COVID-19: May 2, 2020 Update from Representative Dykema

May 2 Coronavirus Update

Each one of us feels the impacts of coronavirus differently. No matter what stage of our lives, the significant change we’re experiencing is unsettling. This is particularly true for young children. And many parents are struggling to reassure their children while balancing other responsibilities such as work or supporting older family members.  


There are many resources online that offer guidance to parents for supporting their children during this time, including coronavirus specific resources from the Fred Rogers Center. The American Psychological Association also offers a helpful resource page for parents. And parents, please don’t forget to take care of yourselves.  The national mental health organization NAMI offers some helpful and practical strategies for adults, including parents. There are also virtual ways to feel supported and connected to the local community. Your local library facebook page usually has some great ideas.  

Coronavirus Testing and Response

Source: Department of Public Health data
  • There are 66,263 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, with 1,954 new cases and 3,846 deaths as of today at 4pm. 
  • Overall, over 298,000 tests have been conducted by public and private sources.
  • The Department of Public Health has regularly released a daily reporting dashboard containing detailed information on hospitalizations, demographic data, and county-by-county breakdowns of cases. To view the DPH dashboard, visit here.*

Reminder – New Face Covering Guidance

  • The Governor signed an executive order yesterday (effective Wednesday, May 6) requiring use of face coverings in public when social distancing measures are not possible.
    • Who: All children and adults over 2 years of age, except those with relevant medical conditions or other DPH-approved exemptions
    • What is required: Masks or face coverings in circumstances where social distancing of 6 feet is not possible. Medical-grade masks are highly discouraged to ensure that health care workers and first responders retain access to adequate PPE supplies.
    • Where: In public spaces, including businesses and buildings that remain open, parks and outdoor spaces where social distancing is not possible, and public transit including taxis and shared rides.
    • Violations: Local authorities are authorized to enforce the order, which may include civil penalties up to $300. Businesses are allowed to decline entry to those not wearing masks for non-medical reasons.
  • The full order can be read here.


  • Homeless COVID-19 Isolation Sites have been set up in hotels across the state. Currently there are sites in Lexington, Pittsfield, Taunton, Northampton, and Everett. These locations are for individuals who are homeless and who are COVID-19 positive or have a medical provider’s note recommending isolation and can safely isolate without medical supervision. These sites are for individuals who have mild or moderate symptoms and do not need hospital level of care or nursing facility level of care.

Mental Health and Wellbeing

  • May is Mental Health Awareness Month. There are many resources for protecting emotional and mental well-being available online, and all four of our towns have local resource pages:
  • Advocates, Inc., a Framingham-based organization serving those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and/or mental health needs has put together a COVID-19 service update page providing information on program changes, virtual services, resources available for those in need during the pandemic. The organization is also soliciting mask donations for those able to forgive. 
  • The South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC) has compiled a list of community-specific resources for those impacted by COVID-19, including fuel and food assistance, senior resources, and domestic violence help. They also provide a list of recovery resources for those who may be struggling with addiction.

Resources for Residents Experiencing Job Loss or Loss of Income

COVID-19 is causing broad disruption to the economy which is affecting incomes of many residents and families. There are a number of state resources and supports available to support workers who may find themselves unemployed or otherwise income-constrained during this uncertain time. 

For your convenience, you can find a guide of resources and information at:

Additional Guidance on Unemployment Assistance

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