vigilant. We will get to the other side of this, eventually. The more safeguards and protections we maintain now, the quicker we’ll get to recovery.
Thank you to those who have reached out to tell us that stimulus checks haven’t arrived and unemployment claims have gone unanswered and small business loans aren’t coming through. This is how we know to work these problems and push for solutions.
Other state-level updates:
- Town level COVID data: This week the MA Department of public health began releasing town-level data on COVID-19 cases. Official reports are issued on the DPH website daily at 4 PM. Check out our district numbers for this week. Please note, these are surely undercounts because we haven’t had enough testing.
- Update on eviction and foreclosure moratorium: The House and Senate passed legislation to prevent evictions and foreclosures for the duration of this crisis. No one should be at risk of losing their home during this emergency. The legislation now goes to the Governor for his signature. If he signs, it will go into effect immediately.
- Resources for Health Care Workers: The Attorney General’s office launched FrontlineMA.org, a resource for health care workers regarding personal protective equipment, testing access, safe housing, child care, meal discounts, and more.
- Statewide COVID Count: Here are the numbers, as of today, Friday April 17. Additional COVID-19 statistics are provided by DPH and updated daily at 4 PM.
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 and Facebook for real-time updates.
Wishing you and your families strength, health, and resilience.
Yours in service,
Senator Becca Rausch