People over the age of 65 and people who have underlying health conditions – who are at high risk for COVID-19 – should continue to stay home except for essential errands such as going to the grocery store and to attend to healthcare needs. All residents are advised to leave home only for healthcare, worship and permitted work, shopping, and outdoor activities. For further instructions and details included in the advisory, visit mass.gov.
Face Coverings Required In Public
Effective Wednesday, May 6, 2020, Governor Baker issued an Order requiring face masks or cloth face coverings in public places where social distancing is not possible. This applies to both indoor and outdoor spaces. Exceptions include children under the age of 2 and those unable to wear a mask or face covering due to a medical condition. Full details are outlined in the May 1 Order. Additional information at mass.gov.
COVID-19 Testing & Local Updates
Wendell P. Clark Memorial YMCA – Childcare Services for Essential Employees
Wendell P. Clark Memorial YMCA is closed to the public. However, they will be providing childcare for Essential Employees. Parents that fit the broad designation of an Essential Employee that are in need of childcare services should contact School-Age Director, Kyle Scrivines at 978-297-9622 x116 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Find helpful resources including free virtual fitness classes, ideas for kids, families, and more at https://www.theclarkymca.org/covid-19-resources.
Taxes – Filing and Payment Extensions and Penalty Relief
The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development (EOLWD) and the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA), in coordination with the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL), are taking a series of actions to assist workers and employers. See here for more information.
Federal CARES Act Benefit Information
The Department of Unemployment Assistance is moving swiftly to implement three new public benefit programs that will expand unemployment eligibility; temporarily increase weekly benefits for all claimants; and allow additional categories of people to claim unemployment benefits. The move, the largest expansion of assistance for the Commonwealth’s workforce since the Great Depression, follows new guidance from the federal government regarding the CARES Act. For more information, visit mass.gov.
Employment Benefits for the Self Employed – Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
PUA provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals who are not working as a result of COVID-19 and are self-employed, independent contractors, gig economy workers, and others who otherwise would not qualify for regular UC or EB under state or federal law or PEUC. These individuals are not able to claim benefits directly through the UI Online System in Massachusetts. Eligible claimants under PUA will be retroactively compensated with this benefit beginning February 2, 2020, or the first week a claimant was unable to work as a result of COVID-19, whichever date is later. The last week this benefit is payable is the week ending December 26, 2020.
MassHire North Central Career Center Update
Due to the current situation with COVID-19, The MassHire North Central Career Center office will be closed to the public for the foreseeable future. Virtual services will be provided to customers. If you are seeking Unemployment Insurance Service please file your claim at www.mass.gov/DUA or contact the DUA call center at 1-877-626-6800. Please be aware that you may experience significant wait times on the toll free line. If you have a deadline to attain your RESEA requirement, staff will be reaching out to you to ensure that your unemployment benefits will not be impacted by these changes.
Travel to Massachusetts
Beginning March 27, all travelers arriving to Massachusetts are instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days. Find further information and guidance at mass.gov.