Baker also announced provisions 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, including the creation of a $5 million COVID-19 Rental Assistance for Families in Transition fund, and urging MA financial institutions and lenders to provide relief for borrowers, including a 60-day stay on imminent home foreclosures and suspension of non-essential evictions due to an inability to pay rent.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health says a Berkshire County man is the first in the region to die of COVID-19. On Friday, a Suffolk County man in his 80s was announced as the first person in the state to die from related illness.
MA is opening over 300 day care sites for essential workers who need childcare.
"To slow the spread of the coronavirus, all families should keep children out of group care settings to the greatest extent possible". Still, he said the sites should be used only "as a last resort".
As of yesterday, 328 individuals had tested posted for the coronavirus in the Commonwealth of MA.
The Vermont Health Department is urging the state's long-term care facilities to take the temperature of all staff members before they enter the buildings where they work. Stores are told to have sick employees stay home and to provide alternative assignments to workers in high-risk categories.
There are 15,219 cases in the United States, with 201 deaths, according to the Center for Disease Control.
Baker issued an emergency order extending the closure of all public and private schools, and all non-emergency childcare programs until May 4 in an effort to prevent the further spread of the virus. "And I can't repeat this enough - It is extremely important for all of us, young and old, to take extra care to help protect the people most vulnerable to serious illness - older Vermonters and people with chronic illnesses or who have impaired immunity".
In total, five people have died of coronavirus in the commonwealth.