COVID 19 Update for Friday

Gov. Baker just wrapped up his press conference, here are the highlights:

8750 tests yesterday, largest number on any single day. 4 Million pieces of PPE delivered across commonwealth to date, more to do. 18,000 beds statewide.

• Effective today MEMA is distributing respirator masks to all police/fire/sheriffs/university police. 200,000 distributed State-wide.

• Setting up regional isolation sites for homeless, MEMA opens 5 hotels across state for care and shelter. Homeless shelters can request PPE. Municipality can apply for grant to reimburse 75% for quarantine/isolation practices for personsexperiencing homelessness. Foster Parents: additional 100$ per child reimburse for April to June

• DOMESTIC VIOLENCE UPDATE: DPH shared guidance for domestic violence service providers for information about other shelters to stay at. Use SAFE LINK Hotline if you need resources for domestic violence: 877 785 2020

• POTUS put forward a template on how to reopen states and left decision up to states. Still seeing increase in cases, but working with businesses to formulate plan to return to normal. For now we need to continue to socially distance.

• FOOD RESOURCE UPDATE: SNAP Benefits: prior to COVID-19 1 in 9 used SNAP. Increase by 400% since March. You can received approval to bring max benefits for SNAP users who are not receiving max benefits. No more in person interview, allowing for faster approvals and there is no backlog at this time. Connect with DTA online/on phone. Can check eligibility in about 10 seconds
https://dtaconnect.eohhs.mass.gov/

• WIC: Additional food items added to eligibility list
Mass will be submitting waiver to Fed’s for EBT vendors to allow online purchasing/pick up groceries from delivery. 4 states have already submitted application to pilot, Massachusetts should have app in next week.
Standing up a centralized task force at Command Center for all state resources for food security.

• Governor Baker signed Executive Order to allow children in residential group homes who tested positive for COVID-19 to access more resources. Allows Executive Office Early Education and Care to open emergency care facilities, flexibility around licensing etc. Any provider interested may apply on EEC COVID-19 website.