Massachusetts Governor extends school closures

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Massachusetts coronavirus

Massachusetts coronavirus. (Fusion Medical Animation/Unsplash and Clker-Free-Vector-Images/Pixabay)

BOSTON, Mass. (NEWS10) – Governor Charlie Baker has extended the closing of all public, private and non-emergency daycares until May 4 due to the coronavirus pandemic. This closure will extend one week after the scheduled spring vacation for most districts. The order also does not apply to residential special education schools.

During this time, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is requesting that educators continue to develop and assemble high-quality educational materials to provide students with effective remote learning resources through the month of April. The Department is also creating a model for districts to use and modify in collaboration with local stakeholders to fit their school district’s needs and will continue to work with schools to identify best practices for implementing effective remote learning.

Baker is also taking steps to keep vulnerable families in their homes, preserve the health and safety of low-income renters and homeowners, and prevent homelessness due to reduced or lost income.

The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is working to temporarily suspend terminations of federal and state rental vouchers. The Division of Banks (DOB) has issued new guidance to Massachusetts financial institutions and lenders urging them to provide relief for borrowers and will advocate for a 60-day stay on behalf of all homeowners facing imminent foreclosure on their homes. DHCD is issuing guidance recommending that all owners of state-aided low-income housing, including Local Housing Authorities and private owners, suspend both pending non-essential evictions and the filing of any new non-essential evictions.

Baker also issued guidance to pharmacies and grocery stores. They must provide at least one hour a day of shopping for adults over 60. Sanitation options need to be offered such as disinfecting wipes to wash cart handles. Establish appropriate social distancing policies like a line six feet away from registers where people can wait. All self-service food stations will be closed. Instruct store owners to tell employees to stay home if they are sick and to accommodate employees who are at a higher risk.

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