Gov. Charlie Baker & Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announce the release of additional data on community-level spread of COVID-19 at a State House press conference on Aug. 11. (Photo: Joshua Qualls/Governor’s Press Office)

Reopening Massachusetts

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

COVID-19 Weekly Public Health Report, updated Thursday afternoons

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


Administration Announces Plans for Continued Reopening
Feb. 25

Baker-Polito Administration Announces $4.7 Million for Vaccine Equity in Hardest-Hit Communities; Regional Vaccination Collaboratives
Feb. 24

State and local officials continue discussion of vaccine challenges
Feb. 23

Administration Announces Vaccine Appointment Booking for Individuals Ages 65+, Individuals with 2+ Certain Medical Conditions to Begin on February 18th
Feb. 17

Administration launches targeted outreach initiative in 20 hardest hit communities to increase equity in COVID-19 vaccine awareness and access; $1m to support vaccination in historically underserved communities
Feb. 16

Administration Launches New Vaccine Location Finder and Appointment Finder for Some Sites
Feb. 12

Administration Announces 2 Mass Vaccination Sites and Authorization for Caregiver to Get Vaccinated with 75+ Resident
Feb. 10

State and local officials discuss COVID vaccine challenges
Feb. 9

COVID-19 Command Center Announces More Details For Vaccine Online Booking Process
Feb. 3

Administration Announces Launch of Pilot to Provide Dedicated COVID-19 Testing Sites to Child Care Programs, Expanded Resources for Providers
Jan. 25

Administration Announces Expansion of COVID-19 Vaccination Sites, Updates to Phase Two
Jan. 25

Administration Expands Vaccine Access to All Eligible Residents in Phase One Effective Immediately
Jan. 21

Administration Extends Capacity Limits and Lifts Early Closing Requirement for Businesses
Jan. 21

Administration Launches COVID-19 Vaccine CDC Pharmacy Partnership – Phase 1, Expands Vaccine Locations, and Names Fenway Park as Mass Vaccination Site
Jan. 19

Administration announces extension of capacity and gathering limits
Jan. 8

State, local leaders focus on vaccine in call
Jan. 6

Administration announces further measures to stop spread of COVID
Dec. 22

State, local officials discuss 2 tracks of pandemic
Dec. 15

Baker-Polito Administration Launches New Testing Infrastructure to Increase Testing Capacity & Efficiency Statewide
Dec. 7

State and local leaders discuss COVID vaccine, testing and federal aid
Dec. 1

As COVID numbers rise and holidays approach, state and local officials focus on safety measures
Nov. 19

Baker-Polito Administration, COVID-19 Command Center & Department of Elementary & Secondary Education Release Updated Metrics, Guidance on Schools
Nov. 6

Gov. Baker addresses COVID spike in call with local leaders
Nov. 5

Gov. Baker announces measures to curb rising COVID-19 cases
Nov. 2

COVID numbers, budgets and housing are priorities during call for state, local leaders
Oct. 20

State and local leaders discuss COVID status, CARES Act funding
Oct. 6

Lower-risk communities may move to Step 2 of Phase 3 effective Oct. 5
Sept. 29

Administration Announces Free COVID-19 Testing in 18 Communities is Extended through October
Sept. 23

School and business issues are key topics for state and local leaders
Sept. 22

Massachusetts Announces Extension of Administrative Tax Relief for Local Businesses
Sept. 15

As school year approaches, state and local leaders discuss plans, needs and options
Sept. 8

State and local leaders assess COVID progress and look toward fall
Aug. 25

State, local leaders discuss how new COVID data could influence decisions
Aug. 11

Baker-Polito Administration Releases Enhanced Community Level Data on Spread of COVID-19
Aug. 11

Administration announces new COVID-19 restrictions
Aug. 7

State, communities look to Congress for aid as reopening moves forward
July 28

Baker-Polito Administration Issues New Travel Order Effective August 1st
July 24

State and local leaders discuss long-lasting Phase 3
July 7

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, Tracing and Enforcement
Vaccine
First Responders
Business Activities
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
Guidance Archive

Meetings and Elections

Guidance for Town Meetings to Address COVID-19, updated Nov. 23
– Dept. of Public Health

Election Advisory #20-01, Regarding Return of Ballots via Secured Drop Box
– 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

Municipal Finance

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

Emergency Declarations and Aid

Supplemental Guidance for the Coronavirus Relief Fund – Municipal Program (Feb. 19, 2021)
– Executive Office for Administration and Finance

Extended CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund Covered Period: Updated Definition of Eligible Uses (Dec. 29, 2020)
– Executive Office for Administration and Finance

Guidance for the Coronavirus Relief Fund – Municipal Program Reconciliation Period
– Executive Office for Administration and Finance, Federal Funds Office, Dec. 17

Application Template for Reconciliation Round, Coronavirus Relief Fund – Municipal Program

Coronavirus Relief Fund – Municipal Program Reconciliation Period FAQs
– Executive Office for Administration and Finance, Federal Funds Office, Dec. 15

Online Form for Submitting Questions to Executive Office for Administration and Finance About Coronavirus Relief Fund Municipal Program

PPE, Testing, Tracing and Enforcement

Supplemental Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for Child Care
– Dept. of Early Education and Care

COVID-19 Testing for Child Care
– Dept. of Early Education and Care

COVID-19 Testing Guidance
– Dept. of Public Health

Guidance for Travelers arriving in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
– Department of Public Health

Massachusetts Travel Form

COVID-19 Travel Order

Get Tested website

Vaccine

Senior Affordable Housing COVID-19 Vaccine Information
– Executive Office of Health and Human Services

Massachusetts Caregiver/Companion COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility
– Executive Office of Health and Human Services

Trust the Facts, Get the Vax – Campaign Materials
– Executive Office of Health and Human Services

COVID-19 Vaccine for Individuals Ages 75 and Older

COVID-19 vaccine locations for individuals currently eligible to be vaccinated

When Can I Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Weekly COVID-19 Vaccination Report, updated each Thursday by 5 p.m.

COVID-19 Vaccine Locations for First Responders

COVID-19 Vaccine in Massachusetts

COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions
– Dept. of Public Health

First Responders

COVID-19 Vaccine Locations for First Responders

Business Activities

Resources for Small Businesses in Massachusetts

Changes Required When Moving From Step 2 of Phase 3 Back to Step 1 of Phase 3 (after three consecutive weeks designated as red community on DPH Community Level Data Map)

COVID-19: Communities Not Designated Lower-Risk

Human Resources

Quarantine Order and Guidance for Out-of-State Travel
– Human Resources Division

COVID-19 Travel Order

Resources concerning unemployment fraud
– Department of Unemployment Assistance

Remote Work

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

Housing and Sheltering

Eviction Diversion Initiative: Services available and preview of upcoming expansions (Oct. 19)
– Dept. of Housing and Community Development

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

Health and Human Services

Find Food Assistance
– Department of Transitional Assistance

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

Planning and Local Response

Order advancing all communities to Phase 3, Step 2 of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan
– COVID-19 Executive Order #65

Further revised order regulating gatherings in the Commonwealth
– COVID-19 Executive Order #63

Order Extending Application of Additional Capacity Restrictions to Statewide COVID-19 Safety Rules
– COVID-19 Executive Order #60

Education and Child Care

State Coronavirus Prevention Fund Program FAQ
– Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriation Act – Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief Fund quick reference guide
– Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act – Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief Fund quick reference guide
– Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Reporting Requirement for District/School Positive COVID-19 Cases and Mobile Response Overview (Revised Sept. 18)
– Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education

Additional Information for School Health Offices (updated Sept. 3)
– Dept. of Education

Protocol for Requesting Mobile Rapid Response Units
– Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

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

Recreation and Outdoor Activities

Safety Standards and Checklist: Golf Facilities, effective Nov. 6
– Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development

Safety Standards and Checklist: Arcades and Other Indoor and Outdoor Game and Recreation Businesses, effective Nov. 6
– Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Safety and Reopening Standards For Businesses and Other Entities Providing Youth and Adult Amateur Sports Activities – Phase 3, Step 2 (amended Nov. 6, effective Nov. 7)
– Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

New This Week

Order advancing all communities to Phase 3, Step 2 of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan
– COVID-19 Executive Order #65

State Coronavirus Prevention Fund Program FAQ
– Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Supplemental Guidance for the Coronavirus Relief Fund – Municipal Program (Feb. 19, 2021)
– Executive Office for Administration and Finance

Senior Affordable Housing COVID-19 Vaccine Information
– Executive Office of Health and Human Services

Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriation Act – Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief Fund quick reference guide
– Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act – Elementary and Secondary Schools Emergency Relief Fund quick reference guide
– Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Round 2 of Coronavirus Relief Fund explained in webinar hosted by MMA, administration Oct. 1

Management Association discusses state of COVID pandemic Aug. 27

Select board group discusses open meeting and public records laws July 15

MMA Human Services Council discusses elder care during COVID-19 July 1

Select board group discusses economic recovery in downtown business districts June 24

MMA holds COVID-19 briefing for MSA and MMCA June 12

MMHR webinar covers re-entry planning for municipalities June 11

STAM webinar discusses reopening town buildings and operations June 5

Local leaders discuss town meetings and elections during COVID June 3

STAM holds webinar to explore one-twelfth budget process May 29

State agencies explain state, federal programs to help communities mitigate COVID impacts May 28

Select board group discusses meetings, records, social media and other challenges May 20

In webinar, top administration officials explain CARES Act funding process May 14

MMHR webinar covers furloughs, unemployment during COVID emergency May 14

MMCA webinar looks at municipal budgeting in COVID era May 13

MSA/MMCA COVID-19 briefing webinar May 8

STAM webinar covers range of municipal finance topics during COVID crisis May 5

ATFC holds webinar exploring municipal budget implications of COVID April 29

Experts discuss cybersecurity for municipalities during COVID emergency April 26

MSA/MMCA COVID-19 briefing webinar April 10

Town managers, MMHR discuss supporting employees during COVID emergency April 9

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
MassDOT awards $1 million in Shared Streets & Spaces grants – July 28
Municipal adaptations, collaborations are key to community resilience – July 28
Summertime brings more senior programs, but continued caution – July 23
In face of COVID, towns use creativity to conduct annual spring business – July 16
Libraries innovate through COVID emergency, seek funding support – July 8
Cities and towns rush to aid of their business communities – June 26
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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