Through Executive Order, Governor Baker terminated the State of Emergency associated with COVID-19 on June 15, 2021.
Although the State of Emergency declaration has ended, it is important to the Legislature to extend certain protections implemented during that Emergency to ensure ongoing safeguards for Massachusetts residents as we continue to recover from the pandemic.
To that end, the House and Senate passed a bill that temporarily extends and reinstates a slate of measures instituted in Massachusetts during the COVID-19 State of Emergency. This bill:
- Authorizes additional healthcare personnel to continue to administer COVID-19 vaccines through April 1, 2022;
- Allows health clinics to continue to use alternative spaces for COVID-19 testing and vaccine administration until April 1, 2022;
- Provides additional tenant protections against evictions until January 1, 2023;
- Allows rental assistance benefit increases to remain in place for an additional 60 days;
- Keeps parents eligible for unemployment insurance if they are not able to find childcare to return to work;
- Extends certain health care provider workforce flexibilities to ensure access to high-quality healthcare workers in the near-term;
- Authorizes special permitting for outdoor dining until April 1, 2022;
- Extends takeout beer, wine and cocktails, provided that they are sold at the same price as dining in, until May 1, 2022; and
- Allows public bodies to meet remotely, provided that there is adequate, alternative public access, until April 1, 2022.
Governor Baker signed this bill into law on June 16, 2021.
The effects of the pandemic are not over. The Legislature will continue working to resolve items in the near-term that were not included in the bill, which deserve further consideration.
Please remember that the only way for us to put this pandemic behind us is to get as many people vaccinated as possible. The more people that are vaccinated, the more likely we reach herd immunity against COVID-19. Achieving herd immunity with safe and effective vaccines will save countless lives – so please do your part by getting vaccinated. Refer to this link for vaccination information:
Also, if needed, you can always refer to the follow links for past updates, guidance, and resources during the State of Emergency:
- COVID-19 Constituent Resource Guide
- The Legislature
- The Baker-Polito Administration
- Attorney General
- Federal Government Updates and Guidance
And for the most accurate, up-to-the-minute information on COVID-19, please refer to the following resources:
- MA Department of Public Health (DPH)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
To receive regular email updates on state efforts to address COVID-19 and its ongoing effects, please sign up for my newsletter. In addition, please be sure to connect with me on my various social media platforms, including Facebook @CindyFriedmanMA, Twitter @CindyFriedmanMA, and Instagram @sencindyfriedman.
If you have any questions, concerns, or need state assistance, please contact my office by phone at (617) 722-1432 or by email at Cindy.Friedman@masenate.gov.