Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced that anyone five years or older must wear a mask in public due to rising positive Coronavirus test rates. "Today we are taking several targeted measures to curb rising #COVID19MA cases + hospitalizations. Our goal is to disrupt this trend now, so the Commonwealth can keep our economy + schools open and prevent the need to roll back to Phase I or II," tweeted Baker.
Positive test cases are up by 278% and hospitalizations up by 145% since Labor Day, reported Baker. Baker announced several new orders and advisories:
The revised mask order requires all persons to wear face-coverings in all public places, even where they are able to maintain 6 feet of distance from others. The revised order still allows for an exception for residents who cannot wear a face-covering due to a medical or disabling condition, but it allows employers to require employees to provide proof of such a condition.
Local state representatives were championed for guiding a new state law that puts a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Governor Charlie Baker signed into law on Monday, prohibits all non-essential evictions and foreclosures, and additional tenant protections. Residential landlords cannot terminate tenancy or send notice to evict due to non-payment or for no-fault evictions. Landlords are also not allowed to charge a late fee for non-payment of rent or give data to a credit reporting agency if the tenant provides documents showing why COVID-19 prevented them from paying rent. Creditors must also grant a forbearance on mortgage payments for up to 180 days if requested.
Governor Charlie Baker was joined by a host of local and state officials on Heath Street to announce that two Jamaica Plain projects are among 16 state projects receiving more than $2.6 million in Brownfields Redevelopment Funds. Baker made the announcement on Jan. 23 at the Hattie Kelton Apartments at 61 Heath St., in JP, which is Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation's (JPNDC) newest building. Brownfields Redevelopment Funds help transform vacant, abandoned, or underused industrial or commercial properties by providing money to pay for the environmental assessment and remediation of the sites in “economically distressed areas” in Massachusetts. The JPNDC is receiving $250,000 for its housing developments at 25 Amory Street and 250 Centre Street.
Community Servings, a nonprofit provider of medically tailored meals and nutrition services to individuals and families living with critical and chronic illnesses, celebrated the completion of a $25 million kitchen expansion and three-story addition project at its longtime home in Jamaica Plain.
With the opening of a 31,000-square-foot food campus, Community Servings plans to double the number of people involved in its volunteer programs and triple production of its scratch-made meals. The nonprofit is now well-positioned to expand its service footprint statewide and will soon begin feeding even more critically and chronically ill individuals and their families across Massachusetts. Community Servings is now prepared to meet new demand from a state-led initiative that will provide health-related nutrition supports to certain patients beginning in January 2020. “For 30 years, we’ve been focused on bringing nutritious, scratch-made, medically tailored meals to our neighbors in need.
With English High School students gathered in a packed gym, Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill into law that boosts investment in public schools by $1.5 billion annually over the next seven years. Baker was joined by numerous elected officials and business leaders, including Mayor Marty Walsh, Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, Boston School Committee Chairman Michael Loconto, State Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, City Councilors Matt O'Malley and Annissa Essaibi-George, and more on Nov. 26. The Student Opportunity Act will particularly provide new funding to school districts with high percentages of low-income students and English Language learners who often live in some of the highest-need communities. “This is a monumental moment for the future of our Commonwealth.