Friday, April 03, 2020


            (Boston Orange)美國聯邦人口統計局今(3)日公告,每10年一次,今年41日啟動的人口普查,上路2日,家庭填報率已達42.8%




Baker-Polito Administration Releases Income Tax Guidance and Announces Penalties Waived for Corporate Excise Returns and Payments

Baker-Polito Administration Releases Income Tax Guidance and Announces Penalties Waived for Corporate Excise Returns and Payments

BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today released guidance regarding the extension of the 2019 state individual income tax filing and payment deadline from April 15 to July 15 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and announced that the Department of Revenue (DOR) will waive any late-file and late-pay penalties for corporate excise returns and payments due April 15 that are filed and paid by July 15.

This guidance, publicized in the form of a Technical Information Release (TIR) from DOR, clarifies that the extension for personal income taxpayers applies to 2019 returns and payments as well as the first installment of estimated tax due April 15. The second installment of estimated tax due June 15 will also now be due July 15.

The extension of the personal income tax return deadline is being implemented pursuant to legislation and applies to personal income tax, estate and trust income tax, and income tax due with a partnership composite return with an April 15 due date. It also applies to an April 2020 tax installment owed by a personal income taxpayer with respect to deemed repatriated income. Taxpayers that have previously filed their 2019 returns but have not yet made the associated payments have until July 15 to make such payments.

Additionally, DOR will waive late-file and late-pay penalties for corporate excise (including financial institution and insurance premiums excise) returns and payments until July 15. The waiver of penalties applies to corporate excise returns and payments with an original due date of April 15, including those of certain S corporations and non-profits that file on a fiscal-year basis and have tax returns and payments due April 15.

This income tax relief is automatic, and taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms to qualify.

Individuals and companies with questions or concerns regarding taxes can contact the Massachusetts Department of Revenue at (617) 887-6367 or send a secure e-message through MassTaxConnect

For more information and to view the TIR please click here.

Boston Athletic Association Donates $100,000 to Boston Resiliency Fund and Contributes Medical Supplies, Food to Local Agencies

Boston Athletic Association Donates $100,000 to Boston Resiliency Fund and Contributes Medical Supplies, Food to Local Agencies

Hopkinton Select Board Liaison to the B.A.A. John 
Coutinho and Howard Kramer, B.A.A. Distribution 
Center Coordinator, load boxes into a truck to be 
delivered to St. Vincent’s Hospital.
(By : John Coutinho)
BOSTON (April 3, 2020) — The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) has announced it will contribute $100,000 to the Boston Resiliency Fund, which provides essential services to Boston residents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to donating race-related medical supplies and food to local agencies.

“The coronavirus crisis is affecting everyone in ways that we are only just beginning to understand,” said Tom Grilk, Chief Executive Officer of the B.A.A. “As a member of the Boston community, we wanted to help the people and organizations in need by making this donation to the Boston Resiliency Fund.”

The fund directs 100% of all donations to organizations providing essential services, including first responders and healthcare workers, and seeks to support the immediate needs of populations most affected by COVID-19.

John Coutinho with Hopkinton resident
 and St. Vincent Hospital C.E.O.
Carolyn Jackson on the St. Vincent
loading dock. (From 
John Coutinho)
“The Boston Resiliency Fund allows the City of Boston to continue to address the evolving, critical challenges associated with the coronavirus,” said Boston Mayor Martin Walsh. “We’re grateful for the support of the Boston Athletic Association during this unprecedented time and we appreciate all of the donations we have received.”

John Hancock, the B.A.A.’s longtime principal sponsor of the Boston Marathon, was one of the first organizations to contribute, gifting $1 million when the fund was launched on March 16.

Following the postponement of the 2020 Boston Marathon due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the B.A.A. has worked with local agencies to respond to their pressing needs and donate race-related medical supplies. Items including medical and non-medical grade gloves, medical grade face shields, face masks, IV fluid bags, hand sanitizer, antiseptic, thermometer covers, nebulizer tubing sets, and ponchos were donated to local organizations. The majority of the supplies have been donated to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) through the COVID-19 Donation Program. Supplies have also been donated to Boston Emergency Medical Services, Massachusetts State Police, and St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Mass.

“We quickly shifted our focus to determine ways we could positively impact and help people within our community," Grilk said. “I’m tremendously proud of B.A.A. staff for not only managing the myriad of logistics that come with postponing the Boston Marathon, but simultaneously collaborating with our city and state partners to help those in need.”

In addition, the B.A.A. donated nearly 30,000 bags of Terra Chips, provided by JetBlue Airways for finishers of the Boston Marathon, to the Greater Boston Food Bank. 


Recipients will have to demonstrate financial need, such as loss of income

BOSTON - Friday, April 3, 2020 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh yesterday announced that his Administration is dedicating $3 million in city funds to assist Bostonians who are at risk of losing their rental housing due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will help income-eligible tenants in the City of Boston achieve housing stability by providing direct financial relief to assist with rental payments. Applications to the Rental Relief Fund will be available on Monday, April 6th. 

"In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a national crisis at a scale not seen in our lifetime, it is imperative that all levels of government exercise all possible tools to ensure the health and safety of our residents, and to keep them stably housed," said Mayor Walsh. "As a key piece of legislation makes its way through the State House, it is our hope that this funding will offer immediate financial relief to renters in Boston who otherwise would be unable to make their rent payment. We understand that this resource is critical to have in place not only for economic reasons, but also to protect the public health." 

With the statewide stay-at-home advisory extended through May 4th, the City of Boston recognizes the financial strain put on renters who have reduced or no employment income. According to estimates generated by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) on behalf of the City of Boston, there were 10,900 renter households in the "first wave" of unemployment applications filed by Bostonians in the week ending March 21st. With today's announcement that national unemployment filings doubled from 3.3 million to 6.6 million, the number of households in Boston experiencing difficulty in paying their rent is expected to rise. 

"This program announced by the City today will go a long way to help residents who are struggling and at risk of losing their homes because of the current health crisis," said Chris Norris, Executive Director for Metro Housing Boston. "Our friends and neighbors who already faced challenges with obtaining and maintaining housing now have even more barriers. These funds will make a difference for families with the greatest need - those with very low incomes and extremely low incomes.  Metro Housing|Boston is pleased to partner with Mayor Walsh and his team as they launch this lifeline to the residents of Boston because everyone deserves a place to call home."

The newly established fund, which is being managed by the Office of Housing Stability at the Department of Neighborhood Development with two nonprofit partners, Metro Housing|Boston and Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH), will provide income-eligible Bostonians with up to $4,000 in financial assistance to be used for rent. To qualify for this financial assistance, residents must either not be eligible for the new extended unemployment benefits offered by the federal government, or because of the nature of their job, the unemployment benefits that they will receive represent a significant reduction in their actual income. The funding will only be available to households earning less than 80 percent of Area Median Income (AMI), which is $72,000 for a two-person household.  A significant portion of these funds are reserved for households with extremely low incomes (under $25,000 for a single-person household), and very low-incomes or less than $42,000 for a single person (50 percent AMI).

"The need for rent relief as soon as possible for Bostonians, especially low-income families and women heads of household, is enormous," said Philip Giffee, Executive Director of Neighborhood of Affordable Housing, Inc./NOAH. "Far too many individuals and families have lost jobs - either temporarily or permanently - and are no longer able to make ends meet. These families are in immediate need of some form of assistance to keep them in their apartments. NOAH applauds the Mayor and the City for stepping up and providing some relief to help these desperate families."

The ultimate amount of assistance renters can receive will be determined after taking into account other sources of income, including the expected expansion of unemployment benefits under new federal rules established by the CARES Act, and one-time payments being issued to income-eligible residents from the federal government. The City will monitor usage of the funds closely and anticipates devoting additional resources to this effort from federal CARES Act or other City revenue sources in the coming weeks.

"In this unprecedented public health crisis, we're thrilled to see the City lead in helping to alleviate the economic crisis that many Boston families are facing," said Mac McCreight, Lead Attorney, Greater Boston Legal Services Housing Unit. "We look forward to collaborating with housing providers and other helping agencies in getting assistance quickly to those who need it."

Over the last several week, the City of Boston has taken swift action to protect our most vulnerable residents from losing their homes, including: 

  • The Boston Housing Authority stopped pursuing all non-essential evictions;
  • The Boston Housing Authority and the Boston Public Schools (BPS) are creating a new partnership to house up to 1,000 families with BPS students at risk of displacement and experiencing homelessness over the next year;
  • Formed a partnership with the Greater Boston Real Estate Board and the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations to urge a citywide moratorium on eviction proceedings;
  • Asked the Boston Housing Court to stay all non-emergency eviction proceedings, which the Supreme Judicial Court has instituted throughout the statewide housing court system until April 21;
  • Supporting legislation that provides  residential and commercial tenants and homeowners with protections against evictions and foreclosures during and for a period of time after the State of Emergency is lifted.

In 2016, Mayor Walsh created the City of Boston's Office of Housing Stability, the first of its kind in the nation, that is designed to keep communities intact by helping tenants maintain their housing. The Office's work includes supporting tenants who are in crisis; creating and offering resources, programs, and information for both tenants and landlords to learn about their rights and responsibilities; and researching and creating policies that aim to prevent displacement. The Office also oversees the  Metrolist web site, a clearinghouse for income-restricted housing opportunities in Boston and neighboring communities. 

Resources and information about COVID-19 are available on boston.gov/coronavirus. Resources available on boston.gov and through City departments include support for renters and homeowners; small businesses; free meals for Boston students; free toiletries for Boston students; emergency childcare centers; support for older residents; information on homeless shelters; transportation options for healthcare workers; resources for those in recovery or those who have a substance use disorder; and mental health resources

麻州將推出"社區追蹤協做" 派千人進社區追蹤確診者接觸了誰


(Boston Orange編譯) 麻州新型冠狀病毒(COVID-19)疫情今(3)日再創新高,不但確診病例破萬達10,402人,死亡人數更陡增38,累計192。麻州州長查理貝克(Charlie Baker)宣佈,月底推出全美首個社區追蹤協作項目(CTC),派遣千人追蹤確診者接觸過的人,勸諭檢測,隔離。
查理貝克表示,要抑制病毒擴散,檢測,追蹤,隔離,治療都很重要,麻州公共衛生廳將在現有抗疫基礎上,採取進一步措施,推出全美第一個追蹤項目,和健康夥伴(Partner In Health)”合作,成立社區追蹤協作(Community Tracing Collaborative ,簡稱CTC),派遣千人深入社區,分頭追蹤確診者接觸過的人。
昨日,查理貝克在疫情匯報中才表示,用中國武漢模型來評估麻州的疫情發展, 410日至20日會是麻州高峰期,州政府正多方聯繫,安排增加病床,檢測站。今日,查理貝克指出,他和副州長等人昨晚進一步根據模型討論,估計會有47,00017萬名麻州人在這場疫情中感染病毒,他們必須盡快做好相應準備,並盡可能板平可能出現的疫情高峰曲線。
社區追蹤協作將在州政府COVID-19疫情指揮中心領導下,由健康夥伴(Partner In Health)”和麻州公共衛生廳合作,執行社區追蹤,麻州醫療保險聯繫者(The Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority ,簡稱CCA)將設立虛擬支援中心,維持聯繫,麻州公共衛生廳將保存,維護數據庫,指導執行流程,Accenture這全球的客戶關係管理(CRM)頂尖公司將提供技術及硬體支援。(視頻來自麻州州長辦公室直播)

Baker-Polito Administration Announces COVID-19 Community Tracing Collaborative to Further Mitigate the Spread of Virus
Collaborative will deploy nearly 1,000 individuals to trace contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases

BOSTON – Today the Baker-Polito Administration announced the creation of the COVID-19 Community Tracing Collaborative (CTC) to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Massachusetts. This initiative is a collaboration between the administration and Partners In Health, and is the first of its kind in the nation. The initiative will focus on tracing the contacts of confirmed positive COVID-19 patients, and supporting individuals in quarantine, and builds on the efforts already underway from the Command Center to leverage public health college students to augment the contact tracing being done by local boards of health.

Led by the administration’s COVID-19 Response Command Center, Partners In Health will coordinate closely with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. Contact tracing will be combined with the state’s efforts to increase testing and will provide support to people in quarantine in order to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“Enhanced contact tracing capability is another powerful tool for public health officials and health care providers in the battle against COVID-19,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Massachusetts is the only state in the nation implementing this type of programming, and this collaborative tracing initiative will break new ground as we work together to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Partners In Health will provide staff and contribute technical expertise in community tracing. The Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority (CCA) will stand up a virtual support center and maintain connectivity, while the Massachusetts Department of Health (DPH) will maintain data, guides and processes. Accenture, a leading global professional services company, and Salesforce, a global leader in CRM, are implementing support center capabilities for the CTC’s tracing purposes.

“This is a key effort in the Commonwealth’s work to slow the spread of the virus by adding capacity to reach individuals who have come in close contact with individuals are confirmed positive for COVID-19,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. “I encourage residents to cooperate with the operation so that we can further slow the spread of COVID-19 in Massachusetts.”

The Collaborative will deploy nearly 1,000 contact tracers throughout the state to connect with COVID-19 patients and their contacts to support Massachusetts’ efforts to track and contain the virus.

Contact tracing through the CTC will support the Baker-Polito Administration’s ongoing efforts to expand bed capacity, increase personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies and provide resources for health care providers and patients. 

For more information on COVID-19, visit Mass.gov/covid19. Get notifications to your phone or mobile device by texting COVIDMA to 888-777.

麻州從中國採買逾百萬個N95口罩 新英格蘭愛國者隊專機載回來

(Boston Orange周菊子綜合編譯)42日傍晚6點多,很多人很激動。麻州等待已久,醫護人員迫切急需的N95口罩,有大約100萬個,搭乘新英格蘭愛國者隊(New England Patriots)專機,從中國飛抵羅根(Logan)機場。
麻州州長查理貝克(Charlie Baker)和新英格蘭愛國者隊東主Robert Kraft,董事長Jonathan Kraft,以及警察,國家衛隊,媒體等近百人,一起趕到Delta航空公司機庫迎接。
查理貝克在致詞時有點激動。他向Jonatan Kraft說,對你和你父親,以及你們家回應呼籲,成就此事,我們的感激,言之不盡
波士頓環球報透露,促成此事發生的還有中國駐紐約總領事館總領事黃屏,以及3名州長。CNN報導稱,麻州州長查理貝克給出一份聲明,感謝Kraft家族,黃屏總領事,李建生博士,以及Gene Hartigan。麻州政府將在病毒大流行期間,繼續為第一線工作人員採買個人防護用品。
當晚在場的麻州總醫院(MGH)護理主任Melisa Joceyln感謝Kraft家族基金,愛國者隊,以及MGH的所有工作人員,還有許許多多一起合作,使得N95口罩出現的人

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Boston Globe專欄作家Jeff Jacoby撰文稱WHO對台灣不公平

From   TECO    Boston

「波士頓環球報」(Boston Globe)資深專欄作家傑克比(Jeff Jacoby)對於世界衛生組織未能公平對待台灣撰文表達不平

「波士頓環球報」專欄作家傑克比(Jeff Jacoby41日於該報意見版以「世界衛生組織排除台灣參與是一件於政治與醫療專業皆令人憤慨之事」(Excluding Taiwan from the WHO is a political and medical outrage)為題撰寫文章為台灣發聲。文章指出,全球因新冠病毒造成目前近4萬人死亡,且死亡人數仍在急遽攀升,台灣擁有世界一流全民健保制度而且是重要人口及蓬勃的貿易轉運站,是率先對抗此新型疾病高度成功的國家,截至週二(331),台灣共322人確診,5人死亡,卻因政治因素無法成為全球最重要的公共衛生機構-世界衛生組織的成員極為不公。
文章另指出,中國宣稱台灣為其一部分的主張極為荒謬。因北京的堅持,大多數國家對台灣主權皆選擇迴避態度。國際組織遵從「一個中國」的虛幻說辭,極不尊重台灣及其人民。承平之時,此做法非常可恥,於此新冠肺炎肆虐之時,此說法更顯荒誕不經。另美國國務卿蓬佩奧(Mike Pompeo)330日週一發言支持台灣以觀察員身分參與世界衛生組織(WHO),並表示他個人與國務院將盡全力協助台灣參加世衛組織的各項會議。
世衛組織因應新冠肺炎的方式,尤其傾中的態度,已招致強烈批評。北京隱匿疫情相關資訊並懲罰試圖示警的醫生,世衛卻盛讚中國「資訊分享公開」並淡化病毒所造成的危險。美國外交關係協會(Council on Foreign Relations) 研究員柯林斯(Michael Collins)撰文表示,世衛係「以自身信譽為代價漂白中國形象。」
世衛組織受中國偏見影響而排擠台灣的態度於上週末電視專訪中展露無疑。香港記者唐若韞(Yvonne Tong)以視訊訪問世衛高級顧問艾沃德(Bruce Aylward),問到世衛組織是否會重新考慮台灣的成員資格,艾顧問一語未發;當記者再次重複其問題時,他要求記者進行下一個問題。當記者繼續追問時,艾顧問即中斷連線。記者重新連線並詢問艾顧問對台灣成功防治疫情的看法,他回答:「我們已討論過中國。」當前危機喚醒世界重新看待與中國的關係。中國對台灣的方式不應再持續下去。台灣身為亞洲最自由先進的國家,絕無理由於國際組織中無一席之地。

昆士市長宣佈推出"昆士救濟金" 籲民眾捐款攜手協助困難人

            (Boston Orange 整理報導)昆士市市長柯奇(Tom Koch)今(2)日宣佈成立"昆士救濟金(The Quincy Relief Fund)",將由昆士市基金會(The Quincy Foundation)管理,用於幫助受新型冠狀病毒(COVID-19)影響的個人及組織。
          昆士市長柯奇在今晚約6點半的臉書直播中,也匯報了該市新型冠狀病毒(COVID-19)疫情最新情況。昆士市的COVID-19確診人數,4月2日新增15人,累計132人,共有32人已痊癒, 死亡人數增至8人。 
             "昆士救濟金"將面向大眾籌募款項。柯奇表示,新型冠狀病毒流行以來,不知道有多少人打電話給他,問他,可以怎樣提供幫助。這個基金就可以匯集眾力。有意捐款者可以上網www.quincyrelieffund.com,或是寄支票給昆士市基金會,Quincy Foundation, c/o Colonial Federal Savings Bank, 15 Beach Street, Quincy, MA 02170。收到的所有捐款將全部用於受新型冠狀病毒流行影響的個人及組織。所有的捐款也將都可以抵減稅款。
             昆士市在4月1日時提醒市民,在昆士市長要求下,由昆士可負擔住宅信託基金緊急撥款支持的住屋援助項目,現已開始接受市民申請,昆士商會(Quincy Chamber of Commerce)將負責承辦餐館、酒店業從業人員的申請,昆士社區行動項目(Quincy Community Action Programs)將承辦其他行業工作人員的申請。
             昆士市本地的納稅人申請,不須付費。餐館或酒店從業員查詢申請細節或表格,可洽昆士市商會,www.quincyhospitalitysupportfund.com,電話 617-471-1700,或電郵info@thequincychamber.com
             其他人士可洽昆士社區行動項目,上網www.qcap.org,打電話617-657-5377,或發電郵到 QuincyCovidRent@qcap.org,索取申請表或查詢細節。

Mayor Thomas P. Koch today announced the creation of The Quincy Relief Fund to coordinate charitable fund-raising efforts aimed at helping people and organizations hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
The program will be administered by The Quincy Foundation, a registered 501c3 nonprofit corporation with a mission under normal circumstances to provide charitable contributions to local organizations and help support community events like the City's Flag Day Parade and Christmas Festival.
"I can't tell you how many people over the last several weeks have called me with a very simple question - 'How can I help?' This is part of that answer," Mayor Koch said. "Throughout our City's long, proud history, the people of our community have always stepped up in times of challenge. The public health crisis we're facing together is no different."
Donations can be made at www.quincyrelieffund.com. Checks made out to The Quincy Foundation with "QuincyRelief Fund" in the memo line can be mailed to the Quincy Foundation, c/o Colonial Federal Savings Bank, 15 Beach Street, Quincy, MA 02170.
All proceeds from the fund will go directly to people and organizations impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. There are no administrative costs associated with the fund, and all donations are fully tax deductible.
For more information and questions, please email info@thequincyfoundation.com

Two programs, one for restaurant workers and one for other service workers. Quincy Chamber (hospitality) www.quincyhospitalitysupportfund.com and Quincy Community Action Programs (other) at www.qcap.org

波士頓市長宣佈200萬元小企業救助基金 300萬元房租援助金

            (Boston Orange 周菊子整理報導) 波士頓市長馬丁華殊(Martin Walsh)(2)日下午2點宣佈,市府成立了小企業救助基金(Small Business Relief Fund),幫助直接受新型冠狀病毒大流行影響而關門,或營業額大受影響的小企業。總金額共約200萬元,由市府經濟發展辦公室承辦,下週一,46日起接受申請。
波士頓經濟發展辦公室已製作了一份"財務救濟手冊(Financial Relief Handbook)","常見問題文件(FAQ document)",並繼續不斷更新。每星期二下午3點,也還在繼續召開電話會議,讓人問問題。有意參加會議者,可發電郵到l smallbiz@boston.gov
"在波士頓市內開門的企業(Open Businesses in Boston)",供波士頓居民使用,查找市內那些基本服務還在開門營業。
"支持波士頓餐館(Support Boston Restaurants)",供餐館公告提供外賣服務的網頁。
"外賣及送貨指南(Takeout and Delivery Guidebook)",在波士頓市府取消牌照規定之際,輔導企業設立外賣及送貨服務。
"小企業調查(Small Business Survey)"波士頓正在進行四次小企業調查中的第三次,藉以確認小企業在這階段需要那些幫助和服務。
              波士頓市長馬丁華殊在記者會中還報告了疫情最新情況,4月2日,波士頓市確診人數再增加,躍升至1233 106痊癒, 10人死亡。

New resources created to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19 receive immediate capital relief and navigate the evolving financial assistance landscape
BOSTON - Thursday, April 2, 2020 - Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the creation of the Small Business Relief Fund, established to assist Boston's small businesses most directly impacted by closures, policies, or general loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This newly created fund, administered and managed by the Mayor's Office of Economic Development (OED), is designed to quickly and strategically disburse grants to local businesses through a streamlined process that does not require businesses to assume additional debt. The Fund will begin accepting applications on Monday, April 6, 2020. 

"We are committed to helping Boston's small businesses during this unprecedented time by providing strategic, accessible, and critical financial resources to help them stay afloat and pay employees," said Mayor Walsh. "Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the lifeblood of our neighborhoods. As the response to COVID-19 continues to evolve, we want to make this resource as straightforward as possible for business owners and work one-on-one to ensure they have the most up-to-date information on financial assistance available."

The Small Business Relief Fund will be administered through OED's Small Business Financing program, and is funded by a combination of funds from the City of Boston, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and private institutions. Eligible small businesses - a for-profit entity with fewer than 35 employees, and less than $1,500,000 in annual revenue, which is registered and operating in Boston - will apply through a single application and be considered for one of three grants based on the size of the business. Grants can be used to address rent, fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, lost sales, lost opportunities, and other working capital expenses.

The Fund will kick-off with an initial $2 million in resources available to small businesses, which includes city operating funding and Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) that the City of Boston receives annually from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The funding will also include an additional $50,000 contribution from the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office. 

"The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the lives of everyone in Massachusetts and our small businesses have been hit especially hard," said Attorney General Maura Healey. "I thank Mayor Walsh for his leadership and the opportunity to contribute to this fund to assist these businesses during this difficult time. I'll continue to collaborate with my partners in government to help all those affected by this crisis - we will get through this together."

As business owners, employers, and employees navigate an evolving COVID-19-related assistance landscape, OED has created a Financial Relief Handbook and FAQ document, both of which are continuously updated. Small Business conference calls will continue every Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. to communicate policy updates, answer questions, feature relevant City of Boston departments, and troubleshoot the ecosystem of funding available from the state, federal, and private industry. For any business interested in joining these weekly calls, please email smallbiz@boston.gov

OED has created a number of useful guides and resources for businesses impacted by COVID-19 and the Commonwealth's  Non-Essential Services and Stay At Home Order.
  • Open Businesses in Boston: a tool for essential businesses to publicly share that they're open, share gift-card information, and which (if any) delivery/take-out services they use. This guide is available for residents to utilize, and explore what local businesses are open in their neighborhoods. 
  • Support Boston Restaurants: a web page for restaurants to publicly share that they're open, share gift-card information, and which (if any) delivery/take-out services they use. This guide is available for residents to utilize, and explore what local businesses are open in their neighborhoods. 
  • Takeout and Delivery Guidebook: a guide on how to establish food takeout and delivery services now that the City of Boston has lifted licensing regulations. 
  • Small Business Survey: the third of four surveys for small businesses to pinpoint the help and services they need during this time. 
The above resources and more industry-specific guidance are accessible on boston.gov/small-business or under the Local Resources "Economic Development Response" on  boston.gov/coronavirus. 

Baker-Polito Administration Outlines COVID-19 Surge Modeling, Response Efforts To Boost Hospital Capacity

Baker-Polito Administration Outlines COVID-19 Surge Modeling, Response Efforts To Boost Hospital Capacity

BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration’s COVID-19 Response Command Center today outlined projections related to the anticipated surge of COVID-19 cases in the Commonwealth. The projections are the result of the Command Center’s work with medical experts to complete modeling of the outbreak in Massachusetts. The Administration also detailed its efforts to respond to this surge, including a significant increase in hospital capacity, staffing, and equipment.

COVID-19 Surge Planning:

Modeling and Projections:
The Administration’s COVID-19 Response Command Center has been working with its Advisory Board of medical experts and epidemiologists from Harvard University, University of Guelph and Northeastern to refine models related to the expected surge of COVID-19 cases. These efforts include modeling the surge’s timing, number of cases, necessary bed capacity, and work to find facilities that will meet overfill capacity. The model’s projections are based on the experience of Wuhan, China, but Massachusetts’ trajectory could differ due to lower population density, lower smoking rates, and earlier social distancing measures. The Command Center has also been comparing to experience in other states and around the world.

The model’s latest projections estimate that the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts could range from 47,000 to 172,000 (or 0.7% to 2.5% of the total population of Massachusetts). The models show hospitalizations would potentially peak between April 10-20. The current fatality rate in Massachusetts is lower than other areas – it is approximately 1.5% of those infected. The Command Center is monitoring this statistic closely.

The COVID-19 Response Command Center is working with hospitals to provide them with flexibility to expand ICU capacity. The Commonwealth is asking academic medical centers and teaching hospitals to work to significantly expand their ICU capacity. But after hospitals execute on their surge plans, the model estimates there could be a remaining gap in ICU capacity of more than 500 beds.

Response Efforts:
In response, the Administration is aiming to find or build an additional 750 - 1000 beds in field medical hospitals and other alternate care sites to reduce strain on hospitals as much as possible. Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito visited the first of these Field Medical Stations at the DCU Center yesterday.

The Administration has identified additional possible sites for Field Medical Stations including the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Joint Base Cape Cod, Springfield’s Mass Mutual Building and other smaller locations. The Administration has secured a contractor who can build out sites once a healthcare partner has been finalized. 

The Command Center is also securing 1000 beds in capacity for step-down care options in nursing facilities for stabilized COVID-19 positive patients who can be transferred out of the hospital to make room for those with higher medical need.