COVID-19 Update & Resources
Massachusetts 7th Resources During the COVID-19 Pandemic
To the Massachusetts 7th Community,
Thank you for turning to our office for support and resources. My team and I are working with federal, state, local officials and with community leaders to provide assistance and connect you to information about the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
We have compiled the resources below and will continue to update this page in real time. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our office with questions (617) 850-0040.
Member of Congress
The Latest Updates (3/26/20)
Massachusetts Governor Baker has issued a ‘stay-at-home’ advisory. Starting at noon on Tuesday, March 24th, all non-essential workers are required to stay in their homes and limit all “unnecessary” activities until April 7th at noon. Grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals, healthcare facilities, virus testing labs, gas stations, liquor stores, public transit, restaurants that offer takeout and delivery, police departments, and other essential operations will remain open while the advisory is in effect.
Governor Baker announced unemployment extensions and waived the one week waiting period to file for unemployment.
Telehealth and telemedicine will be covered with relaxed regulations.
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development will suspend all foreclosures and evictions through the end of April.
The State Department has advised that all Americans traveling abroad immediately return to the U.S. in anticipation of further travel restrictions or make plans to shelter in place for the duration in the current country they are visiting.
Beginning Monday, March 23rd, all early education centers and child care providers will close. Massachusetts is working to set up emergency child care for the children of first responders, medical staff, and other critical personnel.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement will halt deportation efforts amid the pandemic, except for those “deemed a safety risk or under mandatory deportation order due to criminal history”. For questions about immigration casework, call our office directly.
Grocery stores in Massachusetts will be expanding hours for senior citizens (people over 60 years old) and other customers who may have a weakened immune system or are otherwise immunocompromised: Stop & Shop will reserve 6am-7:30am daily. Shaw’s and Star Market will reserve 7:00am to 9:00am every Tuesday and Thursday. Roche Bros. will reserve 7:00-8:00am. Market Basket will open 5:30am-7:00am.
Statewide school closures are in effect until May 4th. Check your local public school website for updates, as some districts have longer closure periods.
All non-essential businesses are closed until further notice. Grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals, healthcare facilities, virus testing labs, gas stations, liquor stores, public transit, restaurants that offer takeout and delivery, police departments, and other essential operations will remain open until the shelter-in-place advisory is no longer in effect.
TESTING, TREATMENT, AND MORE HEALTH INFORMATION
- For information about COVID-19, symptoms, and healthcare referrals: dial 2-1-1. This hotline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All calls are free and confidential. Interpreter services are available in multiple languages.
- Massachusetts Department of Public Health 24-hour Emergency Hotline: 617-983-6800
- Get help with health insurance questions and complaints by contacting Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s Health Care Division at 1-888-830-6277.
- The City of Boston’s Tracker of COVID-19 Cases can be found at this website.
- Foodsource Hotline: To find food resources in your community, call the FoodSource Hotline AT 1-800-645-8333 (TTY: 1-800-377-1292). Open Monday-Friday 8:00am-7:00pm and Saturdays 10:00am-2:00pm.
- Food Pantries:
- Greater Boston Food Bank Food Assistance Program locator: GBFB.org/need-food
- Catholic Charities Yawkey Center, 185 Columbia Road, Dorchester: 617-506-6600 Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
- Catholic Charities at Somerville 270 Washington Street, Somerville : 617-625-1920 Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
- Find your local YMCA branch for food resources: https://ymcaboston.org/branches
- For Students:
- Use this spreadsheet to Search Free Food for Students by Town.
- Find Pick Up Times and Locations for Free Meals Through Your Public School System:
- Boston Public Schools: https://www.bostonpublicschools.org/Page/8098
- Cambridge Public Schools: https://www.cpsd.us/cms/One.aspx?portalId=3042869&pageId=69483708
- Randolph Public Schools:https://www.randolph.k12.ma.us/Page/2375
- Milton Public Schools: https://www.miltonps.org/
- Everett Public Schools: https://www.everettsd.org/Page/31175
- Chelsea Public Schools: https://www.chelseaschools.com/cms/lib/MA50000536/Centricity/domain/1339/central%20office/Emergencyfoodprogramflyer.pdf
- Somerville Public Schools: https://somerville.k12.ma.us/district-departments/food-nutrition-services
Boston Public Schools system is seeking volunteers for food distribution sites that serve people under 18 years old. Learn more about volunteering: https://www.bostoncares.org/bostoncovid19volunteer
- The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care has posted a listing of drop-in child care programs open to provide emergency, back-up, drop-in child care for vulnerable families and members of essential workforces who have no other option. https://eeclead.force.com/apex/EEC_ChildCareEmergencyProcedure
To support virtual learning, Boston Public Schools system is issuing free chrome books and support with internet access. Apply here: https://www.bostonpublicschools.org/Page/8081
UNEMPLOYMENT AND BILL PAY ASSISTANCE
- The United Way has launched a family support fund to aid hourly and low-wage workers who may need financial help with rent, food, or childcare. Find more information here: https://unitedwaymassbay.org/get-involved/covid-19-family-fund/
- The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities has put out guidance prohibiting utility companies from shutting off residents’ power during the Governor’s state of emergency. Check here for updates: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-guidance-and-directives
- The Boston Housing Authority has made changes to evictions and inspections policy. Check their website for updates: https://www.bostonhousing.org/en/Home.asp
- Governor Baker issued several emergency regulations to expand access to unemployment insurance to cover quarantined and workers at temporarily closed businesses. Visit the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance for more information.
SMALL BUSINESS SUPPORT
- The Small Business Administration (SBA) has activated their Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, which provides assistance to eligible businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19. Find out if your business or nonprofit is eligible by filling out the SBA form: https://www.mass.gov/doc/sba-eidl-worksheet-and-instructions/download
- The Boston Foundation has created a response fund to provide grants to organizations helping people in need now: https://www.tbf.org/what-we-do/special-funds/covid-19-response-fund
- Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation has created a COVID-19 Loan Fund of $10 million to provide financial relief up to $75,000 to Massachusetts businesses. To apply, visit https://www.empoweringsmallbusiness.org/what-we-offer/emergency-loan-funds/covid-19-loan-fund
- Employers who are impacted by COVID-19 can ask for a 60 day grace period for their quarterly reports and pay contributions. For more information, visit https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-guidance-and-directives#businesses-&-employers-
- The City of Boston’s Chief Economic Development Office is offering support to Small Businesses. Fill out the form to learn more https://forms.gle/h8vkNA1LjH6dt6JeA
- Public transportation will run on a reduced service to support efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. Check the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority for updates: https://www.mbta.com/covid19
- The Registry of Motor Vehicles will extend the renewal timeline for certain credentials to reduce physical visits to the RMV. See the full order here: https://www.mass.gov/doc/march-15-2020-rmv-license-extensions
- For traffic alerts, visit https://mass511.com
- For Massport and Logan Airport alerts, visit http://www.massport.com/massport/
LEGAL SUPPORT WITH TRAVEL REFUND AND CONSUMER PROTECTION
- Be on alert for scams, and report scammers. Don’t trust anyone offering vaccinations or other treatment. There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19. Look out for unauthorized or fraudulent solicitations. Speak with a Consumer Specialist in the Attorney General’s Office at (617) 727-8400 at 10:00am-4:00pm, Monday through Friday.
- Consider seeking a travel refund for cancelled travel. File a complaint with the Attorney General’s office if you are having trouble getting your money back: https://www.mass.gov/how-to/file-a-consumer-complaint
UPDATES FROM MY OFFICE
I am committed to regularly updating you with information on the coronavirus. If you would like to join my email list for regular updates, you can sign up here.
Here are the emails I have sent out so far:
OTHER REPUTABLE SOURCES
For more information on COVID-19, visit the websites of these government agencies: