• Payroll Protection Program struggles to deliver $310 billion amid computer glitches
  • There is no evidence that those recovered from COVID-19 have future immunity
  • Senate President Karen Spilka to address Boston Chamber of Commerce this morning
  • Governor Baker earmarks $130 million to help nursing homes
  • House of Representatives plans formal session with virtual voting plan
  • MGH COVID-19 simulator shows increased deaths if restrictions lift quickly
  • Rhode Island to begin three-phase reopening plan May 9
  • Somerville makes masks mandatory; violators face $300 fine
  • Today’s Bright Spot: Some Good News is back this week with a star-studded potluck for a good cause


  1. Desperate small business owners face new hurdles in accessing the $310 billion for the Payroll Protection Program: broken computer systems. The technical problems highlight the Trump administration’s struggle to deliver needed investment quickly.


  1. According to the World Health Organization, there is no conclusive evidence to support the idea that recovered COIVD-19 patients are immune from future infection. This announcement comes after predictions of imminent herd immunity in Sweden and the President of Chile announced plans to distribute immunity cards to allow recovered citizens to return to work.


  1. Senate President Karen Spilka is the virtual keynote for this morning’s Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s Government Affairs series. Chamber members can access the live stream to view the Senate President’s address by registering here.


  1. Massachusetts nursing homes have been devastated by COVID-19 with 56 percent of the state’s deaths attributed to long-term care facilities. Governor Baker pledged an additional $130 million to the facilities over the next two months.


  1. House Speaker Robert DeLeo will host a virtual caucus today to discuss emergency rule changes on how the Chamber will conduct its first ever virtual formal session scheduled for Thursday. This will be the first time the body will meet, deliberate and initiate roll calls since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.


  1. A Massachusetts General Hospital simulator shows the state’s COVID-19 related deaths could remain below 5,000 if the stay-at-home order remains in place through August. If the restrictions are suddenly relaxed, researchers estimate that fatalities could reach ten times that.


  1. Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo unveiled a three-phase plan to reopen the state beginning on May 9th. The slow and deliberate reopening will begin to ease restrictions on some business and social gatherings. Details of the plan can be found at the state’s new website, Reopening RI. Highlights of Phase One: Testing the Waters,  include dine-in restaurant “pilots,” open parks, beaches and dentist offices.



  1. Somerville residents aged two and older, will be required to wear masks beginning Wednesday. Those who do not comply after a week’s grace period could receive a $300 fine. Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone and the city’s Board of Health issued the order after receiving unanimous support from the Somerville City Council.


  1. NO ONE HUNGRY: John Krasinski hosted a good old-fashioned put luck with his famous friends Martha Stewart, David Chang, Guy Fieri and Stanley Tucci, raising more than $3 million for Fieri’s Restaurant Employee Relief Fund.