A Call to Action for White People: Reflect, Act
The following op-ed from Jessica Collins appeared in The Springfield Republican on Sunday June 7:

"In 1977 when I was a little girl sitting in front of the television set with my large family when Alex Haley’s Roots aired on the ABC television network. This was way before access to the seeming endless number of channels on cable television. Roots generated a huge audience and, for many in the United States, this gripping series put a face to the horrors of slavery and the creation of our country’s economic system, as it unfolded through the life of Kunta Kinte. It may have also been the first time millions of Americans learned about the true history of slavery in our country. I am sure as a 5-year-old at the time I was quite unaware of the privileges I was beginning to accumulate.  Read more.
"Say Their Names"
A mural was painted on the side of the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Springfield in honor of the victims who have died by police brutality in the past year.
Picture taken by Jessica Collins, Public Health Institute of Western Mass
Check out this short video from WGBY’s  Connecting Point  that documents the three days it took for the mural to come to life.
Trinity Health of New England, Baystate Health and Springfield Department of Health and Human Services came together to promote important COVID-19 information. They co-branded the following informational flyers:

Cooley Dickinson Hospital also shares ways to care for your loved ones with COVID-19 at home.
How to Protect Those That are Most Vulnerable While Living in Close Quarters
The CDC provides guidance on how to protect yourself and family members while living in close quarters, including living with vulnerable individuals.
Data Update
COVID-19 in MA
It’s been three weeks since Massachusetts began the first phase of reopening , and on Monday June 8 th , we entered Phase 2. Phase 2 means additional industries can resume operation with restrictions and capacity limitations. According to MDPH’s COVID-19 Dashboard , COVID-19 deaths, hospitalizations, the percentage of people testing positive, and the number of hospitals using surge capacity have all continued to decline. 
Below is a graph illustrating the 3-day average number of COVID-19 deaths in Western Massachusetts based on county-level data available on the MDPH website. On June 1 st , MDPH began including probable COVID-19 cases and deaths in their reports per guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This change led to an increase in the cumulative number of cases and deaths reported in Massachusetts starting on that date. County-level death data on the MDPH website does not distinguish between probable and confirmed cases as it does with statewide data. Because of this, we did not incorporate data from June in the graph as it is not comparable.
Graph created by PHIWM using data from MDPH Archive of COVID-19 data  https://www.mass.gov/info-details/archive-of-covid-19-cases-in-massachusetts#may-2020-
It will be important to continue monitoring the data as there could be a resurgence of cases as we move further into reopening.  

Pandemic- EBT Cards for Students
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 includes a provision called “Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer,” or “P-EBT.” This allows states to issue benefits to families with children who would receive free or reduced-price school meals, if not for school closures associated with COVID-19. 

  • All Massachusetts students (K - 12 grade) who are enrolled in or eligible for free or reduced-price school meals or attend a school that offers universal free school breakfast and lunch will receive the P-EBT benefit at the end of May/early June.
  • If you are a household that receives monthly SNAP benefits, you will receive your P-EBT benefits on your current EBT card.
  • Like a debit card, the P-EBT card can be used to purchase food at grocery stores.
  • Using the benefit will not impact a family's or child's immigration status. 

Please visit Project Bread’s page for more information.
Check out food resources available in the region specifically related to COVID-19:

COVID-19 and Equity Advocacy Update
Another recommendation from the Emergency Task Force on Coronavirus and Equity has advanced! On Sunday June 7th Governor Baker signed into law An Act Addressing COVID-19 Data Collection and Disparities in Treatment (formerly known as Bill H.4672 / S.2708 ) The Massachusetts Public Health Association and the Equity Task Force worked to advance the strongest version of the bill. The state will now have to collect and report on more information about COVID-19, with the intention of addressing inequities. If the law is implemented as intended, it will allow state officials to better understand how COVID-19 is spreading through specific communities and put appropriate resources and interventions where they are most needed.
Criteria for an Equitable Reopening
On June 6th, 2020, the MPHA issued a statement in opposition to Governor Baker’s announcement about Phase Two reopening, noting that we moved into phase 2 without meeting all of the Criteria for an Equitable Reopening . The Criteria, which was endorsed by more than 100 community, labor, and public health organizations, was released last week.