COVID-19 – Massachusetts Update 5-9-2020

May 9, 2020

  • As of Friday night, DPH reported a total of 75,333 cases of COVID-19.
  • The state has now confirmed a total of 4,702 deaths from the virus.
  • EOHHS Secretary Sudders and Hilltown Health Center CEO Eliza Lake joined Governor Baker at his Friday press conference to highlight a new public awareness campaign with the message that community health centers are open and people should come in for the care they need.
  • Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced the city will not hold large events like parades and festivals through Labor Day.
  • The Boston Pops also announced that it was canceling its annual Fourth of July concert.
  • New figures published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics further confirm the economic devastation of the pandemic.
  • With the widespread job losses, the national unemployment rate rose to 14.7 percent last month.
  • Both the 20.5 million lost jobs and the 10.3 percentage point increase in the unemployment rate were the largest one-month jumps since the Bureau of Labor Statistics launched those data series in 1939 and 1948, respectively.
  • The largest impact came in the leisure and hospitality sector, where April employment dropped 7.7 million, or 47 percent of the industry’s entire job force.
  • Nearly two dozen MBTA projects will be delayed as a result of the pandemic.
  • Massachusetts will receive $28M in fisheries assistance under CARES Act allocations announced late this week.
  • Only Alaska and Washington, which will receive $50M in aid are receiving larger allocations than Massachusetts.
  • Maine is slated to receive $20M.
  • The Senate on Thursday passed a short-term borrowing bill to bridge the impending gap in state revenues, and also approved a remote voting system to facilitate a final vote on the bill, which may come next week.
  • As amended during Thursday’s session, the temporary remote voting rules will allow senators to submit a letter expressing how they wish to vote on enactment of the borrowing bill, and their votes would be announced in the chamber by the presiding officer.
  • Senate leadership is working on a longer-term rules package, targeted for implementation in early June, to conduct emergency-era formal sessions beyond the governor’s borrowing bill.
  • The House on Thursday adopted a clause to Governor Baker’s short-term borrowing bill that would set it into effect immediately after the governor signs it into law.
  • The House and Senate both plan to meet again on Monday at 11am for informal sessions.
  • A federal judge will temporarily lift a Governor Baker executive order requiring firearm retailers to close their physical businesses during the COVID-19 state of emergency.
  • U.S. District Court Judge Douglas Woodlock issued a preliminary injunction Thursday in a case that Massachusetts residents, gun shop owners and gun rights groups brought against the Baker administration.
  • The online case docket indicated the order will take effect at 12 p.m. Saturday.
  • Best wishes for a happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there.  Be well.

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