• Governor Baker’s executive orders ease health care license restrictions, initiating an all-call for health professionals
  • The City of Chelsea is a hotspot of COVID-19
  • Competing proposals for additional coronavirus relief fail in the U.S. Senate
  • State Department of Unemployment Assistance releases guidance on CARES Act
  • Twelve Boston banks agree to defer mortgage payments for homeowners
  • A bill to cancel MCAS for this school year is on the Governor’s desk
  • Today’s COVID-19 Silver lining: SNL is back tomorrow night.


  1. Governor Baker signed three executive orders aimed to expand the health care system’s capacity and improve access to COVID-19 treatment. The first will allow nursing school graduates and final semester students to practice and another allows graduates of international medical schools eligible for licensure. The state also launched a new website recruiting a variety of health care and human service workers.


  1. For every 10,000 residents of Chelsea, there are 96 cases of COVID-19. The community with the next highest rate of spread in Massachusetts is 60 cases per 10,000 residents. Chelsea is very densely populated and is also 67 percent Latinx, providing further evidence of COVID-19 disproportionally affecting communities of color. Local leaders are desperately seeking assistance.


  1. In Washington, D.C., members of the Senate were unable to come together to provide needed economic relief to small business across the country. Democrats objected to a $250 billion increase in a small business program and Republicans shot down the counteroffer. A path forward is uncertain at the moment.


  1. The Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance released guidance on the implementation of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, which will expand unemployment eligibility; temporarily increase weekly benefits and allow categories of people to file for benefits. Self-employed and independent contractor benefits are on hold until the state builds a new system that recognizes their work history.


  1. Mayor Marty Walsh secured agreements with 12 local banks to allow homeowners to defer mortgage payments for at least three months. The banks have also agreed to not charge late fees, report missed payments to credit agencies and not require lump sum back payments. Homeowners should contact their bank directly, or the Boston Home Center where a list of participating banks can be found.


  1. A bill to cancel MCAS for this year is on the Governor’s desk. After two weeks of sometimes heated debate over the standardized test, the state House of Representatives passed a bill allowing for the Commissioner of Education to waive or modify the standardized test requirement but the Senate version, which ultimately was adopted by the House as well, bypassed the Commissioner and immediately waives the exams. The Governor has not said whether he will sign the bill in to law.


  1. Good Friday! SNL is live tomorrow night with a new episode. With little details known, an entirely remote show leaves the door open to endless possibilities for surprise guests. Any bets which actor will play Dr. Fauci?