Dear Friends,

While the duty of our brave men and women who lost their lives defending our nation has ended, our duty begins anew each and every Memorial Day to keep their service and sacrifice utmost in our collective memories and to ensure that our children and grandchildren know the meaning and symbolism of this remembrance-day.
And though the ceremonies and traditional ways that we have gathered to honor and remember the sacrifices of our service members have necessarily changed this year, our commitment to doing so has not.

I have had the honor of participating in both the Shrewsbury and Westborough Memorial Day observances in past years. In Shrewsbury I welcomed the parade participants each year at the Soldier's Statue and in Westborough I have had the honor of speaking at the Forbes Building.

My heart always fills seeing our streets lined with residents of all ages gathered to solemnly and purposefully stand united in respect to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. I see a community that comes together to pay tribute and to honor those who walked among us before their noble sacrifice ended their earthly being. I see a community united to remember so that no one ever forgets.

I think of the young Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts marching in the parade, knowing that they may not fully understanding the enormity of all the sacrifice, yet each of them appreciating their role and marching tall, observing the rituals of honor intently to learn more.

I see the faces of all those standing along the route in honor of a family member or friend, whose loss still aches despite many years gone by, and I see the outpouring of gratitude from those who have never felt the personal loss of a fallen family member, but who understand the greater loss our society grieves when our men and women in the armed forces pay the ultimate price for our freedom.

And I see the veterans and active-duty military members who stand knowingly, who have seen the intimate, terrible loss of brothers or sisters in arms next to them in battle as they fought in noble service to keep our nation safe and free.

The limitations placed on us this year that prevent us from gathering have also made me more aware of how the brave men and women in our military are impacted by their physical distance from friends and family, and how they have had to rely on the power of their own memories in times of great strife and in some cases their last moments, to feel connected and cared for.

And I think of our many veterans who have passed during this pandemic who were also unable to be physically connected to their family members, and I say a prayer that they too know that their loss weighs on our community and Commonwealth and that we grieve for them.

While this year we will not be able to stand together in Mountain View cemetery or at Forbes building, among the sea of American flags that serve as beacons for our brave patriots, I do see all of you and I feel your presence and solidarity as we reflect on the grave sacrifice of so many. 

Regardless of physical limitations imposed due to the pandemic, we are together, we are committed to honoring and remembering the sacrifice. I pray God's blessings on our country and on all who have fallen on behalf of our great nation and for ensuring that our collective and individual freedom reigns.

Memorial Day Observances

The Town of Shrewsbury will be broadcasting a Virtual Memorial Day Ceremony on Monday, May 25th on SPAC-TV Channels 28/328 at 9:30am, 3pm, 7pm and 10pm, on Facebook at 9:30am and on the Shrewsbury YouTube channel all day  here .
The Town of Westborough produced a prerecorded Memorial Day program to honor the fallen. The program will air Memorial Day, Monday, May 25 on any Westborough TV Channels:  Verizon 24, 26, 28 or Charter 191, 192, 194 or online here. It will play at 9:30am and then again throughout all of Memorial Day.
Thank you to the Shrewsbury Memorial Day Committee and Shrewsbury Media Connection and the Westborough Veteran's Advisory Board and Westborough TV and the Central MA Veterans Service District for your collaborations ensuring that all in our communities can connect and remember our fallen.
The Commonwealth is also hosting a number of virtual events to commemorate Memorial Day and Sunday the Burns Bridge spanning Shrewsbury to Worcester will be illuminated in gold to honor Gold Star Families.

$15.4 Million Investment for Route 20 in Shrewsbury
Last week I received the exciting news that a project that I have long been advocating for with town officials had received $15.4 million in funding from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MADOT) to address safety concerns on the Route 20 corridor in Shrewsbury. Additionally, MADOT also completed a study to understand what changes in speed limits should be made to increase safety. This project and the speed limit study came about from the  Shrewsbury Route 20 Corridor Study , which was completed in January 2020and aims to address community and town officials concerns related to safety and increased congestion along the corridor.  
The $15.4 million project includes improvements along the eastern section of Route 20, from the Route 9/Route 20 interchange to just west of South Street. The approval of this project means MADOT can now bring a consultant on board to begin design, using the recommendations made in the Route 20 Master Plan as a baseline. The proposed improvements will include pavement rehabilitation and box widening, reconstruction of the existing signal at South Street, construction of a new signal at Valente Drive with construction of an access road from Walnut Street, construction of a shared-use path on both sides of Route 20, and other related work.
To address safety concerns and the prevalence of crashes, MADOT also conducted a speed study to gain a better understanding of what the most appropriate speed limit is on this section of Route 20. Based on the evaluation, which included recording the speeds of hundreds of vehicles, MADOT concluded the speed limit of the eastern 3-mile section of Route 20 can be reduced from 50 MPH to 45 MPH. The remaining section of Route 20 in Shrewsbury to the west is currently posted at 40 MPH and will remain 40 MPH.
Over the next few months, a lot of work will be done to bring a consultant on-board and MADOT will begin to survey Route 20. The MADOT Project Development Section expects to have a better idea of the design schedule for the project by the fall of 2020. I will continue to work with town officials to advocate for the swift advancement of this project and provide updates as milestones are met.
15-40 Connection

The 15-40 Connection knows that early detection of cancer saves lives and that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many to not seek healthcare despite noticing changes in their own health. I had the opportunity to speak with  Alicia D'Agostino, the Education Program Manager at 15-40 Connection, last week about the safety precautions hospitals have in place to protect people, the ease of using tele-health to have important conversations with your doctors and my own family's experience of accessing the healthcare system during this public health crisis. If you or a loved one are experiencing a subtle and persistent change in your health please do not hesitate to contact your doctor - early detection saves lives. Please watch this quick conversation to learn more.

COVID-19 Rates

The Department of Health (DPH) updates the MA DPH COVID-19 Dashboard daily around 4pm. The dashboard includes trend data in a variety of areas (information on case rates, testing, geography of confirmed cases, etc.), death related data, and specific data on COVID-19 hospital census information, nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes (with known clusters) and PPE distribution. Find the dashboard, as well as the ci ty and town data here.

Shrewsbury CVS Testing Site

CVS announced on May 21st that the Shrewsbury CVS at Route 9/South Street will be one of the 12 drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites opened on May 22nd. You can click here ( ) for more information, but the main operational points are below:
  • Make an appointment online at You must be 18 years or older and symptomatic, unless you are a first responder or living with someone who is COVID-19 positive.
  • There are only 50 appointments a day (five per hour) for each of the 10 hours the drive-thru is open.
  • The person pulls up, is handed the testing material by the pharmacist or nurse through the drive-thru window.
  • The person puts their window back up and then, while still at the drive-thru window, self-swabs (shorter swabs) both nostrils and then puts the swabs in provided enclosed containers.
  • The pharmacist or nurse observes the swabbing to ensure it is done correctly. Once the person has completed the swabbing and correctly placed the swabs in the containers, the pharmacist or nurse lets the person know they can pull ahead and place the container in the new receptacle that has been placed just ahead of the drive-thru window.
  • The car then pulls away and the person will receive results in approximately three days.
Other important things to note:
  • Both the store and the drive-thru will be open to all customers, testing will not take place inside the store.
  • The store was selected because it currently has a low amount of drive-thru business..
  • Unlike the earlier test site which was an initiative with the federal government, CVS and Quest, this initiative is a partnership of only with CVS and Quest.
  • This site will be one of over 1,000 test locations CVS is intending to roll out.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)

On May 20th, PEUC benefits became available for MA residents. PEUC provides up to 13 additional weeks of benefits to an individual who exhausted all rights to any regular unemployment compensation and who meets other eligibility requirements of the CARES Act. Claimants may be eligible for these federal benefits and these benefits are now available through UI online. Please visit this link for more information .
National Grid

National Grid is encouraging its gas and electric customers to explore the new Home Energy Assistance Program Grant, also known as Fuel Assistance. In order to qualify, customers must meet household income criteria based on household size - a family of four with a four-week gross income of up to $5,526 could be eligible. This is a grant, not a loan, so customers do not have to pay it back. To learn more, visit  here  or call the MA HEAP hotline at 1-800-632-8175. National Grid asks interested customers to apply as soon as possible, and the deadline for new applications is May 29th.
National Grid is also warning customers of a phone scam - imposters having been calling National Grid customers and demanding immediate bill payment, threatening that if the payment is not made within 30 minutes, the service will be shut off. The scam calls closely resemble real National Grid calls, even displaying "National Grid" on the customer's caller ID. If you have any doubts about a National Grid call, do not give them any information, hang up, and call the National Grid customer service number displayed on your bill.
Finally, a reminder that on March 13th, National Grid temporarily suspended collections-related activities, including service disconnections, due to the devastating financial impact of COVID-19. If you are struggling to pay your National Grid bill, you can visit this link for advice .
Contacting my Office
As a reminder, the State House itself is closed to the public and my Legislative Aide Anna Darrow and I are working remotely. We are fully accessible via email and we are constantly checking our office voicemail. You can reach our office number at 617-722-2810, my cell number is 617-448-7304, and my email is Anna's email is and her cell number is 802-373-2294
While this email is not exhaustive of all that the Commonwealth is undertaking to battle COVID-19, I hope that the information is relevant and helpful. My prior weekly emails can be found on my website,   in the "Updates from Hannah" section and I will continue to post regular updates each day on my State Representative Facebook page. I remain grateful to all workers who go to work each day to help us through our time of crisis. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me if I can be of assistance.

With sincere gratitude,
Hannah Kane
State Representative
11th Worcester District

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