4/21/20 COVID-19 Update

  • Poll: Majority of Americans disapprove of Trump’s COVID-19 response
  • Trump to suspend immigration
  • Walsh doubtful Boston schools will resume this school year
  • Self-employed now eligible for unemployment benefits
  • Secretary of State supports vote-by-mail option in Massachusetts
  • Governor Baker signs bill banning evictions
  • State revises guidelines on who gets ventilators during COVID-19 surge
  • Today’s COVID-19 silver lining: MA Vocational schools donate PPE across the state

 

  1. A recent Washington Post/University of Maryland poll, shows 54 percent of Americans disagree with how President Trump has handeled the COVID-19 outbreak while 72 percent of Americans approve of their own Governor’s actions. Last month, a Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll showed 90 percent of Bay State residents support the restrictions Governor Baker imposed to stop the spread of COVID-19.

 

  1. President Trump tweeted last night he will unilaterally suspend immigration in the face of COVID-19 in order to “protect jobs.” Halting immigration to the United States could affect hundreds of thousands of visa holders and other would be green-card recipients who are planning to come to the United States at any given time. Most are family members of Americans.

 

  1. Boston Public Schools are likely to remain closed for the rest of the school year. A decision is expected later this week from Mayor Walsh along with a parallel decision from Governor Baker, whose current school closure order expires on May 4th. Leaders of the state’s largest leacher’s union are calling on Governor Baker to keep the schools closed. For high school seniors, school closures have brought uncertainty and anxiety – especially for students with disabilities.

 

  1. Massachusetts residents ineligible for state unemployment benefits can now receive federal benefits from the $2.2 trillion CARES Act. Self-employed, independent contractors and gig workers can now apply for expanded unemployment benefits with the state Department of Unemployment Assistance by filling out an online application. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provides up to 39 weeks of benefits to those ineligible to work due to any COVID-19 related reason.
  2. Secretary of State William Galvin supports expanding voter access for the upcoming September 1st state primary and November 3rd general election in Massachusetts with a vote-by-mail program.

 

  1. Governor Baker signed a bill temporarily pausing evictions and some foreclosures during the COVID-19 pandemic. Debate over rent payments and access to the start of the legal process for those who don’t pay has ignited an intense debate over landlord and tenant rights.

 

  1. A policy deciding who would be prioritized for a ventilator during a potential COVID-19 surge will be revised in response to public outcry. Members from both minority and disability communities feared they would be penalized for sicknesses that are a result of health disparities. Updated guidelines from the state Department of Public Health say decisions must be made based on the patient’s chance of short-term survival.

 

  1. Silver Lining Playbook: Twenty-seven vocational schools joined together after the state order to close schools in March to produce 13,000 masks, 140,000 gloves and other valuable supplies to support first responders. Check out their video announcing the donations of surgical masks, N95 masks, gloves, eye shields and other necessities here.
2020-04-21T09:05:34+00:00