Dear <<First Name>>,
As the situation surrounding the spread and attempt to mitigate transmission of COVID-19 evolves, I want to give you an update on the current situation. We will continue to communicate via email and social media as the situation changes in order to get you the most up-to-date information. Additionally, please read on to the end of this email to find resources for those who have been economically impacted by COVID-19.
If you have any questions or comments, please email them to my legislative aide, Andrew Tarr, at email@example.com so that we may respond in a timely manner. My staff and I are in constant communication with local, state, and federal officials to bring your concerns about the COVID-19 situation to the proper authorities and to get the most up-to-date information possible back to our residents and communities.
It has become clear that there are two situations that have emerged from the spread of COVID-19: one relative to personal health, containing the virus, and flattening the curve, and the economic impact of taking actions in order to achieve these goals. I remain in constant contact with all of my colleagues in order to address both of these situations.
Last week, the House and Senate passed a $15 million package to help deal with the situation surrounding the COVID-19 epidemic, which Governor Baker signed into law. Yesterday, $5 million in emergency funding was distributed to local boards of health to address immediate public health needs. This week, the House continues to work on several pieces of emergency legislation relating to the current crisis.
My office is also monitoring legislation moving at the federal level, including measures to combat COVID-19 and provide emergency aid to individuals, families, and small businesses. This article from the New York Times best lays out the tools that the federal government is discussing. The Trump Administration and Congress are also discussing economic tools for individuals and businesses in the following forms:
- Income tax payment deferrals
- Direct payments to individuals and businesses
- Assistance for the airline, hotel, and restaurant industries
Please remember that I am your state representative, working for you with the state legislature and Baker-Polito Administration. These federal options are being discussed with Congress and the Trump Administration. I have expressed to Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Ed Markey, or Congressman Seth Moulton to move forward as quickly as possible to bring federal relief to our residents, families, and businesses. I recommend you to do the same.
On March 10th, Governor Baker declared a State of Emergency in Massachusetts to support the Commonwealth’s response to the outbreak of Coronavirus. The following is a summary of some the most relevant guidance and directives following that declaration. Visit Mass.gov for complete information regarding COVID-19 in Massachusetts, the state of emergency, guidance and directives, fact sheets, and more.
- Gatherings of more than 25 people are prohibited across the Commonwealth. Due to a local state of emergency in Gloucester, gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited.
- Restaurants may remain open for take out and delivery only. On-site consumption of food and drink is prohibited.
- Public and private schools througout the Commonwealth are closed until April 6th.
- State courts are closed until April 6th.
- The MBTA is operating on a reduced service schedule in order to limit the spread of COVID-19 while providing a public transit option for people with essential travel needs, such as medical professionals and emergency responders.
- The Registry of Motor Vehicles will extend the renewal timeline of certain credentials to reduce the need for customers to physically visit an RMV.
- Nursing homes and assisted living centers are required to restrict visitation of all visitors. Hospitals are required to screen all visitors before entering.
- Licensing of certain health care professionals will be expedited to provide more access to care during this emergency.
Again, these are only some of the guidance and directives relating to the current state of affairs. Please visit Mass.gov for more complete information and check the municipal websites for Gloucester, Rockport, and Essex for local guidance.
Please read on below for resources for those who have been economically impacted by COVID-19. This is not yet a complete list and my office will continue to be in communication via email and social media as we put together and become aware of more resources.
This is an evolving situation with many days ahead for us to work together to address challenges and hardships. Please follow all local, state, and federal recommendations to help keep yourself, your loved ones, and our communities safe and healthy. I am confident that by working together, we will get through this.