• State health providers will receive an additional $800 million beginning in July.
  • Grocery stores are reducing their occupancy and hours beginning today.
  • Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley pushes for release of racial and ethnic data on COVID-19 patients
  • As candidates struggle to collect signatures required to appear on the 2020 ballot will Massachusetts Legislature reduce the required number like the New York Assembly did?
  • Foreign trained health professionals are ready to join the fight against COVID-19
  • Today’s COVID-19 silver lining: From the NFL to MGH, Myrol Rolle’s new “safety” role
  1. Governor Charlie Baker is directing $800 million to health providers to offset the losses incurred from COVID-19. Hospitals serving the largest number of Medicaid patients will receive $400 million while nursing facilities will receive $80 million. Additionally, $50 million will go to community health centers, $30 million for personal care attendants and $240 million will be distributed between ambulance providers, physicians, behavioral health providers and adult day programs. Distribution is anticipated to begin in July.


  1. Under Governor Baker’s orders, grocery stores will begin operating at 40 percent of their standard occupancy today in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In response to a reported death of a Market Basket employee, stores across the state are also reducing their hours. A number of Whole Foods employees protested working conditions, citing lack of personal protective equipment and access to sick time last week as many employees are falling ill after being exposed to COVID-19 while working.


  1. Representative Ayanna Pressley is pushing Congress for a federal mandate requiring the collection and breakdown of racial and ethnic data to identify clusters of COVID-19 “hot spots,” many of which are believed to be low-income communities of color. Many states, including Massachusetts, have yet to release ethnic and racial data citing patient privacy.


  1. With less than a month to go before signatures sheets for candidates running for office are due, Senator Ed Markey finds himself short of the necessary 10,000 required. While undeterred, Markey acknowledges signature collection has been drastically impeded due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the Legislature considers action, their neighbors to the west, The New York State Assembly passed a bill reducing the number of signatures in February at the outset of COVID-19. On March 17, 2020, a letter was sent to the Secretary of State and legislative leadership requesting the signatures be reduced and it was signed by more than a dozen candidates running for various offices.


  1. Many foreign trained health care professionals, including physicians, nurses and respiratory therapists are ready and willing to help during the ongoing coronavirus crisis but bureaucratic red tape is stopping them as many of them are not licensed in Massachusetts. Legislators have sent a letter to Governor Baker imploring him to utilize executive privilege to allow health care professionals who are in good standing in foreign countries to be allowed to practice.


  1. Former Tennessee Titans safety Myron Rolle is in his third year at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) as a neurosurgical resident and ,while surgery may be on hold for now, Rolle is on the front lines of treating COVID-19 patients.