Gov. Charlie Baker announces new efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic at a State House press conference on March 30, 2020. (Photo: Joshua Qualls/Governor’s Press Office)

Governments, agencies and communities around the globe are responding to the coronavirus pandemic. We gathered the information here to help municipal leaders respond and continue their critical operations.

Reopening Massachusetts

Emergency orders and related guidance associated with COVID-19 State of Emergency

DPH’s COVID-19 Response Reporting, updated daily by 4 p.m.

Most recent MEMA Command Center Situation report | Previous reports

Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund


Reopening Massachusetts: Baker-Polito Administration Initiates Transition to Third Phase of Four-Phase Approach
July 2

With COVID surging elsewhere, state and local leaders discuss continued progress here
July 1

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Updated Travel Guidelines to Support COVID-19 Response
June 30

DESE’s initial back-to-school guidance prioritizes in-person learning, sets health, safety requirements
June 25

State and local leaders discuss incremental changes in reopening process
June 23

Step 2 of Phase 2 of reopening set for Monday, administration announces
June 19

State and local leaders continue to forge path through COVID crisis
June 16

State and local officials discuss reopening progress and the steps ahead
June 9

Governor announces Phase 2 of reopening will begin June 8
June 6

Law allows changes to town meeting, election and budget processes
June 5

State and local officials look toward return of popular activities
June 2

Executive orders allow preparations for reopening outdoor dining, child care, retail, sports
June 2

Baker-Polito Administration Provides Update on Phase II of Reopening Plan, Releases Guidance for Restaurants and Lodging
May 29

City, town halls allowed to reopen under new rules, but many proceeding with caution
May 28

State and local leaders discuss reopening progress and new questions
May 26

As reopening launches, state and local leaders discuss complicated landscape
May 19

Baker-Polito administration releases state reopening plan
May 18

Reopening Massachusetts: Baker-Polito Administration Initiates Transition to First Phase of Four-Phase Approach
May 18

Baker-Polito Administration to Distribute $502 Million from the Federal Coronavirus Relief Fund to Cities and Towns
May 15

MMA presents key municipal priorities for reopening process
May 13

State and local leaders discuss the complexities of reopening
May 12

Baker-Polito Administration Files Supplemental Budget Bill to Authorize $1 Billion in COVID-19 Spending
May 12

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Four-Phase Approach to Reopening and Publishes Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards
May 11

As state inches toward reopening, complex planning process underway
May 5

Baker-Polito Administration Orders Use of Mask or Face Covering in Public, Announces Increased Community Health Center COVID-19 Testing Capacity
May 1

Extreme uncertainty clouds budget outlook
April 30

Administration seeks municipal input as it develops plan to reopen workplaces
April 28

Baker-Polito Administration Extends Non-Essential Business Closures to May 18th, Announces Reopening Advisory Board
April 28

Municipal organizations call for $250B federal assistance package for local governments
April 23

State and local leaders discuss the path to ‘normal’ and lack of budget clarity
April 21

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Extension of School and Non-Emergency Child Care Program Closures, Continued Steps to Support COVID-19 Response
April 21

AG Healey Launches New Website for First Responders and Health Care Workers
April 15

Awaiting surge, local and state officials grapple with questions about what’s ahead
April 14

State budget writers hear dire forecasts during economic roundtable with key experts
April 14

MMA holds COVID-19 briefing webinar for Massachusetts Select Board Association and Massachusetts Municipal Councillors’ Association
April 10

Gov. signs law with number of school-related adjustments
April 10

Administration Issues Further Public Health Guidance, Expands First Responder Testing Sites to Include Grocery Store Workers, and Authorizes Increased National Guard Activation
April 10

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Testing Site Expansion, New Restrictions For Grocery Stores, Crisis Standards of Care Recommendations
April 8

Sheltering, testing and fiscal matters are focus of COVID call with state leaders
April 7

Administration Responds to Questions Raised During March 31 Municipal CEO Briefing
April 6

Baker-Polito Administration Announces COVID-19 Community Tracing Collaborative to Further Mitigate the Spread of Virus
April 3

Gov. signs law to address municipal operations challenges resulting from COVID-19 emergency
April 2

Administration issues new guidance for construction sites
April 2

State budget writers to host discussion of COVID economic impacts April 14
April 2

Baker-Polito Administration Extends Non-Essential Business Closures and Executive Branch Employee Guidance
March 31

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Federal Disaster Declaration for COVID-19 Response
March 28

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Extension of School and Non-Emergency Child Care Program Closures and Steps to Ensure Housing Stability To Support COVID-19 Response
March 25

Administration issues further guidance on construction during closure of non-essential businesses
March 25

Local officials talk to state leaders about COVID-related operational challenges
March 24

Gov. Orders All Non-Essential Businesses to Cease In-Person Operation, Directs DPH to Issue Stay-at-Home Advisory for 2 Weeks
March 23

Gov. and top state officials discuss operational challenges with mayors
March 18

U.S. Census Bureau makes adjustments due to COVID-19
March 18

Congress passes the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
March 18

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Changes to Expedite Health Care Licensing, and Increase Support for Local Boards of Health and Small Businesses
March 17

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Emergency Actions to Address COVID-19
March 15

Gov. signs order suspending parts of open meeting law to enable local decision-making during COVID-19 emergency
March 13

Message to members: MMA staff is now working remotely
March 13

Governor Baker Declares State of Emergency to Support Commonwealth’s Response to Coronavirus
March 10

Topics

New This Week

Meetings and Elections
Public Meetings, Hearings, Operations
Municipal Finance
Emergency Declarations and Aid
PPE, Testing and Tracing
First Responders
Business and Construction
Human Resources
Remote Work
Housing and Sheltering
Health and Human Services
Planning and Local Response
Education and Child Care
Municipal Services
Recreation and Summer Activities

Meetings and Elections

Guidance for Town Meetings to Address COVID-19
– Department of Public Health

Recommendations for Election Polling Locations
– U.S. CDC

2020 Municipal Election Early Ballot Application
– Secretary of the Commonwealth

List of delayed/rescheduled Town Meetings and Elections (updated April 22)
– Massachusetts Municipal Association

With time running short, towns pursue range of town meeting and election options
– By Jennifer Kavanaugh, MMA Associate Editor

COVID-19 Elections Updates
– Secretary of the Commonwealth

Recommendations for Election Polling Locations
– U.S. CDC

Public Meetings, Hearings, Operations

Instructions for Submitting Legislative Committee Hearing Testimony
– Massachusetts Legislature

Guidance on Gatherings and Community Events
– U.S. CDC

Administrative Order Allowing Virtual Web-based Community Outreach Meetings, April 27
– Cannabis Control Commission

Guidance on Suspension of Certain Provisions of Open Meeting Law
– Courtesy KP Law

Sample Remote Meeting Script
– Courtesy of Town of Arlington

Sample Remote Participation checklist for COVID-19 emergency
– Courtesy of Town of Arlington

Order authorizing use of electronic signatures by attorneys and self-represented parties
– Supreme Judicial Court (effective April 7)

Municipal Finance

DLS Bulletin 2020-10 re FY2021 revenue and expenditure budgeting and related matters
– Division of Local Services

Dealing with the Impact of COVID-19 on a Local Government’s Financial Health (April 13)
– Division of Local Services

DLS Bulletin 2020-9 re FY2021 Cherry Sheets and Monthly Local Aid Distributions
– Division of Local Services

DLS Bulletin 2020-8 re An Act Relative to Municipal Governance During the COVID-19 Emergency
– Division of Local Services

GFOA Resource Center for Coronavirus Response
– Government Finance Officers Association

DLS Bulletin 2020-02 re: An Act to Address Challenges Faced by Municipalities and State Authorities Resulting From COVID-19
– Division of Local Services

DLS Bulletin 2020-03: Alternative Procedures for Notification to Taxpayers (Addendum to DLS Bulletin 2020-02)
– Division of Local Services

DLS Bulletin 2020-04 re: procedures for appropriation of free cash and retained earnings after June 30, 2020, as authorized by Chapter 53 of Acts of 2020
– Division of Local Services

DLS Bulletin 2020-05 re: amortization of FY20 deficit resulting from COVID-19 emergency as authorized by Chapter 53 of the Acts of 2020
– Division of Local Services

DLS Bulletin 2020-06: Deficit Spending Authority for Continued Operation After June 30 In the Event of a Delay in FY21 Budget Adoption
– Division of Local Services

FAQs regarding sections 10 and 11 of Ch. 53 of Acts of 2020 (property tax delays and waiving of penalties)
– Division of Local Services, April 15

COVID-19 municipal finance guidance and resources
– Division of Local Services

Emergency Expenditures and Borrowing Bulletin
– Division of Local Services

COVID-19 and Chapter 30B: FAQ Addressing Procurement Questions
– Office of the Inspector General

COVID-19 Information and Resources regarding public procurement and more
– Office of Inspector General

Emergency Declarations and Aid

DLS Bulletin 2020-7 re: Accounting for COVID-19 Emergency Expenditures and Reimbursements and Monies Received from Coronavirus Relief Fund and FEMA
– Division of Local Services

Coronavirus Relief Fund FAQs – Updated May 28
– U.S. Department of the Treasury

Guidance for Massachusetts municipalities on accessing funds from the Coronavirus Relief Fund
– Executive Office for Administration and Finance

CARES Act for Municipal Government
– Division of Local Services

Guidance on CARES Act re: expanded unemployment eligibility; temporary increase of weekly benefits; and additional categories of those who can claim unemployment benefits
– Department of Unemployment Assistance

Community Services and State/Municipal Supports in The CARES Act
– Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

COVID-19 Federal Disaster Declaration – FEMA Reimbursement
– Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency

FEMA Reimbursement Webinars
– Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency
Contacts: Faye Boardman (faye.boardman@mass.gov) and Tom Mangan (Thomas.Mangan2@mass.gov)

Summary of CARES Act, Third COVID-19 Response Package
– National League of Cities

Sample Municipal Declaration of Emergency
– Courtesy KP Law

Guidance for federal emergency assistance through FEMA
– National League of Cities

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Eligible Emergency Protective Measures Fact Sheet
– FEMA

Guidance on Local Shelter in Place Orders
– Mass. Attorney General’s Office

PPE, Testing and Tracing

PPE and Technology Funding For Schools (application period closes July 21)
– Mass. Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education

Data on COVID-19 cases and testing, confirmed cases by city/town, and residents subject to quarantine
– Department of Public Health

Purchasing Hygienic or Protective Supplies for the Workplace
– Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

Answer the Call and Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19
– Community Tracing Collaborative

COVID-19 Test Site Locator
– MEMA

Serology Testing for COVID-19
– U.S. CDC

Guidance on Prioritization of PPE in Massachusetts
– Mass. Dept. of Public Health

Where do I go to make a PPE request?
– Mass. Dept. of Public Health

COVID-19 Testing: What you need to know about testing in Massachusetts
– Mass. Dept. of Public Health

Learn about the Community Tracing Collaborative
– Executive Office of Health and Human Services

First Responders

Temporary EMS Certification due to COVID-19
– Office of Emergency Medical Services

Revised Guidance for Allowing Asymptomatic Health Care Personnel and Emergency Medical Technicians to Work Following a Known Exposure to COVID-19
– Mass. Dept. of Public Health

Nursing Home FAQs for First Responders and Municipalities
– Mass. Dept. of Public Health

Guidance regarding sharing information about quarantined individuals with first responders
– Massachusetts Association of Health Boards

Guidance on HIPAA privacy rights during coronavirus pandemic
– U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services

Business and Construction (incl. Essential/Non-Essential)

Safety Standards and Checklist: Theaters and Performance Venues
– Dept. of Housing and Economic Development

Safety Standards and Checklist: Indoor Recreation (effective July 6)
– Dept. of Housing and Economic Development

Safety Standards and Checklist: Fitness Centers and Health Clubs (effective July 6)
– Dept. of Housing and Economic Development

Safety Standards and Checklist: Museums and Cultural and Historical Facilities and Guided Tours (effective July 6)
– Dept. of Housing and Economic Development

Safety Standards and Checklist: Office Spaces (effective June 22)
– Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

Commonwealth Workplace COVID-19 Re-Occupancy Guide (June 2020)
– Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance

Advisory Regarding Local Licensing Authorities’ Approval of Outdoor Seating
– Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission

Safety Standards and Checklist for Retail Businesses
– Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

Safety Standards and Checklist: Restaurants
– Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

Safety Standards and Checklist: Operators of Lodgings
– Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

Reopening: When can my business reopen? (updated July 2)
– Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

Sector-Specific Workplace Specific Safety Standards for Office Spaces to Address COVID-19
– Department of Labor Standards

Employer Guidance: Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces Poster
– Reopening Advisory Board

COVID-19 Workplace Safety Measures For Reopening
– Department of Labor Standards

Amended Administrative Order Allowing Curbside Marijuana Operations
– Cannabis Control Commission

COVID-19 Safety Standards Compliance Attestation poster
– Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

COVID-19 control plan template
– Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

Employer Guidance: Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces poster
– Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

Guidance to Municipalities on Enforcing COVID-19 Orders
– Department of Labor Standards

Sector-specific protocols and best practices
– Reopening Advisory Board

Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools and Homes
– U.S. CDC

Farmers Market Best Practices Checklist
– Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture

Reopening: Four-Phase Approach
– Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

Reopening Advisory Board Presentation, May 11

Reopening: Mandatory Safety Standards for Workplaces
– Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

Guidance Regarding Remote Fulfillment of Orders by Non-Essential Businesses
– Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

Guidance For Grocery Stores and Local Boards of Health, issued April 7
– Mass. Dept. of Public Health

Enforcement of the COVID-19 Safety Guidelines and Procedures for Construction Sites, revised March 31
– Office of Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito

Supplemental Guidelines for Construction Sites
– Office of Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito

COVID-19 Employee Health, protection, guidance and prevention
– Office of Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito

Essential Services during COVID-19 pandemic
– Office of Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, updated April 28

COVID-19 Essential Services FAQs
– Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

Essential Services Guidance Regarding Construction
– Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

Human Resources

Resources concerning unemployment fraud
– Department of Unemployment Assistance

OSHA COVID-19 Webpage
– U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration

OSHA Fact Sheet: Protecting Workers During a Pandemic
– U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Non-Healthcare Workers: Occupational Exposure & Return to Work Guidance (rev. May 7)
– Massachusetts COVID-19 Command Center

Time Reporting for Families First Coronavirus Response Act
– Office of the Comptroller of the Commonwealth

Information on Unemployment and COVID-19
– Department of Unemployment Assistance

PERAC memo (#22) to retirement boards regarding delayed FY21 appropriations, April 27
– Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission

Guidance on new U.S. DOT regulations regarding mandatory driver drug and alcohol testing during COVID-19 emergency
– Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association

Enforcement Guidance for Recording Cases of COVID-19 under 29 CFR Part 1904
– Occupational Safety and Health Administration, April 10

What Employers Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws
– U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, rev. May 5

Unemployment Insurance Guidance for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation under CARES Act
– U.S. Department of Labor (Letter 15-20, April 4)

Post Retirement Restrictions During the State of Emergency (Memo #21, April 13)
– Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission

Interim guidance for critical infrastructure employees who may have had exposure to COVID-19
– U.S. CDC

Federal law extends paid leave and sick time benefits
– By Lisa Adams, Senior Legislative Analyst, MMA

Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions and Answers
– U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division

Employee Rights: Paid Sick Leave And Expanded Family And Medical Leave Under The Families First Coronavirus Response Act
– U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division

FAQs regarding employee rights and employer obligations regarding COVID-19
– Mass. Attorney General’s Office

COVID-19 and the Workplace
– U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division

Supporting employees through COVID crisis: tips for local government managers
– By Steven Bernstein, EAP Account Manager, AllOneHealth EAP

Remote Work

Zoom Security Guide
– Zoom Video Communications Inc.

Employee Guidelines for Telecommuting During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Emergency
– Courtesy Town of Norwell

Quick Steps to Prepare a Remote Work Policy for Your Local Government
– International City/County Management Association

Telework cybersecurity advice for cities and towns
– By Stephanie Helm, Director, MassCyberCenter

Housing and Sheltering

FAQs for Cities and Towns regarding FEMA Reimbursement for Quarantine/Isolation Solutions
– Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency

COVID-19 Guidance for Residential and Congregate Care Programs
– Executive Office of Health and Human Services

Guidance regarding application of Administration’s Essential Services Order to hotels, motels, inns, bed and breakfasts, and short-term residential rentals
– Mass. Department of Public Health

Emergency Rental Assistance Programs Guidance
– Massachusetts Housing Partnership

Emergency Rental Assistance Programs Checklist
– Massachusetts Housing Partnership

Using the Community Preservation Act (CPA) For Rental Assistance Programs
– Massachusetts Housing Partnership

Can CPA be Used for Rental Assistance? The Answer is Yes!
– Community Preservation Coalition

COVID-19 Guidance for Individual Homeless Shelters
– Department of Public Health

COVID-19 FAQ for Homeless Shelters
– Department of Public Health

FAQ for Cities and Towns regarding FEMA Reimbursement for Quarantine/Isolation Solutions
– Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, updated April 27

Health and Human Services

Mental health and well-being resources
– Mass. Dept. of Mental Health

Managing isolation and loneliness
– Mass. Dept. of Mental Health

Recommendations for Reopening – Scaling Up Senior Center Operations
– Massachusetts Council On Aging

Order Requiring Face Coverings in Public Places Where Social Distancing is Not Possible (May 1)
– Baker-Polito Administration

COVID-19 information and resources for local health departments
– U.S. CDC

COVID-19 Public Resources Map
– Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, MassGIS, Project Bread, Greater Boston Food Bank, Worcester County Food Bank, Massachusetts Communities

Massachusetts Councils on Aging Coronavirus (COVID-19) resource page, including data on the status of senior services statewide

Safety Practices for Non-Healthcare Essential Service Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19
– Mass. Dept. of Public Health

Information Regarding Face Coverings and Cloth Masks
– Mass. Dept. of Public Health

COVID-19 (Coronavirus): Federal Guidance Tracker
– White House Office of Intergovernmental Relations

Information on the Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019
– Mass Dept. of Public Health

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) information portal
– U.S. CDC

Guidance for Risk Assessment and Public Health Management of Persons with Potential COVID-19 Exposure in Travel-Associated or Community Settings
– U.S. CDC

Vaping, Smoking and COVID-19
– Mass. Attorney General and Mass. General Hospital

Stop the Spread of Germs PSA poster
– Mass Dept. of Public Health

Free public information resources, including video, fact sheets and posters
– U.S. CDC

Frequently asked questions about COVID-19
– Mass. DHP

Health and Medical Coordinating Coalitions

Medical Reserve Corps of Massachusetts

Planning and Local Response

Safety Standards and Checklist: Indoor and Outdoor Events
– Dept. of Housing and Economic Development

Second Revised Order Regulating Gatherings Throughout the Commonwealth
– COVID-19 Executive Order No. 44, effective July 6

Revised Order Regulating Gatherings Throughout the Commonwealth
– COVID-19 Executive Order No. 38, effective June 8

Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication
– U.S. CDC Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response

Cleaning and Disinfection for Community Facilities
– U.S. CDC

Safer-at-Home Advisory
– Department of Public Health

Reopening Massachusetts report
– Reopening Advisory Board

Reopening Massachusetts
– Baker-Polito Administration

Guidance and resources for making communications accessible to all audiences
– Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Reopening Advisory Board
– Office of Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito/Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

Submit Comments to the Reopening Advisory Board
– Office of Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito/Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

Attorney General’s Guidance on Local Authority Amid COVID-19
– Mass. Attorney General, updated April 27

MEMA responds to questions raised during March 24 COVID-19 briefing for municipal CEOs
– Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency

Administration Responses to Questions Raised During March 31 Municipal CEO Briefing
– Office of Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito

Administration Responses to Questions Raised During March 24 Municipal CEO Briefing
– Office of Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito

Local Emergency Management Planning Guidance
– Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency

COVID-19 Guidance and Recommendations for audiences including schools, employers and EMS and 911 Public Safety Answering Points
– Mass. DPH, including information from the U.S. CDC

Coronavirus resources for local government managers
– International City/County Management Association

Managing Through the Coronavirus: What Local Leaders Need to Know
– National League of Cities

Know Plan Prepare
– Mass. Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management

Education and Child Care

Initial Fall School Reopening Guidance (June 25)
– Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Massachusetts Child and Youth-Serving Programs: Reopening Process Overview (June 7)
– Department of Early Education and Care

Initial Summer School Reopening Guidance
– Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Guidance on Required Safety Supplies for Reopening Schools
– Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Child and Youth-Serving Program Reopening Approach: Frequently Asked Questions
– Department of Early Education and Care

Massachusetts Child and Youth Serving Programs Reopen Approach
– Department of Early Education and Care

Massachusetts Child and Youth Serving Programs: Minimum Requirements for Health and Safety
– Department of Early Education and Care, updated June 12

Reopening Child Care: A Phased Approach
– Department of Early Education and Care

Emergency Child Care Directory (map)
– Department of Early Education and Care

High School Graduation Guidelines from DPH/HHS to Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
– Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

FAQs on FY2021 Regional School District Interim (or 1/12th) Budget Process
– Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Guidelines on FY2021 Regional School District Interim (or 1/12th) Budget Process
– Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

COVID-19 Information and Resources
– Mass. Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Guidance for Administrators of US Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools
– U.S. CDC

Municipal Services

Safety Standards and Checklist for Libraries
– Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

Reopening Your Library: Guidelines, Roadmap and Plan Template
– Massachusetts Library System

Recycling and Solid Waste Information for Municipal Officials During COVID-19 Emergency
– Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

Recreation and Summer Activities

Safety Standards: Parks, Open Space, and Outdoor Education Programs – Phase 3 (updated July 2)
– Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Safety Standards: Public and Semi-Public Swimming Pools – Phase 3 (updated July 2)
– Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Safety and Reopening Standards For Playgrounds, Spray Decks and Outdoor Fitness Areas – Phase 3 (updated July 2)
– Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Safety Standards: Coastal and Inland Beaches – Phase 3 (updated July 2)
– Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Safety Standards and Checklist: Golf Facilities
– Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

Workplace Safety and Reopening Standards for Entities Providing Outdoor Adult Sports, Supervised Youth Sports Leagues and Summer Sports Camps – Phase 3, Step 1 (updated July 2)
– Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Order of the Commissioner of Public Health for Farmers Markets, Farm Stands and CSAs
– Department of Public Health

Beaches: Guidance for Managers
– Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Guidance and directives related to reopening of outdoor recreational activities and businesses
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Guidance for Administrators in Parks and Recreational Facilities
– U.S. CDC

Golf Operations Advisory with Provision Regarding Golf Carts and ADA Compliance (updated May 10)
– Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

Guidelines on boating and other marine and inland waterway-related activities – Phase 3 (updated July 2)
– Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

New This Week

Safety Standards and Checklist: Theaters and Performance Venues
– Dept. of Housing and Economic Development

Safety Standards and Checklist: Indoor and Outdoor Events
– Dept. of Housing and Economic Development

Safety Standards and Checklist: Indoor Recreation (effective July 6)
– Dept. of Housing and Economic Development

Safety Standards and Checklist: Fitness Centers and Health Clubs (effective July 6)
– Dept. of Housing and Economic Development

Safety Standards and Checklist: Museums and Cultural and Historical Facilities and Guided Tours (effective July 6)
– Dept. of Housing and Economic Development

Second Revised Order Regulating Gatherings Throughout the Commonwealth
– COVID-19 Executive Order No. 44, effective July 6

Mental health and well-being resources
– Mass. Dept. of Mental Health

Managing isolation and loneliness
– Mass. Dept. of Mental Health

Recommendations for Reopening – Scaling Up Senior Center Operations
– Massachusetts Council On Aging

DLS Bulletin 2020-10 re FY2021 revenue and expenditure budgeting and related matters
– Division of Local Services

Initial Fall School Reopening Guidance (June 25)
– Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Cities and towns across Massachusetts have been responding aggressively and swiftly to inform the public about the implications of the coronavirus emergency in their community and to share the status of local preparedness and response.

The following are some of the measures being implemented locally:

Communications
• Maintain an online portal for up-to-the-minute information for residents and businesses, including links to key outside resources. These online resources indicate the date and time of the most recent updates. Many communities have established an easy-to-remember web address for these information centers (such as LexingtonMA.gov/COVID19), and feature a prominent link on their homepage.
City of Somerville Novel Coronavirus Preparedness and Information
Town of Andover Information on Coronavirus
Town of Natick Information on Coronavirus
Town of Danvers Information on Coronavirus
• Urge residents to like and follow municipal social media channels for breaking news updates.
• Encourage residents to sign up for municipal alerts, such as reverse 911, Code Red, or other local communication systems.
• Use a form to gather and update resident email addresses.
• Send daily (or regularly scheduled) emails to update residents and businesses on the local response.
• Have the public works department post signs at heavily travelled intersections promoting easily identifiable online resources.
• Encourage the use of a local 311 service for non-emergency services and questions, and promote the Commonwealth’s 211 number for non-emergency questions about coronavirus issues.
• Consolidate key resources concerning coronavirus with a dedicated website.
Salem Together includes a directory – in English and Spanish – of more than 80 linked resources, including food programs, housing support, child care providers, health information, programs for employers, unemployment assistance, and more.
• Use traditional methods to raise awareness about COVID-19 precautions.
Boston deploys “sound trucks” to broadcast rolling public service announcements in neighborhoods, in seven languages depending on the community.
• Use multi-lingual texting to reach all residents, regardless of their first language.
Boston sends daily text alerts in 11 languages, updating residents about local spread of coronavirus, preventive measures, and available city resources.
• Warn residents about coronoavirus-inspired door-to-door, telephone, and internet scams seeking to take advantage of people’s generosity or prey on their fears.
Braintree officials warn residents about scams

Public health and safety
• Declare a state of emergency at the local level.
• Promote the practice of physical distancing by posting guidance and recommendations online and robo-calling residents with information.
• Urge residents to follow CDC and Mass. DPH recommendations for wearing cloth face coverings in public. Some communities are requiring face coverings for entry into essential businesses, particularly grocery stores and pharmacies. Municipalities are advising residents, however, that they are responsible solely for their own face coverings, not for reporting or confronting others for not wearing a face mask or for wearing a different type.
City of Somerville message to residents regarding face coverings
City of Boston do-it-yourself face mask video
• Create “grab-and-go” meal pickup centers or meal delivery services for students and families who qualify for free lunches and breakfasts or who need assistance.
• Partner with local hotels and motels to provide temporary housing for residents who are recovering from COVID-19 but don’t require hospital care and need a place to quarantine without risking further spread of the virus.
Cities of Revere and Chelsea open The Inn through a partnership with Quality Inn in Revere, Partners HealthCare, and a third-party management company
• Adopt a zero-tolerance policy for employees who demonstrate or report COVID-19 symptoms, and encourage employers to verify wellness by checking workers’ temperatures.
City of Haverhill Executive Order
• Declare a curfew to further encourage people to stay home. Several cities have overnight curfews (9 p.m. to 6 a.m.), including Boston, Melrose, Lynn and Everett. Chelsea has issued a 24-hour curfew.
• Institute civil fines or other penalties for those who ignore rules against gathering in close-knit groups. Examples include fines for violators in Cohasset and Haverhill, and criminal trespassing summonses in Marshfield.
• Routinely disinfect municipal vehicles, particularly public safety, to help stem the spread of COVID-19.

Municipal operations
• Hold board and committee meetings virtually.
• Encourage online payment of municipal bills and/or set up a secure onsite bill payment drop box. Offer bill payment extensions, particularly for property taxes.
• Establish a by-appointment policy for other municipal business that may be necessary.
• Increase online availability of public library books and resources, and publicize through local community news sites. Ideas include videotaped story hours, puppet shows, and other activities for children.
Auburn Public Library Stay Connected program

Helping others
• Create a volunteer signup form for individuals seeking to lend a hand to others. (Volunteers who register are contacted once assignments are identified.)
City of Revere Coronavirus Volunteer Signup
• Use the local Community Preservation Act trust fund to create emergency housing/rental assistance programs.
Lenox
Chelsea
• Create programs to help tenants affected by the crisis pay their rent.
North Andover set aside $100,000 from the town’s Affordable Housing Trust for emergency rental assistance.
• Establish charitable funds to support the essential needs of community members most impacted by the pandemic, including residents, businesses, employees, and first-responders.
Newton Covid-19 Care Fund
Somerville Cares Fund
Lynn COVID-19 Community Care Fund
Worcester Together Fund
Boston Resiliency Fund
One Chelsea Fund
• Support remote learning for low-income students.
– Greenfield’s GCET Equity Access Program offers free 25 Mbps internet connection for the rest of this school year.
• Publicize phone numbers for local domestic and sexual assault organizations and resources, and the recent expansion of SafeLink, the Commonwealth’s 24/7, toll-free and confidential domestic violence hotline, which now includes resources and support for survivors of sexual assault as well as domestic violence. (877-785-2020; TTY: 877-521-2601).
• Collect and publish race and ethnicity data to indicate COVID-19’s impact on various segments of the community.
City of Boston Health Inequities Task Force (examining issues such as testing, community action, and understanding economic impact)
• Solicit local companies and individuals to donate or sell personal protective equipment for essential frontline workers through the Baker-Polito administration’s online portal.
• Encourage residents who are healthy and able to donate blood through the American Red Cross.

Related news
The many new looks of town meetings during COVID emergency – June 24
COVID puts damper on some summer traditions, but creative solutions arise as well – June 8
With time running short, towns pursue range of town meeting and election options – May 29
Local leaders work to boost morale and keep employees connected – May 29
City, town halls allowed to reopen under new rules, but most proceeding with caution – May 28
With a different look, farmers markets march on amid COVID crisis – May 14
Town meetings, elections rescheduled, but wait-and-see continues – April 30
Cities and towns act on urgent need to shelter homeless, first responders – April 22
Essential water, sewer services uninterrupted during COVID emergency – April 13
Local governments shifting gears to continue operations during COVID crisis – April 8
In midst of pandemic, towns scramble to change meetings, elections – March 30

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