COVID-19 Update & Resource Guide
Dear Readers,

I know many of you are concerned about the current COVID-19 state of emergency. Whether you are a resident in need of unemployment assistance, a small business owner seeking financial help, or someone just trying to navigate the dense influx of information coming your way, my team is here to assist you.

In unprecedented times like these, taking care of not only our physical health but also mental health is so important. With many of us experiencing feelings of loneliness and isolation, let's continue look out for one another over the course of this emergency and check in on our neighbors, coworkers, family and friends to let them know they're not alone.

To keep you informed, my team is continuously updating this resource guide, with important legislative updates, as our communities face hardships that COVID-19 as brought to our economy, families, health care system and so many other facets of our lives. It is important to stick together as a community while also doing everything we can to "flatten the curve."

We will often send additional information and updates related to COVID-19, so please stay connected, including through social media:


Warmest Regards,

Diana

COVID-19 Resources & Links:

For updated information on COVID-19 nationally, please visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: CDC- Corona Virus Information Guide

For updated information on COVID-19 in Massachusetts specifically, please visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) website: DPH- Corona Virus Information

The Attorney General’s Office has launched a new website centralizing resources for our incredible health care workers and first responders who have been on the frontline in protecting our communities during the COVID-19 emergency.

MassHealth is increasing telehealth access during the COVID-19 emergency with its new Lifeline Program, a subsidized phone and internet service system that provides no cost or low-cost service to Massachusetts residents.

  • For more information, please visit their website.

Federal Stimulus CARES ACT Information:

The US House of Representative has released an FAQ sheet on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The President of the United States has launched a website to keep the public informed about the federal response to the emergency. To view his updates on COVID-19, please click here.
State Legislative Updates:

Recent news on legislation I filed for our small business community:

  • My bills to help our small businesses through the shutdown just PASSED committee. Now on to the Senate for consideration! Thanks to members of the Small Business Committee for your support - let’s keep pushing the MassMakers Act and An Act establishing a Massachusetts Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The time is now to give our small businesses the support and resources they need!

  • The Governor has signed into law legislation to permit restaurants here in Massachusetts to allow takeout and delivery options for beer and wine, along with food purchases. This will greatly help our local restaurants as they work to stay afloat during the COVID-19 emergency.

  • The legislature recently passed a new election law in response to COVID-19 that will enable our cities and towns to postpone and reschedule certain municipal elections. This is an important measure that will help ensure the safety of both voters and poll workers.

  • The Senate passed bipartisan legislation to protect access to critical safety net programs for residents who have lost incomes as a result of COVID-19 and support families and vulnerable populations who are struggling with the impacts of the pandemic.

COVID-19 Working Groups I am member of:

  • Economic Recovery and Reinvestment (focused on economic and workforce issues)

  • Supply Chain (focused on supplies, shortages and price gouging)
State Department of Public Health Resources:

DPH announced that Massachusetts 2-1-1 will now provide real-time COVID-19 information, resources, and referrals in multiple languages.

Residents with questions should dial 2-1-1 from any landline or cellphone. Callers dialing 2-1-1 will hear an automated menu of options. Callers press 2-6 for Coronavirus.

Residents can also reach 2-1-1 through a live chat option on the Massachusetts 2-1-1 website. 

A new messaging tool, “AlertsMA,” 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 will send short messages and links to information directly to your cell phone or other mobile device.

The Department of Public Health and your local health organizations are seeking volunteers.


Hospitals, community centers and local clinic health workers are on the front line in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Here are some resourceful links the Department of Public Health has released regarding donations, selling protective equipment, and how your business can assist in manufacturing essential medical items.

  • To donate goods for use in Massachusetts' response to the COVID-19 emergency use this link.

  • 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) visit the mass tech website.

DPH has partnered with the Massachusetts-based Buoy Health on the launch of a COVID-19 Health Web App.

  • This new online, 24/7 resource does not replace emergency medical care but can be used as a helpful tool for residents to connect with health care resources and providers. It is free for Massachusetts residents and uses the latest COVID-19 guidance from both the CDC and Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

  • Please visit the new Health Web App to learn more and check out this tool.

The Manufacturing Emergency Response Team has been created

  • Companies can apply for grants through an online form for equipment, materials, supplies, workforce training and other needs.

Nursing Home Resource Line

  • A new Nursing Home Family Resource Line has been established to connect family members of nursing home and rest home residents with the information and resources they need.

  • The line is staffed from 9 AM – 5 PM, seven days a week. Family members can call this line at (617) 660-5399
COVID-19 Testing Resources

There are several local locations currently offering accessible testing to residents experiencing symptoms of COVID-19:
Small Business Resources
Verizon has partnered with LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) to award grants to small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Thus far, many Massachusetts businesses - including childcare providers, hair salons, restaurants, automotive, cleaning services, and more - have received $10,000 grants through this relief program.

The application deadline is this Wednesday, May 20.
To apply, please click here.
The SBA is now accepting new EIDL and EIDL Advance applications - on a limited basis, to provide relief to agricultural businesses.

Eligible businesses may apply here.
Are you a small business in one of Massachusetts’ Gateway Cities? A new Empowerment Grant has been launched by the State Treasurer’s Office to help our Gateway City businesses impacted by the COVID-19 emergency.

The application deadline is May 29th, 2020. To apply, click here.
The Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation is now taking applications for the Small Business Technical Assistance Grant Program.

This program is open to not-for-profit organizations that provide technical assistance and training programs to small businesses and start-ups, with an emphasis on underserved businesses and entrepreneurs.

For more information, click here.
Unemployment Resources
New legislation recently signed into law will help in getting new unemployment claims paid out more quickly - waiving the one week waiting period during the COVID-19 emergency.

My team is here to assist you and your family to ensure you receive unemployment benefits during this unprecedented time. If you need further assistance once you've filed your claim for unemployment, please reach out us via e-mail at Diana.DiZoglio@masenate.gov or phone at (978) 984-7747.
The Department of Unemployment Assistance is regularly hosting virtual town halls to assist in navigating the unemployment process during the COVID-19 emergency.

Link to register: online registration

Traditional Unemployment:


Have you applied for unemployment but have not heard back about your claim?

Fill out this contact form and someone from the department will contact you directly for assistance.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance:

This assistance is now open to the following individuals:

• Self-employed individuals, including gig workers, freelancers, and independent contractors

• Those seeking part-time employment

• Claimants who have an insufficient work history to qualify for benefits

• And claimants who have been laid off from churches and religious institutions and are not eligible for benefits under state law

Link to Apply: Pandemic Portal
Veteran Resources & Updates
We have to ensure our veterans are taken care of, especially during these difficult times. That is why I filed a bill to provide emergency relief to our struggling, local veterans in need. Thank you to Haverhill Veteran Ralph Basiliere for working with my team on this important issue.

For more information about this piece of legislation, click here to read a recent news article released by Haverhill's WHAV!

Thank you to North Andover-Boxford Veteran Services and the Haverhill VFW for launching a patriotic door-decorating campaign to remember and honor our courageous veterans this Memorial Day.

If you live in North Andover or Boxford, show your support to our veterans by decorating your door from May 17-25. If you live in Haverhill, decorate your door from May 25 (Memorial Day) to July 4.
RMV Resources & Tax Filing Information
Registry of Motor Vehicles Update:

The Massachusetts RMV has released new information regarding license extensions, permits, motor vehicle inspection stickers, and passenger plate registrations in light of the COVID-19 emergency.
For a complete list of these extensions, visit the RMV   website.
State Tax Filing Update:

For more details on the state extension, please visit:  DOR COVID-19 website
Federal Tax Update:

The IRS has moved the national income tax filing day to July 15, three months after the traditional deadline, for Americans to send in their federal returns.
Food Resources
Additional Food Service Information:

  • Uber Eats is now offering $0 Delivery Fee for local restaurants, and you can request food be left at your doorstep at checkout.

  • Grubhub has a Community Relief Fund where all of your "Donate the Change contributions" will go to charitable organizations that support drivers and restaurants impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. Grubhub also has a contact-free delivery option at checkout. 

  • The Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce is conducting a $4$ program to help small businesses during COVID-19

If you have any questions or need assistance - or know someone else who does - please contact us. We are here to help! Also, please connect with us on social media for daily COVID-19 updates:


Yours in service,

Diana

 State Senator Diana DiZoglio
978-984-7747
Paid for by the Committee to Elect Diana DiZoglio