Massachusetts' Response to COVID-19

Last Updated: Friday, June 12th, 2020

Here is an up-to-date list of the Massachusetts State Government response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This page is updated regularly but is not comprehensive and may be amended. Click here to sign up for the Senator's twice a week COVID-19 updates.  

6/8/2020

5/18/2020

5/4/2020

5/1/2020

4/21/2020

4/13/2020

4/8/2020

4/7/2020

4/3/2020

3/27/2020

3/26/2020

3/25/2020

3/24/2020

3/23/2020

3/21/2020

3/20/2020

3/19/2020

3/18/2020

3/17/2020

3/16/2020

3/15/2020

3/14/2020

3/13/2020

3/12/2020

3/11/2020

3/10/2020

  • Massachusetts enters Stage 2 of the reopening process, allowing retail locations, restaurants, lodging, and certain personal services to open following strict public health guidelines. 

  • The Baker-Polito Administration releases a plan to begin the process of reopening the Massachusetts economy, getting people back to work, and easing social restrictions while minimizing the public health impacts of COVID-19. Massachusetts enters Stage 1 of the reopening process.

  • Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Delaware form a regional consortium to jointly find and purchase personal protective equipment, COVID-19 tests, ventilators, and other medical equipment. 
     

  • Governor Baker issues an order mandating that face coverings are worn in all indoor public spaces in addition to outdoor spaces in which social distancing cannot be maintained. 

  • Governor Baker extends closure of K-12 schools through the end of the school year. Non-emergency childcare programs will stay closed through June 29th. 

  • Governor Baker joins a seven-state council tasked with developing a regional framework to gradually lift stay-at-home orders while minimizing the risk of increased COVID-19 transmission. This task force is composed of state leaders from New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, as well as economic and public health experts.

  • Governor Baker signs three executive orders to expand the state's health care capacity as it prepares for a coming surge in COVID-19 cases: one to facilitate and expedite the licensure of foreign-educated doctors in Massachusetts, another, allowing nursing school graduates and those in their final semester to practice, while directly supervised, before they receive their license, and the final mandating that insurers cover all medically required costs of COVID-19 treatment, with no charge to patients, in out-of-network hospitals.

  • The Baker administration calls for limiting the number of people allowed in a grocery store to 40 percent of the store's capacity.

  • Nursing Home Family Resource Line is rolled out, a dedicated telephone line to connect family members of nursing home and rest home residents with the information and resources they need. The line is staffed from 9 AM – 5 PM, seven days a week. Families and community members can call the line at (617) 660-5399.

  • Gov. Charlie Baker announces new plans to deploy as many as 1,000 people trained by the Partners in Health group to trace contacts of all patients who contract COVID-19, describing it as a first-in-the-nation effort to understand the full risks of transmission.

  • Governor Baker extends the stay-at-home advisory and non-essential business closure through May 4th.

  • Travelers coming to or returning to Massachusetts are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. 

  • Massachusetts extends the 2019 state individual income tax filing and payment deadline from April 15 to July 15, in line with the extended federal deadline. 

  • Attorney General Maura Healey bans debt collectors or creditors from seeking legal remedies for debt, such as outbound debt collection calls, filing new collection lawsuits, or repossessing. There are certain exceptions, such as actions for loans secured by mortgages and certain utilities. Learn more here.

  • Governor Baker orders school and non-emergency child care centers to remain closed until at least May 4.

  • The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) issues an order prohibiting investor-owned utility companies from shutting off gas, electric, and water utility service to any customers for failure to pay a bill until the State of Emergency is lifted or the DPU determines otherwise.

  • Governor Baker orders the Department of Public Health to issue a stay-at-home advisory and orders non-essential businesses to cease in-person operations Public gatherings of 10 individuals or more are also prohibited. This advisory is in effect until April 7th. 

  • The department of Early Education and Care publishes a list of emergency child care providers for health care workers, essential human service workers,  grocery store employees, public safety officers, DCF-involved families, and families living in shelters.

  • The Attorney General’s Office promulgates an emergency regulation addressing price gouging of necessary goods and services during the current public health crisis, such as extremely inflated prices for hand sanitizer, face masks, and gloves.  

  • Marlborough's Quest Diagnostics ramps up to be able to test 20,000 people per day across the country. The facility hopes to eventually be able to test 2,000 to 3,000 samples per day from Massachusetts patients.
     

  • The legislature passes and the Governor signs legislation to remove the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits for job loss due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • Governor Baker ordered the closure of nearly all early education centers in the Commonwealth by Monday, March 23. Some early education centers will remain open to serve essential workers who are parents.

  • All gatherings of 25 individuals or more are prohibited through April 6th, and restaurants can provide take out and delivery only (no in-person dining). 

  • All public and private elementary and secondary schools are closed for a three-week period.

  • $5 million of the $15 million dollars allocated to combatting COVID-19 is going to local Boards of Health across the Commonwealth.

  • The Department of Public Health is providing expanded and expedited licensure to increase the number of available medical staff to handle the COVID-19 outbreak. 

  • The Mass Growth Capital Corp creates the $10 million Small Business Recovery Loan Fund to provide emergency capital up to $75,000 for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. To apply, please visit EmpoweringSmallBusiness.org.

  • The State House closes to the public to reduce the spread of COVID-19. State officials and employees are still accessible as most state employees continue their work remotely. 

  • The RMV announced a 60-day extension to the current expiration date for Class D, Class DMs, ID cards, and Learner’s Permits within the RMV system. Learn more about RMV extensions here.

  • The Baker-Polito Administration issues a directive to all health insurers to cover telehealth services.

  • The Baker-Polito Administration files emergency legislation on Monday to help municipal governments with town meetings and adopting budgets.

  • The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is working closely with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to activate the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program to provide assistance to eligible businesses and non-profits impacted by COVID-19 through capital loans of up to $2 million. Affected small businesses and nonprofits should submit the SBA EIDL Worksheet and Instructions to expedite activation of the EIDL program. For questions, please contact Disaster.Recovery@mass.gov or consult this link

  • The Baker-Polito Administration announces the creation of a COVID-19 Response Command Center led by Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) Secretary Marylou Sudders. The Command Center will be the Commonwealth’s single point of strategic decision making and coordination for the Administration’s comprehensive COVID-19 response.

  • Commonwealth’s 2-1-1 hotline will now provide real-time information on COVID-19, including resources, and referrals in multiple languages. 

  • The Department of Public Utilities extends the state’s moratorium on electric and gas service shut-offs for the duration of the COVID-19 state of emergency.

  • The Senate and House expeditiously pass, and the Governor signs into law, $15 million in supplemental funding to support monitoring, treatment, containment, prevention, and other efforts to combat COVID-19 by the state Department of Public Health (DPH), regional and local boards of health, and other public entities. 

  • The Department of Public Health issues an emergency order restricting visitor access to nursing homes and rest homes to protect higher-risk populations from COVID-19.

  • The Baker-Polito Administration issues an emergency order temporarily modifying the state’s Open Meeting Law in order to allow state and local governments to carry out essential functions and operations during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. 

  • The Massachusetts Health Connector announces a special 45-day enrollment period running until April 25 to ensure everyone who wants access to covered coronavirus services has it. 

  • All Massachusetts health insurers are required to cover the cost of testing and treatment related to COVID-19 for all members. 

  • The Baker-Polito Administration declares a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Massachusetts.

© 2020 All rights reserved. This is the official office website for MA State Senator Becca Rausch. Becca's campaign website is maintained separately.