UPDATE FROM STATE REP. KATE HOGAN
COVID-19 Crisis in Massachusetts
State Rep. Kate Hogan, 3rd Middlesex District
Bolton Hudson Maynard Stow
I hope that you - and those you care about - are healthy and safe. Last week gave us specific days to celebrate teachers, nurses and mothers. Every day I add my own thanks for those who are serving us during this health crisis, including other healthcare workers and the grocery store employees, delivery drivers, restaurant industry staff and anyone else who doesn’t have the option to work from home.
This week, Governor Baker announced more detail about reopening our economy, including a 4-phased approach and mandatory workplace safety standards. In the newsletter below are details on those plans and other important updates and links related to reopening, as well as our continued efforts to mitigate and contain the spread of COVID-19.
Please continue to adhere to public health guidelines on wearing masks in public, social distancing, and washing hands.
If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, stay at home and contact telehealth through www.buoy.com.
We’ll continue to get through this together and our office is here to help.
If you have questions or need assistance, please contact us at
This email and phone number are the most efficient ways to contact us right now and the best way to ensure a prompt response to your inquiry.
I also post updates daily on Facebook.
As of May 11, there are 78,462 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts. The
Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported 5,108 deaths from COVID-19.
More than 32,019 people have been quarantined and 9,871 are currently undergoing monitoring/quarantined. 394,728 Massachusetts residents have been tested for COVID-19 by the State Public Health Laboratory, hospitals and commercial laboratories. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health shares
updated numbers on its website each day
Governor Baker presented
the 4-phased approach
that will be used to reopen businesses and organizations around the Commonwealth.
- Phase 1 will be “Start:” limited industries resume operations with severe restrictions
- Phase 2 will be “Cautious:” additional industries resume operations with restrictions and capacity limits
- Phase 3 will be “Vigilant:” additional industries resume operations with guidance
- Phase 4 will be the “New Normal:” development of vaccine and/or therapy enables resumption of new normal
Decisions and timing will be influenced by p
ublic health metrics
when the first phase of reopening begins, as well as when it is safe to move into concurrent phases
Additionally, the Department of Public Health (DPH) and the COVID-19 Command Center, in consultation with the Reopening Advisory Board and based on feedback from industry, labor, and community coalitions, has developed
Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards
risk of COVID-19 transmission as employees and customers begin to return to workplaces during the first phase of reopening. These Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards are applicable to all sectors and industries that will be open in phase one, and create new workplace requirements for social distancing, hygiene, staffing and operations, and cleaning. These standards are being released to give workplaces time to plan and prepare for reopening
. In addition to these Mandatory Standards which apply to all workplaces, the Reopening Advisory Board is developing Sector Specific Safety Protocols and Best Practices that will detail how particular industries should operate upon reopening.
The Reopening Advisory Board is scheduled to provide its full report to Governor Baker on Monday, May 18
If you are interested in submitting suggestions or comments to Massachusetts’ Reopening Advisory Board, you can do so
Last month the COVID-19 Community Tracing Collaborative (CTC) was launched. The CTC focuses on tracing the contacts of confirmed positive COVID-19 patients, as well as supporting individuals in quarantine.
If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, the MA COVID Team
will reach out by phone to connect the confirmed case with support and resources necessary for quarantine, and to identify any close contacts that may have been exposed. As the CTC continues its contact tracing work to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, it is critical that Massachusetts residents answer the phone when a contact tracer calls or texts. Contact tracers will only reach out from phone numbers with 833 or 857 area codes, and the phone’s caller ID will say MA COVID Team. Since calls began on April 12, tens of thousands of Massachusetts residents have participated in contact tracing. Staffed with more than 1,600 tracers, the Tracing Collaborative has reached nearly 14,000 confirmed cases and established more than 7,500 of their contacts since calls began on April 12. In part due to effective social distancing measures, the median number of contacts reported by each confirmed case remains approximately two.
To learn more about the MA COVID Team and the Community Tracing Collaborative, visit
If you are a MassHealth member who receives services at home from a PCA, independent nurse, or direct care worker and test positive for COVID-19, you can receive personal protective equipment (PPE) delivered to your home at no cost. To request PPE, call 844-368-5184 or visit this website for more information:
Health Connector Updates
Anyone who does not currently have health insurance coverage, or has experienced changes in circumstances, is encouraged to enroll in health insurance through Mass Health Connector
or call customer service for assistance
More information is available at
The stay at home advisory in Massachusetts has been extended to at least May 18. Most non-essential businesses must also remain closed until that date and gatherings of 10 or more people remain prohibited. However, last week some non-essential businesses began re-opening, with modifications. Businesses like Bolton Orchards (pictured, right) have adjusted their hours and added safety measures.
Golf courses, including Maynard Country Club/Golf Club, Butternut Farm Golf Club, Stow Acres Country Club, Stow Away Golf Club, Wedgewood Pines Country Club, Charter Oak Country Club, and Twin Pines Golf Course have re-opened.
Guidelines must be followed.
The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) is offering webinars this week on the following topics:
Grants for Local Transportation and Delivery Providers
The Metropolitan Area Planning Council, in partnership with MassDevelopment, is providing emergency funding for state and municipal agencies that coordinate transportation services, regional transit authorities (RTAs), and Health and Human Services Transportation (HHST) providers across the Commonwealth to meet the transportation and delivery needs of vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 emergency.
Nominate an ‘Unsung Hero’
An anonymous individual is donating $25 restaurant gift cards each week to a deserving Stow resident. Recipients will be chosen from nominations received at The Stow Independent.
Send nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include nominees’ full name and contact information and a brief reason for your nomination.
‘Captain America’ Salutes Emerson Hospital
In this video,
Captain America actor
shares a “thank you” to the staff at Emerson Hospital in Concord for their continued fight to control the coronavirus pandemic.
Maynard Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest Ends Thursday
- The deadline for the Maynard Cultural Council's Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest is the Thursday, May 14. All Maynard community members are invited to contribute to the contest using sidewalk chalk. Your art can be featured in the sidewalk in front of your home, the street end of your driveway, or any other place for which you have gained permission to contribute. Submit work by posting your photo publicly to social media (Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter) and tag with
- please make sure your privacy settings are disabled so that judges can see your work! $200 in prizes will be awarded in 4 age categories.
Hudson Library Shares Resources for Parents
- A new webpage offers resources for parents, including live videos, online storytimes, free ebooks and resources, fun and free online tours and other learning tools. Visit
A Tribute to Stow Seniors
Thank you to Dave Ashman and Stow TV for putting together a Tribute to Stow Seniors recording! Together they made it possible for the Stow COA to share this video with our clients who we miss very much. The video will air on Stow TV Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 7:30 am, as well as on Sunday at 9:30 and 11 am. Additional airings will be added after May 13th. It is also available on YouTube:
as well as the COA's Facebook page. Enjoy!
Town Elections have been moved to the following dates:
- Bolton: June 29
- Hudson: June 29
- Maynard: June 23 It was also voted that for the Annual Town Election ONLY that all Maynard voters will vote at the Fowler Middle School, 3 Tiger Drive, Maynard, MA 01754. The polling hours will be 7:00AM until 8:00PM.
- Stow: June 27
Visit Town websites to see the latest COVID-19 updates and to subscribe to alerts and Town news:
UPDATES ON INCOME & BUSINESS RELIEF EFFORTS
A separate system has been constructed for anyone applying for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for self-employed, gig and part-time workers and is accessible
DUA has also released information for employees and employers on returning to work as it relates to unemployment insurance:
If any of my constituents have questions or are experiencing difficulty with the Department of Unemployment Assistance, please email me at
beneficiaries who filed income taxes for 2018 and 2019 and provided a direct deposit bank account to the IRS can expect an economic impact payment of $1,200 deposited this week. Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns should visit this site for more information:
or some people receiving benefits from the Social Security Administration--specifically those who have dependent children under the age of 17--it is to their advantage to go to this portal to ensure they also get the $500 per dependent Economic Impact Payment.
Assistance for Small Businesses
The SBA continues to accept Paycheck Protection Program applications from participating lenders. The PPP loans are forgiven if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. If you are interested in a PPP loan and your bank is not participating in the program, contact Sarah Cressy, President and CEO of the Assabet Valley Chamber of Commerce for assistance. She can be reached at
Hudson BID Advisory Services
The Hudson Downtown Business Improvement District [“the BID”] is offering a free service to all property owners and businesses within the business district. The BID has hired a consultant that will work directly with our members and downtown business owners to help them choose the best relief options and assist them in navigating through this daunting application process. If you are interested in getting help, please email
or call the BID office at 978-333-1602.
Massachusetts Small Business Development Center
MSBDC advisors can assist businesses with disaster loan applications. If you are not currently a client and would like to speak with a counselor, please submit a request for counseling
or contact the Central Regional Office, Clark University, 125 Woodland St, Worcester, 508-793-7615
Resources for Small Businesses
The State offers online assistance for small businesses, including information on grants and loans, insurance coverage, commercial mortgages and leases, cutting expenses and legal advice.
Free Legal Aid
Pro bono legal assistance and relief for small businesses and non-profits is also offered by the Covid Relief Coalition, a coalition of law firms, non-profits and government agencies in Massachusetts:
UPDATES ON RELIEF EFFORTS FOR HOME EXPENSES
Housing Relief Updates
This information was shared recently by the MetroWest Council on Independent Living (MWCIL):
The state is implementing a temporary moratorium on evictions and foreclosures due to Covid 19. If you are having trouble making rent, talk to your landlord and get everything in writing for proof of conversations later on.
In order to avoid having to pay late fees or receiving a negative credit report, the law requires tenants to send a form of hardship notice to their landlord within 30 days of every missed rent payment. That means if a tenant missed paying rent due April 1, the tenant must send the form by April 30 (3 days from now). One form must be filled out for each month of missed payment. If a tenant is unable to fill out and transmit the form, they can also email or post a letter to the landlord with the same information. Direct link to form:
The Division of Banks has also put out a Frequently Asked Questions document regarding the moratorium on foreclosures. Direct link here:
SMALL BUSINESS TENANTS:
Similar to residential tenants, small businesses are also not subject to late fees or negative credit bureau reporting if they submit a form of notice to their landlord within 30 days of missed rent payment. Small businesses must submit two forms:
The law allows the landlord to use last month’s rent to pay for certain expenses including, but not limited to, mortgage payments, utilities, repairs and required upkeep. However the landlord must send a form of notice to the tenant when doing so. The form is here:
You will not be subject to late fees or a negative report to a credit bureau if you certify to your landlord in writing within 30 days from the missed payment that your non-payment of rent is due to a financial impact from COVID-19. If possible, you should use the approved form at:
. If you cannot access the form on this website, you can ask your landlord to provide the form to you. You may also send a letter or email so long as it contains a detailed explanation of your household loss in income or increase in expenses due to COVID-19.
has adapted operations and policy priorities. COVID-19 Affordable Housing Resources:
Eversource and National Grid are participating in the Low Income
Home Energy Assistance Program Grants, also known as Fuel Assistance. This financial assistance is not a loan and customers do not have to pay it back. To qualify, customers must meet household income criteria based on their household size. A family of four with a four-week gross income of up to $5,526 could be eligible for Fuel Assistance.
Residential customers that do not qualify for LIHEAP can apply for financial assistance from the Good Neighbor Energy Fund through your local Salvation Army Assistance Center.
When National Grid customers qualify for Fuel Assistance, they will be automatically enrolled in National Grid’s discount rate of up to 32% off their electric and gas bills.
To learn more about this program, call the Massachusetts LIHEAP hotline at 1-800-632-8175 or visit the website
. Please understand that when calling your local Agency, you may be asked to leave a voicemail and a program representative will call you back. The deadline for new applications is May 29th.
Rent Assistance in Hudson
The Hudson Affordable Housing Trust has developed a temporary rental assistance program to help income-eligible residential renters in Hudson who have been affected economically by COVID-19. The program provides
up to three months rental assistance (future or arrearage payments beginning 4/1/20) in the amount of $500 per month to eligible households whose income has been reduced to less than 80% of Area Median Income because of Covid-19.
Application Deadline: May 14, 2020
For more information: Tel: (978) 562-2989
Applications can be submitted by email to email@example.com or by mail to: Town of Hudson Affordable Housing Trust c/o Planning and Community Development Department 78 Main Street Hudson, MA 01749