Hello,

The past week may have felt like a month or a year to you -- it certainly has been a time of unprecedented challenges as we address the spread of the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19.
 
As of this evening, there are 197 positive and presumed positive cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts. The state lab has performed 1,092 tests and commercial labs have performed 204 tests. More than 1,000 people have been quarantined and 445 are currently undergoing monitoring/quarantined. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health shares updated numbers on its website each day.
 
This is a dangerous disease, especially for the elderly and people with chronic health issues. You may be one of those people, or you may care about one of those people – we all have a stake in this. Aggressive social distance will helps us reduce the number of people who are sick at once, which is the best way to keep our health system from being overwhelmed. This is important for COVID-19 patients, as well as everyone else who may need access to healthcare.
 
I’m sharing a summary below of the changes that have been enacted to-date, along with information on resources that may be helpful to you.
 
As a Colorado school superintendent said recently, “In the end, it will be impossible to know if we overreacted or did too much, but it will be quite apparent if we under reacted or did too little.”

I hope that you, and those you care about, are healthy and safe. If you have any questions or need assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact me. We will get through this together.

Best,
Signature
Kate Hogan
State Representative
Third Middlesex District
(617) 722-2199
UPDATE FROM GOV. BAKER
Governor Baker is providing daily updates on the Commonwealth’s efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus. Here’s the latest:

STATE OF EMERGENCY On March 10, Gov. Baker declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts to support the Commonwealth’s response to the outbreak of the coronavirus. Read more here .

197 CASES IN MASS As of this evening, there are 197 positive and presumed positive cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts. The state lab has performed 1,092 tests and commercial labs have performed 204 tests. More than 1,000 people have been quarantined and 445 are currently undergoing monitoring/quarantined. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health shares updated numbers on its website each day.
 
SCHOOL CLOSED 3 WEEKS  All Massachusetts public and private schools will be closed for three weeks starting Tuesday and through April 6. Read more here .
 
Information on school closings and measures in our district can be found here:
Maynard Public Schools  https://www.maynard.k12.ma.us/
Nashoba Regional School District  https://www.nrsd.net/
 
RESTAURANT LIMITS  All restaurants, bars and eating establishments are to be closed except for pickup and delivery through April 6. This does not apply to grocery or drug stores. Retail stores can stay open subject to 25 person rule. Read more here .
 
25 PERSON LIMIT  The ban on gatherings of 250 persons has been lowered to a ban on gatherings of 25 or more. Read more here .
 
PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING The governor has not given orders to shelter in place, but advises everyone to practice “social distancing,” which means avoiding mass gatherings and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.
 
STATE FUNDING The State Legislature approved $15 million in state aid to cover costs associated with the state’s COVID-19 response, including "monitoring, treatment, containment, public awareness and prevention efforts ... by the department of public health, regional and local boards of health and other public instrumentalities." The federal government has also released $11.65 million in aid to Massachusetts. The legislature and the governor had previously appropriated $95,000 to cover overtime costs at the state lab to speed up testing.

HELP FOR SMALL BUSINESSES Gov. Baker announced a $10 million fund to provide financial relief to small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The $10 million Small Business Recovery Loan Fund will provide emergency capital up to $75,000 to Massachusetts-based businesses impacted by COVID-19 with under 50 full- and part-time employees, including nonprofits. Loans are immediately available to eligible businesses with no payments due for the first 6 months. Information will be available on Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation's website: https://www.empoweringsmallbusiness.org/
 
FLEXIBILITY FOR MUNICIPAL MEETINGS Gov. Baker has signed an Executive Order temporarily authorizing local municipal boards to allow remote participation of all of members, including public participants. It also provides some flexibility in setting alternate meeting locations, provided that public access is maintained. Read more here .

REVISED MBTA SCHEDULES The MBTA is reducing service for light rail, commuter rail and buses. Buses will be operating on a Saturday schedule. Ferry service is discontinued at this time. The Ride will continue to operate normally. More details are available here .