FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ACTIONS
USDA’s COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide With Federal Programs That Can Help Rural Communities, Organizations and Residents:
The COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide is a one-stop-shop of federal programs that can be used by rural communities, organizations and individuals looking for federal funding and partnership opportunities to help address this pandemic.
The resource guide is available here: https://www.rd.usda.gov/sites/default/files/USDA_COVID-19_Fed_Rural_Resource_Guide.pdf
USDA has taken many immediate actions to assist farmers, ranchers, producers, rural communities, and rural-based businesses and organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on these actions, visit www.usda.gov/coronavirus.
STATE GOVERNMENT ACTIONS
Expanded COVID-19 Response Data Reporting:
The Baker-Polito Administration announced the expansion of COVID-19 response reporting to include statewide hospital capacity and PPE distribution data.
- Testing: Daily test reporting data, including number of positive cases, can already be found at here at 4:00 PM each day: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-cases-quarantine-and-monitoring#covid-19-cases-in-massachusetts-
- Hospital Capacity: Also at 4:00 PM each day, the Command Center will report hospital bed occupancy and availability
- as reported by Massachusetts hospitals here: https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-hospital-capacity-and-surge-response
- PPE Distribution: Additionally, PPE distribution reports will be posted each day by 4:00 PM,
- and can be found here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/personal-protective-equipment-ppe-during-covid-19
Attorney General’s guidance on CARES Act funds being exempt from seizure:
The Attorney General’s office issued guidance that emergency funds for consumers through the CARES Act are exempt from seizure or garnishment by creditors under Massachusetts law.
A press release is here: mass.gov/news/ag-healey-to-debt-collectors-covid-19-stimulus-payments-are-off-limits
The full order is here: https://www.mass.gov/doc/cares-act-guidance
Assistance to the City of Chelsea
Over the last few days, the Command Center, together with several other state agencies, have been working to provide vital assistance to the City of Chelsea. With assistance from Partners and Mass General Hospital, testing capacity in the Chelsea area has increased fourfold. In partnership with the City and the Salvation Army, MEMA is implementing a plan to increase mass feeding capacity from 100 food kits per week to 750 per week by the end of this week (1 food kit is equivalent to about 35 meals). The MA National Guard will play a key role in logistical support and delivery of these food kits. For individuals in Chelsea who are homeless and have tested positive for COVID-19, the Command Center is helping to set up an isolation facility. For individuals who have tested positive but cannot stay with their families due to density issues, the Command Center and MEMA have provided technical assistance and support to both Chelsea and Revere to access isolation capacity at a local hotel. MEMA is providing supplies to the hotel such as linens and PPE, and will begin providing food service when the hotel opens. The Command Center and MEMA have also contracted for an additional 50 beds as potential overflow capacity.