COVID-19 Crisis in Massachusetts

State Rep. Kate Hogan, 3rd Middlesex District
Bolton Hudson Maynard Stow
Dear Friends,

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  kate.hogan@mahouse.gov  or 617-722-2199.  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.

Kate Hogan
State Representative
Third Middlesex District
(617) 722-2199
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 .

Reopening 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  for  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 to reduce  the  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 th .   If you are interested in submitting suggestions or comments to Massachusetts’ Reopening Advisory Board, you can do so here .

Contact Tracing 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 www.mass.gov/MATracingTeam .

PPE Update 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:  www.mass.gov/doc .

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 https://www.mahealthconnector.org/ or call customer service for assistance 1-877-MA-ENROLL(1-877-623-6765) More information is available at www.mahealthconnector.org/covid-19  
Businesses around the district including Bolton Orchards have adjusted their hours and added safety measures.
What’s Open 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.

Expert Advice 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 info@stowindependent.com. 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 Chris Evans shares a “thank you” to the staff at Emerson Hospital in Concord for their continued fight to control the coronavirus pandemic. https://youtu.be/qes6mDoUn3g

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  #maynardchalkart  - 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  http://hudsonpubliclibrary.com/for-parents/

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: https://youtu.be/lSSg9rvPkIk  as well as the COA's Facebook page. Enjoy!

Vote 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

All voters are eligible to vote by mail with either an absentee or early voting ballot. You may apply now for your mail-in early ballot. https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/2020-Municipal-Early-Ballot-Application.pdf Ballots for the original election date will still be valid. If you have already submitted an absentee ballot, that ballot will be counted.

Stay Informed Visit Town websites to see the latest COVID-19 updates and to subscribe to alerts and Town news: