Baker-Polito Administration Extends Non-Essential Business Closures to May 18th, Announces Reopening Advisory Board
Today, the Baker-Polito Administration extended the essential services emergency
order to May 18th and launched a Reopening Advisory Board that will produce a plan to the
Governor by May 18th. The Administration also announced that the Department of Public
Health’s Stay At Home Advisory remains in effect and gatherings of 10 or more people remain
prohibited until May 18th.
Essential Services Order: Governor Charlie Baker’s emergency order requiring that all
businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” close their
physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers and the public will be extended until
May 18th. Businesses and organizations not on the list of essential services are encouraged to
continue operations through remote means that do not require workers, customers, or the
public to enter or appear at the brick-and-mortar premises closed by the order. This order also
extends the existing ban on gatherings of more than 10 people until May 18th.
Stay at Home Advisory: Governor Charlie Baker announced that the Department of Public
Health’s stay-at-home advisory will remain in effect. Residents are strongly urged to stay home
and avoid unnecessary travel and other unnecessary person to person contact during this time
period. Residents who are considered at high risk when exposed to COVID-19 should limit social
interactions with other people as much as possible.
Executive Branch Employee Guidance: The Baker-Polito Administration today also extended
the guidance issued to Executive Branch employees on protocol during the COVID-19 outbreak
to ensure state government can continue to provide key services while protecting the health
and safety of the public and the Executive Branch workforce. Under the guidance, all employees
performing non-core functions who are able to work remotely should continue to do so until
Reopening Advisory Board: Today, Governor Baker announced the formation of the Reopening
Advisory Board, which will be Co-Chaired by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Housing and
Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. The Board brings public health officials
together with leaders from the business community and municipal government from across the
Commonwealth. This group is charged with advising the administration on strategies to reopen
the economy in phases based on health and safety metrics. It will meet with key stakeholders
and solicit input from a variety of constituencies over the next three weeks to develop a report
by May 18th that will include DPH approved workplace safety standards, industry frameworks
and customer protocols and guidelines, including enforcement mechanisms and coordination
with municipal leaders. This report is due on the 18th, but the administration has made clear
that public health data and guidance from health care experts will dictate the timeline of the reopening process.
The 17-member Advisory Board is composed of three public health officials, including
Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel, three municipal officials, and
eleven leaders from the business community, including MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie
Pollack. Members of the Advisory Board bring a range of perspectives to the table, such as an
understanding of workplaces and workforces and insights into key areas like financial markets,
education, manufacturing and transportation.
Reopening Advisory Board Members:
The City of Taunton and Taunton Emergency Task Force are teaming up to coordinate fundraising efforts to support City of Taunton residents most affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The City of Taunton COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund will address the most vital needs of people in our community, including but not limited to children, seniors, first responders and healthcare workers, by funding nonprofit organizations that support the basic needs and/or health and wellness efforts related to the Corona Virus and its aftermath.
The Fund will award grants on a rolling basis to non-profit organizations whose operations support populations that have been substantially impacted by the outbreak. The Fund is designed to be adaptable in its goals and focus, which will evolve as community members and nonprofits in our region share their needs. Applications will be reviewed by the Fund’s committee members and approved based on need and eligibility criteria. An application process for agencies to apply will be available once funds begin to be received.
You can also donate via check: Make your check payable to: COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund
Mail payment to: Taunton Emergency Task Force, 30 Olney Street,Taunton, MA 02780
Recorded by TCAM (Taunton Community Access Media)
Morton Hospital Launches Campaign to Thank Taunton Area Health Workers
Morton Hospital Asks Local Businesses, Patients and Residents to
Join in Hanging Lights at Home to Brighten Workers’ Spirits
Morton Hospital, a Steward Family hospital, today announced the launch of its “Shine on Health Care Heroes” campaign, an effort to enlist patients, residents, and local business partners in applauding health care workers both in Taunton and across the country from the safety of their homes. Morton Hospital is asking community members to hang lights outside their home as part of Steward Health Care’s national effort to thank health care workers and support doctors, nurses, and hospital staff who have continued to show incredible bravery during this time of uncertainty and distress.
“The spread of COVID-19 has caused anxiety both around the world and here in Taunton, touching each of us and upending the way we live,” said Heidi Taylor, President of Morton Hospital. “While most shelter at home with their families, health care workers continue to bravely risk their own health and safety to ensure residents have access the highest-quality care. Our hope is that seeing lights throughout our community will uplift and brighten frontline medical workers’ spirits and show them just how much we appreciate them and are thinking about them during this time.”
“As a national health care company, Steward has a unique opportunity to champion action at this unprecedented and challenging moment,” said Dr. Joseph Weinstein, Chief Medical Officer for Steward Health Care, the nation’s largest private, tax-paying, physician-led health care network. “We wanted to show the entire health care community, both within Steward and beyond, that we are here to support them, while also involving Americans who are eager to help and share their own gratitude.”
In addition to hanging lights outside their homes, members of the community are encouraged to share photos of their light displays, as well as messages of love and appreciation, on social media using the hashtag #ShineOnHealthCareHeroes. Morton Hospital will work to partner with local businesses to amplify the campaign in weeks and months ahead.
About Steward Health Care System
Steward Health Care is the largest private, tax-paying physician-led health care network in the United States. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Steward operates 35 hospitals in the United States and the country of Malta that regularly receive top awards for quality and safety. The company employs approximately 42,000 health care professionals. The Steward network includes multiple urgent care centers and skilled nursing facilities, substantial behavioral health services, over 7,900 beds under management, and approximately 2.2 million full risk covered lives through the company's managed care and health insurance services.
The Steward Health Care Network includes 5,000 physicians across 800 communities who help to provide more than 12 million patient encounters per year. Steward Medical Group, the company's employed physician group, provides more than six million patient encounters per year. The Steward Hospital Group operates hospitals in Malta and nine states across the U.S., including Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Utah.
The Taunton Area Chamber of Commerce and SCORE counselors held a virtual panel discussion on how small business may be impacted when re-opening and how to prepare now for a "new normal," on April 21.
As one of the largest human services providers in Southeastern Massachusetts, People Incorporated is proud of our longstanding capacity to provide critical services and direct care to people of all abilities. Our responsibility to the community is no more evident than in recent weeks as the ubiquitous impacts of COVID-19 have affected the agency significantly, along with nearly everything else in our daily lives.
Our Residential Division maintains its 24-hour operations. It is the largest branch of the agency, employing 500 people who support 150 individuals in 33 homes. Residential employees have implemented heightened caution and are practicing even more intense care.
Some of our programs have temporarily closed. We have adapted others to provide remote services and virtual programming via video or teleconference. Between these and other adjustments, we have experienced unprecedented impacts, including the unfortunate need to place many of our employees on furlough. While we understand this is a difficult time filled with uncertainty, we are optimistic and expect to bring these valued staff members back when the agency returns to full operations.
As in most trying times of crisis, rather than business as usual, we have seen people go above and beyond and experienced many acts of generosity. We have a sharp rise in our equipment and supplemental needs. For example, our Residential employees require even more personal protective equipment (PPE) such as reusable and disposable gloves, masks, and gowns than are usually necessary for daily operations. We have had to purchase large amounts of PPE from local businesses that have stepped up their efforts to make these products available.
We have also accepted generous donations of masks and gloves from Diman Regional Voc. Tec. High School, G. Lopes Construction, and another from Mayor Paul Coogan. We recently learned we are a recipient of a grant from the newly formed SouthCoast Emergency Response Fund, capitalized by local philanthropic donors and administered by the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts. We know we already live in a community of generous residents, but we are deeply appreciative of such exceptional charity.
Above all, we cannot say enough about our staff. Our dedicated employees have stepped up in this uniquely difficult situation and have proved their deep commitment to the people we support. They have indeed demonstrated how they shine in a crisis.
Like nearly every other organization and business, People Incorporated has experienced severe loss, transformation, and unexpected adjustments due to the onset of COVID-19 in our region. However, we remain a key player and devoted neighbor in our community, and we are always committed to the individuals and families who need us most. We look forward to a time when programs return to normal operations, but we also understand that “return to normal” will not be an immediate change of status. There is a lot of work to be done and patience needed – and we are ready to take the necessary steps to ensure that we emerge from this crisis more capable and stronger than before.
As part of SBA's debt relief efforts, under section 1112 of the CARES Act...
• The SBA will automatically pay the principal, interest, and certain fees of current 7(a), 504, and microloans for a period of six months.
• The SBA will also automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of NEW 7(a), 504, and microloans issued prior to September 27, 2020.
A procedural notice by the SBA has full guidance:
The purpose of this Notice is to address the implementation of Section 1112 for the 7(a) and 504 Loan Programs. SBA addressed the implementation of section 1112 for the Microloan Program in a separate notice. See SBA Procedural Notice 5000-20015, effective 04/08/2020.
In accordance with section 1112(c), SBA will pay the principal, interest, and any “associated fees” that Borrowers owe on a “covered loan” in a “regular servicing status” to 7(a) Lenders and Certified Development Companies (CDCs) for a 6-month period. SBA will make these payments in accordance with the criteria and procedures described below.
1. A “covered loan” means a loan that is guaranteed by SBA under:
a. Section 7(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 636(a)), including a loan
made under the Community Advantage Pilot Program. A “covered loan”
excludes a loan made under paragraph (36) of such section 7(a), as added by
section 1102 of the CARES Act; or
b. title V of the Small Business Investment Act of 1958 (15 U.S.C. 695 et seq.),
(the 504 Loan Program).
>>> Read Entire SBA Procedural Notice
Please direct all inquiries and questions to our District Office email at:
If you are in a domestic or sexual violent relationship, please know New Hope is still here for you.
Following Governor Charlie Baker’s order for non-essential businesses to close because of the coronavirus pandemic, we closed our physical offices a few weeks ago. However, we are still providing life-saving supports to survivors of domestic and sexual violence survivors. Our dedicated staff have worked diligently to develop remote processes and procedures to support those in need. All the while, prioritizing the health and safety of survivors and staff.
The 24/7 Hotline (800-323-4673 HOPE) is still operating; counseling, advocacy and education is happening via telephone or through a secure virtual site. We want to assure you that while methods may look different, we will continue to provide survivors with the same level of professionalism and compassion.
So, reach out, via phone, web site (new-hope.org), social media and soon through a web chat function linked to our web site. Stay tuned in April for our on-line Sexual Assault Awareness Month activities. Together, we can create communities free from violence and exploitation.
Please keep safe and healthy!
Thank you for your patience and understanding during these challenging times.
Support Downtown Taunton employers, employees, independent contractors & gig economy workers put out of work by the COVID-19 pandemic with a virtual tip! You can tip a business or individual. #SupportLocal
This is a way we might be able to help our businesses help their laid-off staff. It’s not the solution, but it is an idea that has been used in other communities to help connect people to the businesses they care about and support. Many of us would regularly be patronizing our favorite restaurants, bars, salons, coffeehouses, and other businesses that have been ordered closed or have shifted to take-out only - depending on the type of business. Even if you are socially isolating, you can help to support our local service industry staff and businesses. Consider sending a "tip" to your favorite business and they will share it with their staff - bartenders, servers, kitchen staff, stylists, aestheticians, mechanics, etc.
Learn more & participate here.