Massachusetts State News http://feed.informer.com/digests/476PAAGCGW/feeder Massachusetts State News Respective post owners and feed distributors Sat, 29 Aug 2020 14:29:47 +0000 Feed Informer http://feed.informer.com/ Gov. Baker addresses federal funding to support state's coronavirus pandemic https://www.news10.com/video/watch-live-governor-baker-to-address-federal-funding-to-support-states-coronavirus-pandemic/ Massachusetts News | NEWS10 ABC urn:uuid:bbb7355d-6461-9303-4ff8-70dd9edcd03a Tue, 09 Feb 2021 01:53:43 +0000 Governor Charlie Baker is scheduled to provide a live update to address the need for additional federal funding to support the Commonwealth’s response to COVID-19. <p>BOSTON (WWLP) - Governor Charlie Baker was joined by Congressman Richard Neal at his news conference Monday to discuss the state's COVID response efforts.</p> <p>Both Neal and Baker feel confident about the Commonwealth's ability to rebound from this virus. They say they've been in constant contact since the start of pandemic and they plan to keep up that communication.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.wwlp.com/news/massachusetts/congressman-richard-neal-reacts-to-house-blocking-cash-act/" class="promo-link__link" > Congressman Richard Neal reacts to House blocking CASH Act </a> </aside> </div> <p>Gov. Baker thanked Congressman Neal for helping Massachusetts get through the worst parts of the pandemic. Together, the two provided over a billion dollars for local communities, many of which used that money to re-open schools.</p> <p>Neal and Baker also worked together on food security, dispersing over $50 million across the state in an effort to prevent residents from going hungry. These are just a few of the things that Baker and Neal hope to continue funding with the next relief package.</p> <p>"And it would be critical from our point of view for congress to significant relief swiftly to help us beat down the pandemic and just as importantly help our economy get back on track," said Gov. Baker.</p> <p>By the end of the week, Neal expects the House Ways and Means Committee to pass another COVID relief bill. He expects that package to include more funding for schools, a higher child tax credit, and $2,000 in direct stimulus payments.</p> <figure class="ns-block-embed-anvato" data-anvato-player-id="p5"> <div id="anvato-player-p5" class="ns-block-embed__wrapper"> <div id="p5"></div> </div> <div data-react-component="AnvatoVideoPlayer"></div> <script>window.loadAnvato({"mcp":"LIN","width":"100%","height":"100%","video":"6269446","autoplay":false,"expect_preroll":true,"pInstance":"p5","plugins":{"comscore":{"clientId":"6036439","c3":"news10.com","script":"//w3.cdn.anvato.net/player/prod/v3/plugins/comscore/comscoreplugin.min.js","useDerivedMetadata":true,"mapping":{"video":{"c3":"news10.com","ns_st_st":"wten","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"Video","cs_ucfr":""},"ad":{"c3":"news10.com","ns_st_st":"wten","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"Video","cs_ucfr":""}}},"dfp":{"adTagUrl":"https://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=1x1000&iu=/5678/mg.wten/news/massachusetts_news&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vmap&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&description_url=https://www.news10.com/news/mass-news/feed/&cust_params=vid%3D6269446%26vidcat%3D/news/massachusetts_news%26bob_ck%3D[bob_ck_val]%26d_code%3Dna003"}},"expectPrerollTimeout":8,"accessKey":"M2v78QkkxRrJdUParbi6H2bj8oQ6BogR","token":"eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJ2aWQiOiI2MjY5NDQ2IiwiaXNzIjoiTTJ2NzhRa2t4UnJKZFVQYXJiaTZIMmJqOG9RNkJvZ1IiLCJleHAiOjE2MTI4NDAyOTZ9.YBk4HSlSHCdtRC2BSfaG93iJeXh8FlGflC2cTYESetQ","nxs":{"mp4Url":"https://nxsglobal.storage.googleapis.com/wwlp/video/video_studio/153/21/02/08/6269446/6269446_FB739A5558174F429157F430B5461616_210208_6269446_Governor_Baker_COVID_19_Update___February_8_4000.mp4"},"disableMutedAutoplay":false,"recommendations":false,"expectPreroll":true,"titleVisible":true,"pauseOnClick":true,"trackTimePeriod":60});</script> </figure> New loosened COVID-19 restrictions for Massachusetts businesses https://www.news10.com/news/mass-news/new-loosened-covid-19-restrictions-for-massachusetts-businesses/ Massachusetts News | NEWS10 ABC urn:uuid:1db1ea61-9c00-2164-5a9b-6f978bcf28c3 Tue, 09 Feb 2021 00:24:58 +0000 BERKSHIRE COUNTY, Mass. (NEWS10) -- New loosened restrictions are now in place for Massachusetts businesses. Starting at 5 a.m Monday morning, Gov. Charlie Baker is allowing restaurants, gyms, and places of worship and retail stores to open from 25% capacity to now 40% capacity. Many business in Lenox are excited about it. “With the capacity [...] <p>BERKSHIRE COUNTY, Mass. (<a href="https://www.news10.com/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">NEWS10</a>) -- New loosened restrictions are now in place for Massachusetts businesses. Starting at 5 a.m Monday morning, Gov. Charlie Baker is allowing restaurants, gyms, and places of worship and retail stores to open from 25% capacity to now 40% capacity.</p> <p>Many business in Lenox are excited about it. </p> <p>“With the capacity before, we were struggling a bit. We had empty tables all the time. We had a wait at the door, but we weren’t able to sit people because we only allowed 25% capacity which was really tough for us,” says Tucker McNinch, the financial operations manager at the Olde Heritage Tavern. </p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.news10.com/video/top-video/berkshire-county-rolls-out-covid-19-vaccine-with-minimal-problems/" class="promo-link__link" target=&quot;_blank&quot; > Berkshire County rolls out COVID-19 vaccine with minimal problems </a> </aside> </div> <p>Suzanne Merritt is the President of Lenox Fit. She says having more people now attend her spin classes lifts some weight off her shoulders. </p> <p>“It definitely helps us and it puts us on the right trajectory. Now that more people are getting vaccinated and are feeling more comfortable, we are seeing people coming back to the gym so that’s definitely a plus,” Suzanne says. </p> <p>Restaurants and fitness centers have been hit hard since March. Once Berkshire County saw an uptick of COVID-19 cases in November, local businesses were forced to operate at 25% capacity. This recent change from Gov. Charlie Baker's office helps these businesses out tremendously.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.news10.com/news/tracking-covid-vaccinations-in-the-capital-region/" class="promo-link__link" target=&quot;_blank&quot; > Tracking COVID vaccinations in the Capital Region </a> </aside> </div> <p>“We like to put the appearance together that we got it all figured out but we’re learning and doing what we learning every single day too,” says Suzanne. </p> <p>Michael Abdalla and Kylah Rivest are gym members at Lenox Fit. Michael works out almost daily, he says it's nice to see other people work out while he's there lifting weights. </p> <p>“It’s nice to see some of the local businesses like Lenox Fit getting back on their feet after the pandemic,” says Michael. </p> <p>The couple was happy to hear the news— it gives them more fun things to do on their weekends. </p> <p>“It’s also nice to see people still being able to go out and do things so they’re not cooped up in their house,” Kylah adds. </p> Massachusetts winter weather: After blast of snow, more on the way https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/massachusetts-winter-weather-after-blast-of-snow-more-on-the-way/ Massachusetts news, politics, crime, commentary | Boston Herald urn:uuid:53cd518f-238f-fc4c-63ab-46813ed1e0aa Mon, 08 Feb 2021 20:16:39 +0000 After some parts of Massachusetts got a foot of snow on Sunday, meteorologists are predicting another round of widespread snow for the Bay State on Tuesday as the state is in the middle of a "very active pattern." <div class="article-slideshow"><button class="icon-close"></button><ul data-total="5"><li data-index="1"><div class="image-wrapper"><img width="1024" height="809" src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Weather03.jpg" class="attachment-article_inline size-article_inline lazyload" alt="" loading="lazy" draggable="false" data-sizes="auto" data-srcset="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Weather03.jpg?w=620 620w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Weather03.jpg?w=780 780w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Weather03.jpg?w=810 810w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Weather03.jpg?w=1280 1280w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Weather03.jpg?w=1456 1860w" data-src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Weather03.jpg" /><p class="slide-credit"></p><p class="slide-caption">020721 BOSTON, MA. Marcus Skovhus of Boston runs with his dog Tobey along Carson beach in South Boston during the height of the snow storm, February 7, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Herald Photo By Jim Michaud/ Boston Herald)</p></div></li><li data-index="2"><div class="image-wrapper"><img width="1024" height="1591" src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/weathernl02.jpg" class="attachment-article_inline size-article_inline lazyload" alt="" loading="lazy" draggable="false" data-sizes="auto" data-srcset="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/weathernl02.jpg?w=620 620w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/weathernl02.jpg?w=780 780w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/weathernl02.jpg?w=810 810w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/weathernl02.jpg?w=1280 1280w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/weathernl02.jpg?w=1860 1860w" data-src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/weathernl02.jpg" /><p class="slide-credit"></p><p class="slide-caption">BOSTON MA. FEBRUARY 8: Lena Rosenlund, 7, watched by her mother, Jennifer Doe, sleds down a hill at Constitution Beach on February 8, 2021 in East Boston, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)</p></div></li><li data-index="3"><div class="image-wrapper"><img width="1024" height="694" src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Weather05.jpg" class="attachment-article_inline size-article_inline lazyload" alt="" loading="lazy" draggable="false" data-sizes="auto" data-srcset="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Weather05.jpg?w=620 620w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Weather05.jpg?w=780 780w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Weather05.jpg?w=810 810w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Weather05.jpg?w=1280 1280w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Weather05.jpg?w=1860 1860w" data-src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Weather05.jpg" /><p class="slide-credit"></p><p class="slide-caption">020721 BOSTON, MA. - A man bikes through the snow on William J. Day Boulevard in South Boston during the height of the snow storm, February 7, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Herald Photo By Jim Michaud/ Boston Herald)</p></div></li><li class="slideshow-ad-slide" data-index="3"><div class="image-wrapper slideshow-ad-wrapper"><div class="slideshow-ad" id="ad-in-slideshow"></div></div></li><li data-index="4"><div class="image-wrapper"><img width="1024" height="687" src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Weather02.jpg" class="attachment-article_inline size-article_inline lazyload" alt="" loading="lazy" draggable="false" data-sizes="auto" data-srcset="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Weather02.jpg?w=620 620w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Weather02.jpg?w=780 780w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Weather02.jpg?w=810 810w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Weather02.jpg?w=1280 1280w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Weather02.jpg?w=1860 1860w" data-src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Weather02.jpg" /><p class="slide-credit"></p><p class="slide-caption">020721 BOSON, MA. A woman walks in the snow in the park across the beach on William J. Day Boulevard in South Boston during the height of the snow storm, February 7, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Herald Photo By Jim Michaud/ Boston Herald)</p></div></li><li data-index="5"><div class="image-wrapper"><img width="1024" height="683" src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/snownl02-1.jpg" class="attachment-article_inline size-article_inline lazyload" alt="" loading="lazy" draggable="false" data-sizes="auto" data-srcset="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/snownl02-1.jpg?w=620 620w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/snownl02-1.jpg?w=780 780w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/snownl02-1.jpg?w=810 810w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/snownl02-1.jpg?w=1280 1280w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/snownl02-1.jpg?w=1860 1860w" data-src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/snownl02-1.jpg" /><p class="slide-credit"></p><p class="slide-caption">CAMBRIDGE MA. FEBRUARY 7: A runner make his way along the Charles River at the start of the snowstorm on February 7, 2021 in Cambridge, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)</p></div></li></ul><div class="caption"><button class="caption-expand">Show Caption</button><div class="slideshow-credit"></div><div class="slide-count"><span class="current"></span> of <span class="total"></span></div><p class="slideshow-caption"></p><a href="#" class="icon-enlarge"><span>Expand</span></a></div></div> <p>After some parts of Massachusetts got a foot of snow on Sunday, meteorologists are predicting another round of widespread snow for the Bay State on Tuesday as the state is in the middle of a &#8220;very active pattern.&#8221;</p> <p>A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for Tuesday as much of the state is expected to get 3 to 5 inches of snow. This snowfall is expected to cause slippery road conditions that could impact the morning and evening commutes.</p> <p>The snow should start around the morning drive and continue throughout the day.</p> <p>&#8220;It&#8217;s a fast-moving system that will bring about 3 to 5 inches for most of Massachusetts,&#8221; said National Weather Service meteorologist Kristie Smith, based in NWS Boston&#8217;s Norton office. &#8220;Compared to Sunday, it won&#8217;t be as much.&#8221;</p> <p>Sunday&#8217;s snowstorm dumped about a foot on communities in Norfolk County, including 12.6 inches in Sharon, 12 inches in Norfolk, 11.6 inches in Norwood and 11.3 inches in Quincy.</p> <p>Those jackpot areas are expected to get the lower end of the snowfall totals on Tuesday. Snow should mix with and change to rain &#8212; resulting in less accumulation for southeastern Massachusetts and the Cape.</p> <p>Following Tuesday&#8217;s storm, forecasters will be watching more systems through the weekend.</p> <p>&#8220;We&#8217;re in a very active pattern right now,&#8221; Smith said.</p> <aside class="related left"><h2 class="widget-title" data-curated-ids="" data-relation-type="automatic-primary-tag">Related Articles</h2><ul><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/07/massachusetts-pounded-with-snow-again-intense-snow-band-drops-about-a-foot/" title="Massachusetts pounded with snow, again: Intense snow band drops about a foot"> <span class="dfm-title"> Massachusetts pounded with snow, again: Intense snow band drops about a foot </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/06/snow-storm-to-sweep-through-boston-on-super-bowl-sunday/" title="Snow storm to sweep through Boston on Super Bowl Sunday"> <span class="dfm-title"> Snow storm to sweep through Boston on Super Bowl Sunday </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/02/as-massachusetts-residents-dig-out-from-noreaster-forecasters-eyeing-another-potential-coastal-storm/" title="As Massachusetts residents dig out from nor&#8217;easter, forecasters eyeing another potential coastal storm"> <span class="dfm-title"> As Massachusetts residents dig out from nor&#8217;easter, forecasters eyeing another potential coastal storm </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/01/massachusetts-gets-hit-with-a-noreaster/" title="Massachusetts Gets Hit With a Nor&#8217;easter"> <span class="dfm-title"> Massachusetts Gets Hit With a Nor&#8217;easter </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/01/noreaster-pummels-massachusetts-dumps-heavy-snow-across-region/" title="Nor&#8217;easter pummels Massachusetts, dumps heavy snow across region"> <span class="dfm-title"> Nor&#8217;easter pummels Massachusetts, dumps heavy snow across region </span> </a> </li></ul></aside> <p>The National Weather Service forecast discussion reads, &#8220;Active weather pattern continues late in the week<br /> into the weekend. Storms cannot be ruled out on Thursday/Friday and late Saturday into Sunday.&#8221;</p> Charlie Baker to work with Arlington mom, programmer who built centralized coronavirus vaccine appointment website https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/charlie-baker-to-work-with-arlington-mom-programmer-who-built-centralized-coronavirus-vaccine-appointment-website/ Massachusetts news, politics, crime, commentary | Boston Herald urn:uuid:ae796ce8-f352-0416-74fa-bf9177b28261 Mon, 08 Feb 2021 20:16:32 +0000 Gov. Charlie Baker said he plans to work with an Arlington software developer who spent her maternity leave building a better online vaccination platform to improve the state&#8217;s website. &#8220;We have taken a look and we have reached out and we expect that sometime this week we&#8217;ll talk to her,&#8221; Baker said of Athenahealth programmer [&#8230;] <p>Gov. Charlie Baker said he plans to work with an Arlington software developer who spent her maternity leave building a better online vaccination platform to improve the state&#8217;s website.</p> <p>&#8220;We have taken a look and we have reached out and we expect that sometime this week we&#8217;ll talk to her,&#8221; Baker said of Athenahealth programmer Olivia Adams&#8217; website, <a href="http://macovidvaccines.com">macovidvaccines.com</a>. It&#8217;s a departure from Baker&#8217;s position last month when he said no changes to the state website were planned.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/07/arlington-software-engineer-mother-raises-nearly-20k-in-48-hours-for-coronavirus-vaccine-website/">28-year-old Arlington mother built a centralized website where people can find available vaccine appointments</a> at dozens of sites across Massachusetts in a single place after witnessing the &#8220;frustrating&#8221; experiences of her mother-in-law and others.</p> <p>Adams&#8217; website rocketed to popularity following a tweet by the programmer on Friday &#8212; the same day the Baker administration launched a call center that people 75 and older can use to book appointments. Many in the age group experienced issues with the state&#8217;s website earlier in the appointment roll out.</p> <p>“A lot of people have called it, and a lot of people got appointments as a result, which is exactly what it was intended to do,” Baker said during his regular coronavirus briefing on Monday. He praised efforts to open the vaccine call center as “very successful.&#8221;</p> <p>The mass vaccination sites like Fenway Park, Gillette Stadium and the Eastfield Mall in Springfield &#8220;are basically batting almost 100% in terms of doses delivered and doses administered,&#8221; Baker said.</p> <p>The Republican governor also said people 65 and older &#8212; who are next in line for shots &#8212; will have to &#8220;wait a little longer.&#8221;</p> Campaign finance accounts offer clues of 2022 political landscape as Charlie Baker still lags in fundraising https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/campaign-finance-accounts-offer-clues-of-2022-political-landscape-as-charlie-baker-still-lags-in-fundraising/ Massachusetts news, politics, crime, commentary | Boston Herald urn:uuid:7dfc4f83-62e9-1a83-2f91-7740ecbc0d04 Mon, 08 Feb 2021 20:05:43 +0000 Gov. Charlie Baker lags far behind likely contenders in the upcoming 2022 race for the Corner Office, campaign finance records show. Baker&#8217;s fundraising has picked up in the past two months, but Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito continues to outraise him more than three-to-one. The governor had $589,541 cash on hand at the close of the [&#8230;] <p>Gov. Charlie Baker lags far behind likely contenders in the upcoming 2022 race for the Corner Office, campaign finance records show.</p> <p>Baker&#8217;s fundraising has picked up in the past two months, but Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito continues to outraise him more than three-to-one.</p> <p>The governor had $589,541 cash on hand at the close of the last reporting period on Jan. 31 and raised just over $41,000 in the first month of 2021. By contrast, Polito has $1.94 million in her coffers and recently raised $50,000.</p> <p>The popular Republican governor has so far resisted questions about a potential third term, but <a href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2020/12/27/no-signs-of-2022-campaign-for-charlie-baker-but-karyn-polito-gearing-upbostno">speculation over what clues fundraising could lend have swirled</a> as the 64-year-old incumbent&#8217;s efforts have been slow.</p> <p>Potential Democratic challenger Attorney General Maura Healey&#8217;s campaign balance casts an even larger shadow over Baker&#8217;s with $2.94 million in cash on hand, state data show.</p> <p>Another rumored GOP contender for governor is former state Rep. Geoff Diehl, who also appears to be positioning for a run.</p> <p>The Whitman Republican and one-time challenger to U.S. Sen Elizabeth Warren closed out his campaign account 2019 following his defeat but last week stepped down as finance committee chair at the state Republican Party. Diehl said the move was in favor of a recruitment role to help bolster the party&#8217;s potential candidates, but he didn&#8217;t rule out a candidacy of his own.</p> <p>&#8220;Let&#8217;s just say that right now there&#8217;s a lot of organizing that has to be done for a lot of campaigns and I&#8217;ll take a look at the governor&#8217;s race, of course,&#8221; Diehl told the Herald, saying he&#8217;d make a decision &#8220;in the next few months.&#8221;</p> <p>Monday brought news of a widening Democratic field after former <a href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/former-state-sen-ben-downing-to-run-for-massachusetts-governor/">state Sen. Ben Downing officially declared his candidacy for governor</a>.</p> <p>The former Pittsfield Democrat is starting his fundraising efforts from scratch after he closed his campaign finance account in 2017 when he departed Beacon Hill, according to state records.</p> <p>He joins two other Democrats who are exploring bids: Harvard University political science professor Danielle Allen &#8212; who had $151,755 in her campaign coffers as of the last filing deadline on Jan. 31 &#8212; and Scott Khourie of Quincy, whose balance sheet listed a meager $20.</p> <p>Republican U.S. Attorney <a href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/01/10/u-s-attorney-andrew-lelling-hints-of-future-run-for-elective-office/">Andrew Lelling in an interview with the Herald last month hinted he could run</a> for office, but declined to say what office he might pursue.</p> <p>Libertarian Carlos Perez of West Springfield filed candidacy paperwork with the Office of Campaign Finance in December but has yet to file any financial paperwork.</p> Marty Walsh uses police overtime savings to fund grants for first-generation Boston home buyers https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/marty-walsh-uses-police-overtime-savings-to-fund-grants-for-first-generation-boston-home-buyers/ Massachusetts news, politics, crime, commentary | Boston Herald urn:uuid:5b6dbf0e-4a70-23c1-d26c-0fb32b780403 Mon, 08 Feb 2021 20:01:41 +0000 Mayor Martin Walsh will use a fraction of the cash saved when he heeded protesters calls this summer to slash the police budget by $12 million to help marginalized Bostonians buy homes, his office announced. The Walsh administration has earmarked $325,000 &#8212; $250,000 of which will be reallocated from the police overtime budget &#8212; to [&#8230;] <p>Mayor Martin Walsh will use a fraction of the cash saved when he heeded protesters calls this summer to slash the police budget by $12 million to help marginalized Bostonians buy homes, his office announced.</p> <p>The Walsh administration has earmarked $325,000 &#8212; $250,000 of which will be reallocated from the police overtime budget &#8212; to fund a grant program for first-generation home buyers.</p> <p>&#8220;Now more than ever, in Boston, we must take steps to create equitable opportunities and access to resources for all Bostonians. Improving pathways to homeownership can help address disparities in wealth, making this a vital part of our equity work,&#8221; said Walsh.</p> <p>In partnership with Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance, new homebuyers can apply for matching grants of up to $5,000 when they put down $2,500 of their own, Walsh&#8217;s office said.</p> <p>The Walsh administration said the program is an effort to level the playing field and rein in a wealth gap exposed by a 2015 Federal Reserve Bank of Boston analysis that found the median net worth for Black Boston households was $8 compared to nearly $250,000 for their white counterparts.</p> <aside class="related left"><h2 class="widget-title" data-curated-ids="" data-relation-type="automatic-primary-tag">Related Articles</h2><ul><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/01/marty-walsh-announces-launch-of-city-of-boston-voucher-program/" title="Marty Walsh announces launch of City of Boston Voucher Program"> <span class="dfm-title"> Marty Walsh announces launch of City of Boston Voucher Program </span> </a> </li></ul></aside> <p>People who are the first in their families to buy a home often have a difficult time accruing the down payment and closing costs necessary to buy, an Urban Institute study found. Funds are not available from families for financial assistance often because the buyer&#8217;s parents don&#8217;t own a home and therefore cannot leverage the home&#8217;s equity to provide financial aid to their children.</p> <p>&#8220;We know first-generation homebuyers are less likely to become homeowners than those in similarly situated households who grew up with parents who are homeowners,&#8221; said Boston Housing Chief Sheila Dillon. &#8220;These funds will help make homeownership possible to those who will benefit for generations to come and help us close the gap on homeownership in Boston.&#8221;</p> <p>Symone Crawford, director of homeownership education at the Dorchester MAHA called the city&#8217;s investment &#8220;critical in helping to level the playing field for those residents to become homeowners.&#8221;</p> <p>&#8220;First-generation buyers often don&#8217;t have enough savings, or family members with the financial resources to tap, when trying to buy a home,&#8221; she said.</p> <p>The city grant program will build on an MAHA program launched last year that has already saved over $187,000 for first-generation homebuyers, Crawford said.</p> <p>To find out more about the First Generation Homebuyer Program, go to <a href="http://mahahome.org/STASH">mahahome.org/STASH</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> What legal marijuana looks like in Massachusetts, and what it could mean for New York https://www.news10.com/news/local-news/what-legal-marijuana-looks-like-in-massachusetts-and-what-it-could-mean-for-new-york/ Massachusetts News | NEWS10 ABC urn:uuid:b3621946-dba3-f702-9cd6-9e3e8b1d31ad Mon, 08 Feb 2021 19:23:48 +0000 If you leave the Mass Pike not far in from the New York state border and swing by Canna Provisions directly off the exit you'll find what looks like an artisan shop that's been welcoming tourists to the Berkshires for decades. <p>LEE, Mass. (WROC) — If you leave the Mass Pike not far in from the New York state border and swing by Canna Provisions directly off the exit, you'll find what looks like an artisan shop that's been welcoming tourists to the Berkshires for decades.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.news10.com/news/ny-news/this-could-be-the-year-new-york-legalizes-recreational-cannabis/" class="promo-link__link" target=&quot;_blank&quot; > This could be the year New York legalizes recreational cannabis </a> </aside> </div> <p>That shop, though, opened less than three years ago, and what they sell wasn't legal in Massachusetts until 2018. Canna Provisions in Lee, Massachusetts is happily selling marijuana.</p> <p>”This is all grown and manufactured right here in Massachusetts,” Meg Sanders, Canna Provisions CEO, said while gesturing to table topped with various THC-infused products.</p> <p>While New York State appears to move closer to legalizing adult-use cannabis, Lee stands as an example of what the transition might look like. First, the money.</p> <p>Promises of increased tax revenue have been kept, at least here and at least for now. “Business is phenomenal. I mean, it has been gangbusters since we opened,” Sanders said, adding they've paid tax on millions of dollars of revenue.</p> <p>The traffic, at least initially, proved to be an annoyance for some locals, but Emmy Davis, who runs Starving Artist Cafe, says the dispensary is now largely seen as just another business. “At first it was hard because the grocery store is past the pot shop so you had to drive by and there was a lot of traffic, but it's kind of thinned out and it's been pretty good,” Davis said.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.news10.com/news/vt-news/voters-in-at-least-eight-vermont-towns-to-decide-on-retail-marijuana-businesses/" class="promo-link__link" target=&quot;_blank&quot; > Voters in at least eight Vermont towns to decide on retail marijuana businesses </a> </aside> </div> <h2>Poll</h2> <div class="ns-block-custom-html"> <script src="https://embed-776960.secondstreetapp.com/Scripts/dist/embed.js" data-ss-embed="promotion" data-opguid="ffdb9fa9-dd3d-4561-acc3-9802727b5b17" data-routing="hash">/**/</script> </div> <p>Lee Police Chief Craig Desantis had his doubts about legalization in general, and still does, but when asked whether he's seen more cases of impaired driving, he said, “I don't want to speak for other communities, but I haven't seen an uptick in our town. But it's a real concern. Officers can use assessments, but it's not the same. The courts don't recognize those assessments to be the same as field sobriety tests related to alcohol.”</p> <p>While Canna Provisions is the only marijuana game in town in Lee, there are around 100 other dispensaries now open around the commonwealth, with many of them owned and run by small entrepreneurs.</p> <p>“The state didn't create a competitive licensing scheme, so there's no limit at the state level to licenses. And what they did is they left that up to local municipalities to figure out how they wanted this to be in existence in their town, even if they wanted it to be in existence in their town,” Sanders said.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.news10.com/news/warren-county/fbi-arrests-glens-falls-man-who-recorded-himself-smoking-pot-in-the-capitol/" class="promo-link__link" target=&quot;_blank&quot; > FBI arrests Glens Falls man who recorded himself smoking pot in the Capitol </a> </aside> </div> <p>The products available at Canna Provisions are very much legal, but drive a few miles west—over the New York State border—and they're very much not. But that doesn't stop a lot of New Yorkers from doing it.</p> MassGOP calls for $130K Massachusetts climate official to resign https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/massgop-calls-for-130k-massachusetts-climate-official-to-resign/ Massachusetts news, politics, crime, commentary | Boston Herald urn:uuid:6daa293f-7198-949f-374f-ff63e0b8c45d Mon, 08 Feb 2021 18:55:12 +0000 The state's climate undersecretary is facing the heat as the MassGOP is calling for his resignation after a video surfaced of the $130,000-a-year Baker administration official saying he's out to "break your will" over carbon emissions. <p>The state&#8217;s climate undersecretary is facing the heat as the MassGOP is calling for his resignation after a video surfaced of the $130,000-a-year Baker administration official saying he&#8217;s out to &#8220;break your will&#8221; over carbon emissions.</p> <p>David Ismay, Gov. Charlie Baker’s under secretary for climate change, is being urged to resign and &#8220;go back to California where ordinary people are accustomed to having their will broken,&#8221; Massachusetts Republican Party Chairman Jim Lyons said Monday.</p> <p>The Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance &#8212; that <a href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/05/baker-climate-official-blasted-for-comments-to-break-your-will-over-emissionsvideo/">first posted Ismay&#8217;s questionable choice of words</a> that also elicited a stern rebuke from Baker &#8212; is calling on Baker to &#8220;dismiss&#8221; Ismay while also filing a public records request to see if he has other similar videos circulating.</p> <p>As the Herald first reported, Ismay said at a Jan. 25 Vermont Climate Council meeting: &#8220;Sixty percent of our emissions that need to be reduced come from you, the person across the street, the senior on fixed income, right … there is no bad guy left, at least in Massachusetts to point the finger at, to turn the screws on, and you know, to break their will, so they stop emitting. That’s you. We have to break your will. Right, I can’t even say that publicly.&#8221;</p> <p>Another video posted to YouTube from this past summer also shows Ismay urging owners of East Boston &#8220;triple-deckers&#8221; and &#8220;large&#8221; commercial buildings to be forewarned climate control is coming.</p> <p>&#8220;As we are getting to the regulatory posture,&#8221; Ismay says in a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-dixLicf8Q">Pathways to Net Zero forum</a>, &#8220;it&#8217;s going in that direction &#8212; I&#8217;m not threatening &#8212; we&#8217;re still working on it, (but) in a few years there will have to be something in place.&#8221;</p> <p>Ismay could not be reached for comment. In the video, he also refers to East Boston as &#8220;eastern Boston.&#8221;</p> <p>Paul Diego Craney, MassFiscal spokesman, said Ismay&#8217;s use of language is insulting to taxpayers.</p> <p>&#8220;He&#8217;s transparent. He wants to inflict a lot of pain to fulfill his climate agenda,&#8221; said Craney. &#8220;The government should be there to help people. &#8230; Not do it on the backs of taxpayers.&#8221;</p> <p>Lyons applauded Baker for publicly reprimanding Ismay, but added the undersecretary &#8220;should be dismissed from his job. For a public servant to call for &#8216;breaking the will&#8217; of those who pay his $130,000 salary is inexcusable.&#8221;</p> <aside class="related left"><h2 class="widget-title" data-curated-ids="2233187,2263272" data-relation-type="curated">Related Articles</h2><ul><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/01/05/2020-massachusetts-state-employee-payroll-executive-branch/" title="2020 Massachusetts state employee payroll: Executive branch and more&#8230;"> <span class="dfm-title"> 2020 Massachusetts state employee payroll: Executive branch and more&#8230; </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/05/baker-climate-official-blasted-for-comments-to-break-your-will-over-emissionsvideo/" title="Charlie Baker climate official blasted for comments to &#8216;break your will&#8217; over emissions [+video]"> <span class="dfm-title"> Charlie Baker climate official blasted for comments to &#8216;break your will&#8217; over emissions [+video] </span> </a> </li></ul></aside> <p>This all comes as sweeping climate policy legislation is being pushed that would force net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Baker <a href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/07/climate-bill-tug-of-war-continues-as-baker-sends-bill-back-to-legislature-with-amendments/">sent that bill back to the Legislature</a> with amendments Sunday.</p> <p>Also part of the debate is the Transportation Climate Initiative championed by Baker that aims to reduce motor vehicle pollution by at least 26% and generate over $1.8 billion in Massachusetts by 2032, according to a deal Massachusetts signed with Rhode Island, Connecticut and Washington, D.C. It would also hike the price of gas.</p> Former state Sen. Ben Downing to run for Massachusetts governor https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/former-state-sen-ben-downing-to-run-for-massachusetts-governor/ Massachusetts news, politics, crime, commentary | Boston Herald urn:uuid:26190f3d-1b2e-2a20-3b5b-5ba6586ca7fc Mon, 08 Feb 2021 18:23:44 +0000 Former state Sen. Ben Downing, a Democrat who spent a decade representing 52 western Massachusetts communities before taking a leadership role at renewable energy company Nexamp, is announcing a bid for governor. <p>Former state Sen. Ben Downing is looking to return to Beacon Hill — but this time he’s got his sights set on the governor&#8217;s office.</p> <p>Downing, a Democrat who spent a decade representing 52 western Massachusetts communities before joining renewable energy company Nexamp, is launching a gubernatorial bid as Gov. Charlie Baker remains mum on whether he&#8217;ll seek a third term.</p> <p>Downing said he’s running to build “a fairer, stronger Massachusetts.” The 39-year-old pol described a lack of urgency on Beacon Hill to address the issues of the day — the coronavirus pandemic, racial inequity and climate change among them — and said the right leadership in the corner office could better meet the moment.</p> <p>“Our response to the virus, especially as it became clear it was going to be a long-term situation, has lacked that sense of urgency, has missed the mark of putting racial equity at the forefront,” Downing told the Herald in an interview on Sunday.</p> <p>That lack of urgency predates the pandemic, he said, calling it a “cultural problem” that’s plagued Beacon Hill for decades.</p> <p>“We’ve continued to put off tough decisions &#8230; and just hope Massachusetts’s exceptionalism will get us through,” Downing said. “What we haven’t been honest enough about are the gaps in our society, the economic inequality, the wage and wealth gap and the racial components of that, as well as environmental injustice issues.”</p> <p>But Downing said he&#8217;s &#8220;optimistic&#8221; about addressing the issues the pandemic has laid bare.</p> <p>&#8220;We have all of the resources, we have the talent, we have the spirit in our communities,” he said. “We just have to have the leadership.&#8221;</p> <p>First elected at age 24, Downing went on to lead legislative efforts to accelerate clean energy development, address poverty and expand protections for transgender individuals before announcing in 2016 that he wouldn&#8217;t run for a sixth term and taking a gig as vice president of new market development at Nexamp.</p> <p>His gubernatorial bid will focus on much the same — economic and racial justice, an equitable recovery from the pandemic and tackling climate change.</p> <p>Downing, who&#8217;s on the board of the Environmental League of Massachusetts, said Baker’s climate leadership leaves much to be desired, citing the <a href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/07/climate-bill-tug-of-war-continues-as-baker-sends-bill-back-to-legislature-with-amendments/">current tug-of-war</a> between the Republican governor and the Legislature over a sweeping climate change bill.</p> <p>“The governor doesn’t understand the urgency of that issue, and that’s something I’ve seen firsthand,” Downing said.</p> <aside class="related left"><h2 class="widget-title" data-curated-ids="2246355,2225016,2213118" data-relation-type="curated">Related Articles</h2><ul><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/01/16/charlie-bakers-fundraising-picks-up-as-2022-governors-race-looms/" title="Charlie Baker&#8217;s fundraising picks up as 2022 governor&#8217;s race looms"> <span class="dfm-title"> Charlie Baker&#8217;s fundraising picks up as 2022 governor&#8217;s race looms </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2020/12/27/no-signs-of-2022-campaign-for-charlie-baker-but-karyn-polito-gearing-up/" title="No signs of 2022 campaign for Charlie Baker, but Karyn Polito gearing up"> <span class="dfm-title"> Battenfeld: No signs of 2022 campaign for Charlie Baker, but Karyn Polito gearing up </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2020/12/14/harvard-professor-first-candidate-to-emerge-in-2022-governors-race-as-charlie-baker-angles-for-third-term-or-readies-to-pass-the-baton/" title="Harvard professor Danielle Allen first to emerge in 2022 governor&#8217;s race as Charlie Baker mulls options"> <span class="dfm-title"> Harvard professor Danielle Allen first to emerge in 2022 governor&#8217;s race as Charlie Baker mulls options </span> </a> </li></ul></aside> <p>Baker has yet to announce whether he’ll seek re-election in 2022. His <a href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/01/16/charlie-bakers-fundraising-picks-up-as-2022-governors-race-looms/">fundraising has picked up</a> in the past two months, but Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito continues to <a href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2020/12/27/no-signs-of-2022-campaign-for-charlie-baker-but-karyn-polito-gearing-up/">outraise him</a> as she waits in the wings.</p> <p>Two other Democrats are exploring bids: Harvard University political science professor Danielle Allen and Scott Khourie of Quincy.</p> <p>While he used to call Pittsfield home, Downing now lives in East Boston with his wife, Micaelah Morrill, and their two sons, Malcolm, 3, and nine-month-old Eamon.</p> <p>“Growing up in Pittsfield, I lived what it meant to be an afterthought in the state’s political power circles,” Downing said in a press release. “Now, as an East Boston resident, I’m part of a new community just as familiar with being written off.&#8221;</p> <p>Beyond fresh leadership, Downing said he’ll bring to the job a “deep sense of empathy” forged by losing his father and one of his brothers to heart disease.</p> <p>“I know that tomorrow is not guaranteed,” he said. “We can’t burn this time. Time is lives and we have it within our grasp to solve these issues.”</p> <div class="article-slideshow"><button class="icon-close"></button><ul data-total="6"><li data-index="1"><div class="image-wrapper"><img width="1024" height="754" src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl13.jpg" class="attachment-article_inline size-article_inline lazyload" alt="" loading="lazy" draggable="false" data-sizes="auto" data-srcset="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl13.jpg?w=620 620w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl13.jpg?w=780 780w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl13.jpg?w=810 810w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl13.jpg?w=1280 1280w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl13.jpg?w=1860 1860w" data-src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl13.jpg" /><p class="slide-credit"></p><p class="slide-caption">BOSTON MA. FEBRUARY 8: Benjamin Downing, former democratic state senator from Pittsfield, talks with Jennifer Doe on Constitution Beach after he announced he is entering the gubernatorial race on February 8, 2021 in Boston, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)</p></div></li><li data-index="2"><div class="image-wrapper"><img width="1024" height="862" src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl10.jpg" class="attachment-article_inline size-article_inline lazyload" alt="" loading="lazy" draggable="false" data-sizes="auto" data-srcset="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl10.jpg?w=620 620w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl10.jpg?w=780 780w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl10.jpg?w=810 810w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl10.jpg?w=1280 1280w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl10.jpg?w=1860 1860w" data-src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl10.jpg" /><p class="slide-credit"></p><p class="slide-caption">BOSTON MA. FEBRUARY 8: Benjamin Downing, former democratic state senator from Pittsfield, walks along Constitution Beach after he announced he is entering the gubernatorial race on February 8, 2021 in Boston, MA. Downing wears a mask made by his mother out of his father&#039;s old shirts. &quot;It keeps him close&quot; he said of his father who past away from heart disease. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)</p></div></li><li data-index="3"><div class="image-wrapper"><img width="1024" height="729" src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl09.jpg" class="attachment-article_inline size-article_inline lazyload" alt="" loading="lazy" draggable="false" data-sizes="auto" data-srcset="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl09.jpg?w=620 620w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl09.jpg?w=780 780w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl09.jpg?w=810 810w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl09.jpg?w=1280 1280w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl09.jpg?w=1860 1860w" data-src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl09.jpg" /><p class="slide-credit"></p><p class="slide-caption">BOSTON MA. FEBRUARY 8: Benjamin Downing, former democratic state senator from Pittsfield, walks along Constitution Beach after he announced he is entering the gubernatorial race on February 8, 2021 in Boston, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)</p></div></li><li class="slideshow-ad-slide" data-index="3"><div class="image-wrapper slideshow-ad-wrapper"><div class="slideshow-ad" id="ad-in-slideshow"></div></div></li><li data-index="4"><div class="image-wrapper"><img width="1024" height="833" src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl05.jpg" class="attachment-article_inline size-article_inline lazyload" alt="" loading="lazy" draggable="false" data-sizes="auto" data-srcset="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl05.jpg?w=620 620w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl05.jpg?w=780 780w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl05.jpg?w=810 810w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl05.jpg?w=1280 1280w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl05.jpg?w=1860 1860w" data-src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl05.jpg" /><p class="slide-credit"></p><p class="slide-caption">BOSTON MA. FEBRUARY 8: Benjamin Downing, former democratic state senator from Pittsfield, announced he is entering the gubernatorial race on February 8, 2021 in Boston, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)</p></div></li><li data-index="5"><div class="image-wrapper"><img width="1024" height="834" src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl14.jpg" class="attachment-article_inline size-article_inline lazyload" alt="" loading="lazy" draggable="false" data-sizes="auto" data-srcset="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl14.jpg?w=620 620w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl14.jpg?w=780 780w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl14.jpg?w=810 810w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl14.jpg?w=1280 1280w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl14.jpg?w=1860 1860w" data-src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl14.jpg" /><p class="slide-credit"></p><p class="slide-caption">BOSTON MA. FEBRUARY 8: Benjamin Downing, former democratic state senator from Pittsfield, talks with Jennifer Doe as he her daughter Lena Rosenlund, 7, sleds on Constitution Beach after he announced he is entering the gubernatorial race on February 8, 2021 in Boston, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)</p></div></li><li data-index="6"><div class="image-wrapper"><img width="1024" height="746" src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl03.jpg" class="attachment-article_inline size-article_inline lazyload" alt="" loading="lazy" draggable="false" data-sizes="auto" data-srcset="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl03.jpg?w=620 620w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl03.jpg?w=780 780w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl03.jpg?w=810 810w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl03.jpg?w=1280 1280w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl03.jpg?w=1860 1860w" data-src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/downingnl03.jpg" /><p class="slide-credit"></p><p class="slide-caption">BOSTON MA. FEBRUARY 8: Benjamin Downing, former democratic state senator from Pittsfield, announced he is entering the gubernatorial race on February 8, 2021 in Boston, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)</p></div></li><li class="slideshow-ad-slide" data-index="6"><div class="image-wrapper slideshow-ad-wrapper"></div></li></ul><div class="caption"><button class="caption-expand">Show Caption</button><div class="slideshow-credit"></div><div class="slide-count"><span class="current"></span> of <span class="total"></span></div><p class="slideshow-caption"></p><a href="#" class="icon-enlarge"><span>Expand</span></a></div></div> Coronavirus pandemic hurting lobster industry during Chinese New Year season https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/coronavirus-pandemic-hurting-lobster-industry-during-chinese-new-year-season/ Massachusetts news, politics, crime, commentary | Boston Herald urn:uuid:38922b64-0e74-55f4-5f4f-d6084983968e Mon, 08 Feb 2021 18:17:28 +0000 The usually booming Chinese New Year season for the U.S. lobster industry has been crushed this year by the coronavirus pandemic and gathering restrictions. <p>The usually booming Chinese New Year season for the U.S. lobster industry has been crushed this year by the coronavirus pandemic and gathering restrictions.</p> <p>The big celebrations and parties are not happening this year in China because of COVID-19. As a result, export sales are significantly down during the busiest season for lobster exports to China, dealers say.</p> <p>&#8220;In the last month, it&#8217;s been a lot slower with exports than in the past,&#8221; said Tessa Browne, the co-owner of Cape Ann Lobstermen in Gloucester. &#8220;We&#8217;re usually very busy in January after the holidays, but there was a two- to three-week lull.&#8221;</p> <p>Like in the U.S., China has implemented restrictions on gatherings because of the virus.</p> <p>&#8220;They would normally have big celebrations and parties &#8212; and eat for weeks on end &#8212; but this year it&#8217;s just going to be a one-time dinner with their family,&#8221; Browne said.</p> <p>Chinese New Year is usually a time of heavy travel in China, but that&#8217;s expected to be different this year due to COVID-19. Less travel means fewer celebrations and fewer festive, expensive meals.</p> <p>The Gloucester lobster wholesaler also sells to the general public locally. Over the weekend, there was a &#8220;big push&#8221; for the upcoming Chinese New Year, Browne said.</p> <p>&#8220;We were busy locally,&#8221; she said. &#8220;People are still doing lobster seafood celebrations with their family, but instead of for a couple of weeks, they&#8217;re doing a one-time meal.&#8221;</p> <p>Mike Marceau, vice president of The Lobster Co. in Arundel, Maine, said he isn&#8217;t expecting many exports to China.</p> <p>Business has ground to a halt, Marceau said. It&#8217;s disappointing because the last spring and summer were fairly strong, he said.</p> <p>&#8220;It started in spring, and it held right up until a couple weeks ago,&#8221; Marceau said. &#8220;We sold a lot of product. We&#8217;ve just lost getting a Chinese New Year because of COVID.&#8221;</p> <p>America sent more than $140 million in lobsters to China in 2017 and 2018, but exports fell to about $51 million in 2019 because of heavy tariffs imposed during former President Donald Trump&#8217;s trade war.</p> <p>Trump then brokered a new deal with China in 2020 that included renewed lobster exports. The country bought about $95 million in lobsters from America in 2020 through November.</p> <p>&#8220;The summer was surprisingly good, and all things considered it was a pretty good year,&#8221; Browne said. &#8220;Going forward, we&#8217;re expecting just as good or better this year with more restaurants being opened.&#8221;</p> <p>Europe is also now buying more lobsters because a tariff was eliminated.</p> <p>Browne added, &#8220;Overall, the outlook is good.&#8221;</p> <p><em>Herald wire services were used in this report.</em></p> Massachusetts coronavirus cases rise 1,276, total death toll surpasses 15,000 https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/massachusetts-coronavirus-cases-rise-1276-total-death-toll-surpasses-15000/ Massachusetts news, politics, crime, commentary | Boston Herald urn:uuid:ea690129-b64b-07a9-c1d3-1ae4514aaecb Mon, 08 Feb 2021 17:19:57 +0000 Massachusetts public health officials on Monday reported 1,276 new coronavirus cases and 55 new virus deaths as the state's total COVID-19 recorded death toll surpassed 15,000. <p>Massachusetts public health officials on Monday reported 1,276 new coronavirus cases and 55 new virus deaths as the state&#8217;s total COVID-19 recorded death toll surpassed 15,000.</p> <p>The combined total of confirmed and probable deaths from the virus is now 15,054. There have been 14,753 confirmed deaths and 301 probable deaths.</p> <p>The seven-day average of daily deaths is now 50, compared to 74 daily deaths one month ago. That figure peaked at 175 daily deaths in late April.</p> <p>Monday&#8217;s count of 1,276 cases comes after Sunday&#8217;s 3,004 cases, Saturday&#8217;s 3,378 cases, Friday&#8217;s 2,982 cases, and Thursday&#8217;s 2,602 cases. The fewer cases on Monday came as the state reported significantly fewer tests.</p> <p>Case counts have dropped since the start of the year. The seven-day average of confirmed cases is now 2,046, a steep decline from an average of 6,242 cases in the first week of January.</p> <p>Seven cases of the U.K. variant have been confirmed in Massachusetts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracker. The two other variants have not been detected in the Bay State, but infectious disease experts say it&#8217;s likely the <a href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/01/28/coronavirus-variant-from-south-africa-detected-in-u-s-all-3-variants-are-probably-already-in-massachusetts/">variants are already here</a>.</p> <p>The count of estimated active cases in Massachusetts is now 58,439, a significant decrease from 98,750 at the start of the year.</p> <p>Statewide hospitalizations have also been declining. Hospitalizations on Monday went down by two patients, bringing the total to 1,387 patients.</p> <p>The seven-day average of the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 has dropped from 2,347 patients on Jan. 7 to an average of 1,529 patients now.</p> <p>As of Monday, the CDC&#8217;s coronavirus vaccine tracker showed that 630,154 people in the Bay State have received the first dose of the two-shot treatment, and 174,437 people have received both doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. More than 1.2 million total doses have been distributed to the state, according to the CDC.</p> <aside class="related left"><h2 class="widget-title" data-curated-ids="" data-relation-type="automatic-primary-tag">Related Articles</h2><ul><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/charlie-baker-to-work-with-arlington-mom-programmer-who-built-centralized-coronavirus-vaccine-appointment-website/" title="Charlie Baker to work with Arlington mom, programmer who built centralized coronavirus vaccine appointment website"> <span class="dfm-title"> Charlie Baker to work with Arlington mom, programmer who built centralized coronavirus vaccine appointment website </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/campaign-finance-accounts-offer-clues-of-2022-political-landscape-as-charlie-baker-still-lags-in-fundraising/" title="Campaign finance accounts offer clues of 2022 political landscape as Charlie Baker still lags in fundraising"> <span class="dfm-title"> Campaign finance accounts offer clues of 2022 political landscape as Charlie Baker still lags in fundraising </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/stimulus-checks-child-tax-credits-could-reach-massachusetts-residents-by-april-1-says-congressman-richard-neal/" title="Stimulus checks, child tax credits could come by April 1, says Congressman Richard Neal"> <span class="dfm-title"> Stimulus checks, child tax credits could come by April 1, says Congressman Richard Neal </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/united-kingdom-coronavirus-variant-could-be-dominant-in-u-s-in-march-said-fauci/" title="United Kingdom coronavirus variant could be dominant in U.S. in March, said Fauci"> <span class="dfm-title"> United Kingdom coronavirus variant could be dominant in U.S. in March, said Fauci </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/coronavirus-pandemic-hurting-lobster-industry-during-chinese-new-year-season/" title="Coronavirus pandemic hurting lobster industry during Chinese New Year season"> <span class="dfm-title"> Coronavirus pandemic hurting lobster industry during Chinese New Year season </span> </a> </li></ul></aside> <p>More than <a href="https://t.co/pdiq2gijKq?amp=1">7,000 vaccine appointments are available</a> at the mass vaccination sites at Springfield&#8217;s Eastfield Mall and Foxboro&#8217;s Gillette Stadium, the state said on Monday.</p> Pittsfield native, former state senator announces candidacy for governor https://www.news10.com/news/berkshire-county/pittsfield-native-former-state-senator-announces-candidacy-for-governor/ Massachusetts News | NEWS10 ABC urn:uuid:0fdc0a2b-c14c-f8ec-9283-766aca8d6b67 Mon, 08 Feb 2021 16:52:22 +0000 EAST BOSTON, Mass. (NEWS10) -- Citing the need to build a fairer, stronger Massachusetts, former state senator Ben Downing announced Monday morning that he is entering the 2022 race for governor. Born and raised in Pittsfield, Downing was one of the youngest state senators elected in Massachusetts history. When he was elected in 2006, he [...] <p>EAST BOSTON, Mass. (<a href="http://news10.com">NEWS10</a>) -- Citing the need to build a fairer, stronger Massachusetts, former state senator Ben Downing announced Monday morning that he is entering the 2022 race for governor.</p> <p>Born and raised in Pittsfield, Downing was one of the youngest state senators elected in Massachusetts history. When he was elected in 2006, he was 24-years-old. After serving 10 years on Beacon Hill, Downing stepped down in 2017 to work full-time in renewable energy.</p> <p><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ew4pdtgo8Ag" target="_blank">In a video released to supporters this morning</a>, Downing laid out his experience, perspective, and rationale for entering the race.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.news10.com/news/berkshire-county/pittsfield-price-chopper-market-32-to-offer-covid-vaccine-appointments/" class="promo-link__link" target=&quot;_blank&quot; > Pittsfield Price Chopper/Market 32 to offer COVID vaccine appointments </a> </aside> </div> <p>“Growing up in Pittsfield, I lived what it meant to be an afterthought in the state’s political power circles,” said Downing. “Now, as an East Boston resident, I’m part of a new community just as familiar with being written off. From one side of Massachusetts to the other, I have spent my life in communities that have had to fight harder than they should to get fair representation, equitable access to resources, and attention from Beacon Hill. So I know what a difference state leadership makes. And I know we need better than what we are getting right now.”</p> <p>Downing continues: “I’m running for Governor to build a fairer, stronger Massachusetts. I believe there is no limit to what we can accomplish here. But the leadership needed to unlock this potential is sorely lacking. As we recover and reimagine our future in the months and years to come, we need a Governor who sees, feels and understands the gravity of this moment and how we got here; who is not content with accumulating power but who is ready to use that power to respond boldly to the dire impacts of the pandemic, rising racial inequality, and the urgency of climate change.”</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.news10.com/news/dph-15-western-massachusetts-communities-at-high-risk-for-covid-19/" class="promo-link__link" target=&quot;_blank&quot; > DPH: 15 western Massachusetts communities at high-risk for COVID-19 </a> </aside> </div> <p>As a state senator, Downing represented the largest district in the state, which encompasses 52 cities and towns. While in office, he led legislative efforts to accelerate clean energy development and respond to climate change, rebuild urban and rural economies, reduce poverty and hunger, strengthen our state ethics laws, and expand protections for transgender individuals.&nbsp;</p> <p>Downing lives in East Boston with his wife, Micaelah Morrill, and their two sons Malcolm, 3, and Eamon, 9 months.</p> Snowfall totals in western Massachusetts after Sunday's snowstorm https://www.news10.com/news/mass-news/snowfall-totals-in-western-massachusetts-after-sundays-snowstorm/ Massachusetts News | NEWS10 ABC urn:uuid:3c3ea839-71df-3cc6-d38d-65ba8c7c2c4e Mon, 08 Feb 2021 16:38:47 +0000 Western Massachusetts was hit with another snow storm Sunday just about a week after the last storm. <p>(<a href="https://www.wwlp.com/weather/weather-news/snowfall-totals-in-western-massachusetts-after-sundays-snowstorm/">WWLP</a>) — Western Massachusetts was hit with another snowstorm Sunday, just about a week after the last storm.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.news10.com/news/berkshire-county/snowfall-totals-reported-across-western-massachusetts-tuesday/" class="promo-link__link" target=&quot;_blank&quot; > Snowfall totals reported across western Massachusetts Tuesday </a> </aside> </div> <p>The storm started in the afternoon and lasted until about 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Although this storm didn't bring as much snow as the last one, some areas still got a few inches of snow. Here are the snowfall totals across western Massachusetts:</p> <p><strong>Berkshire County </strong></p> <ul><li>Savoy: 0.6" 10:51 p.m. </li></ul> <p><strong>Franklin County</strong></p> <ul><li>Leyden: 1.0" 4:15 p.m. </li><li>Greenfield: 1.0" 7:17 p.m.</li></ul> <p><strong>Hampden County</strong></p> <ul><li>Palmer: 5.0" 5:43 p.m.</li><li>Monson: 4.3" 7:58 p.m. </li><li>Longmeadow: 4.0" 7:50 p.m. </li><li>Hampden: 4.0" 6:29 p.m. </li><li>East Longmeadow: 3.9" 6:57 p.m.</li><li>Springfield 3.0" 6:59 p.m.</li></ul> <p><strong>Hampshire County</strong></p> <ul><li>Granby: 2.5" 6:45 p.m. </li><li>North Amherst: 1.5" 4:58 p.m. </li><li>Amherst Center: 1.2" 9:40 p.m. </li></ul> Capacity restrictions in Massachusetts to loosen Monday https://www.news10.com/news/mass-news/capacity-restrictions-in-massachusetts-to-loosen-monday/ Massachusetts News | NEWS10 ABC urn:uuid:a6af7b9e-8d8d-1fc6-1391-a2ca2832874e Mon, 08 Feb 2021 16:36:43 +0000 The Big Game usually brings big crowds at bars, but with capacity limits due to COVID-19, some bar stools had to be empty. <p>SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (<a href="https://www.wwlp.com/news/health/coronavirus-local-impact/restrictions-to-loosen-starting-monday/">WWLP</a>) — The Big Game usually brings big crowds at bars, but with capacity limits due to COVID-19, some bar stools had to be empty Sunday. That will change Monday.</p> <p>During last year's Super Bowl, Christopher's Tavern in Springfield was filled. With no capacity limits, everyone was able to gather around. Sunday night, it was just up to 25% of the capacity.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.news10.com/news/mass-news/covid-19-in-massachusetts-76-new-deaths-3004-new-cases/" class="promo-link__link" target=&quot;_blank&quot; > COVID-19 in Massachusetts: 76 new deaths, 3,004 new cases </a> </aside> </div> <p>Starting Monday, gyms, retail businesses, and hair and nail salons can increase their capacity to 40%. For establishments without an official maximum occupancy level, the maximum will rise from five to eight people per 1,000 feet. Workers and staff do not count toward the occupancy cap for restaurants and personal services.</p> <p>Governor Charlie Baker says the increase is thanks to improving COVID-19 numbers in the state.</p> <p>"Super Bowl Sunday is kind of coveted by a server. You know we look forward to it. It's a big money day," said Megan Fenn, a server at Christopher's. </p> <p>There are now plexiglass dividers at the bar and the booths. A lot has changed in the last year.</p> <p>"A lot of businesses have closed and we're fortunate that we have our regulars and we've done as well as we have," Fenn told NEWS10's sister station in Springfield. </p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.news10.com/news/mass-news/massachusetts-receives-federal-approval-for-2-6k-vulnerable-children-to-receive-additional-food-benefits/" class="promo-link__link" target=&quot;_blank&quot; > Massachusetts receives federal approval for 2.6K vulnerable children to receive additional food benefits </a> </aside> </div> <p>One offering that has really helped with sales during the big game is takeout options. "As a tavern, we've been able to do a lot of business even if we're not able to be at the capacity we're allotted," Fenn said.</p> <p>Fenn also said that hundreds of wings were ordered for the big game, and while they went out in to-go boxes, Monday will be a new day with new rules. "When the restrictions change, it's exciting. So a lot of people are coming out. They're a little nervous so they pick a place that's close to home that they're familiar with," Megan said. </p> <p>There will still be limits on gatherings and the travel advisory will also remain in effect.<br></p> COVID-19 in Massachusetts: 76 new deaths, 3,004 new cases https://www.news10.com/news/mass-news/covid-19-in-massachusetts-76-new-deaths-3004-new-cases/ Massachusetts News | NEWS10 ABC urn:uuid:74f25948-6922-9dfb-0a2a-44925628db64 Mon, 08 Feb 2021 16:27:03 +0000 State public health officials reported 76 newly confirmed deaths and 3,004 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts. <p id="block-29a112ee-c350-4e7b-a938-93df359988ff">BOSTON (<a href="https://www.wwlp.com/news/health/coronavirus-local-impact/covid-19-in-massachusetts-76-new-deaths-3004-new-cases/">WWLP</a>) – State public health officials reported 76 newly confirmed deaths and 3,004 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts.</p> <h2 id="block-30d154fd-543a-4476-81c5-e1185f65444f">Total COVID-19 cases by age group</h2> <ul id="block-eaeb52e2-4126-4f9c-b2fc-5671bb0d9979"><li>0-19 years: 9,817</li><li>20-29 years: 8,504</li><li>30-39 years: 7,001</li><li>40-49 years: 6,362</li><li>50-59 years: 6,897</li><li>60-69 years: 4,754</li><li>70-79 years: 2,474</li><li>80+ years: 1,823</li></ul> <h2 id="block-524803ce-fa8a-4160-902f-39fdcdd88d43">Testing</h2> <p id="block-05941d8c-e797-4d05-a126-cc4fcccd8d6b">According to the Department of Public Health, 113,095 new tests were performed with an overall of 14,325,516 molecular tests administered. Of those, 4,682,998 tests were first time tests and 9,642,518 were repeat tests.</p> <p id="block-6fc21e31-9393-4b99-8644-9436c0ba9220"><strong>Antigen Tests</strong>: A total of 1,640 new individuals have tested positive&nbsp;with 497,964 total tests reported.</p> <p id="block-30c17eb7-3209-47aa-937a-ad69fffe0b28">The current turn around time for a molecular test is 1.90 days. The 7-day average of percent positivity is 2.96%.</p> <h2 id="block-c4af20bb-8227-4bec-9e60-22ca6d1dc9b1">Hospitalizations</h2> <p id="block-2fce79a5-0828-42ad-a820-04aa6c96c7cf">1,389 patients are currently&nbsp;hospitalized&nbsp;with COVID-19 with 318 patients that are in intensive care units and 191 patients intubated. The average age of patients currently hospitalized is 68-years-old.</p> <p id="block-b9a47685-af44-4ed8-9bf5-4b8f54d740f7">As of Sunday, 82.7% of medical/surgical beds are occupied and 76% of ICU beds are occupied. There are currently 33 beds occupied through alternate medical sites.</p> <p id="block-2ee3f2c6-f9e1-407d-b329-3478df4a92d5">In western Massachusetts, there are a total of 1,166 medical/surgical beds with 884 that are occupied. The ICU units have a total of 159 beds and 96 of them are occupied.</p> <h2 id="block-94df7ebe-6998-4704-a4df-864a5631d798">Confirmed COVID-19 cases</h2> <ul id="block-2355fff3-ed36-4b4b-a5a1-fedc5cb7cb04"><li>New Cases: 3,004</li><li>Total Cases: 516,530</li><li>Estimated Active Cases: 59,162</li><li>New Deaths: 76</li><li>Total Deaths: 14,698</li></ul> <h2 id="block-ef6a066c-c987-43a3-aee7-3bc01fd3394e">Probable COVID-19 cases</h2> <ul id="block-76d994d9-0a3d-4c6b-8831-489c59ff852e"><li>New Cases: 103</li><li>Total Cases: 27,404</li><li>New Deaths: 2</li><li>Total Deaths: 301</li></ul> <h2 id="block-7017994d-cda8-4eef-be94-a218f78456b2">Hampden County</h2> <ul id="block-f5150877-13e4-42ad-bd64-83c2769c10a7"><li>New Confirmed Cases: 252</li><li>Total Confirmed Cases: 38,640</li><li>New Deaths: 5</li><li>Total Confirmed and Probable Deaths: 1,232</li></ul> <h2 id="block-2dacb73a-3b91-4372-ae20-ca2830248913">Hampshire County</h2> <ul id="block-5e920c7f-646b-4c2d-83b5-d36d66ccbf97"><li>New Confirmed Cases: 104</li><li>Total Confirmed Cases: 6,277</li><li>New Deaths: 2</li><li>Total Confirmed and Probable Deaths: 241</li></ul> <h2 id="block-2289809a-4f3a-44f9-86d0-c3e120da7a1d">Franklin County</h2> <ul id="block-d01e2b67-dd83-4d10-befd-9e0992e75e47"><li>New Confirmed Cases: 12</li><li>Total Confirmed Cases: 1,844</li><li>New Deaths: 0</li><li>Total Confirmed and Probable Deaths: 98</li></ul> <h2 id="block-45495291-5263-410d-997d-8a4997566d85">Berkshire County</h2> <ul id="block-3e053642-1f54-4cce-8003-18826994b4ef"><li>New Confirmed Cases: 20</li><li>Total Confirmed Cases: 4,639</li><li>New Deaths: 1</li><li>Total Confirmed and Probable Deaths: 230</li></ul> <h2 id="block-3269057a-b27a-4364-b971-b594700f6a28">Higher education</h2> <p id="block-6660e130-6379-4b1d-a879-946b32757620">There are 1,044 new cases in the last week with a total of 9,753 confirmed COVID-19 cases in higher education institutions. In the last week there were 233,579 new tests reported with a total of 4,049,869 tests performed.</p> <h2 id="block-6cc7c451-217f-4f0a-b12a-0055848009c6">COVID-19 cases in long-term care facilities</h2> <ul id="block-014fa901-3a6a-4c8c-871a-33fd2c9c5f5f"><li>Residents/Healthcare workers with probable or confirmed COVID-19: 34,193</li><li>Facilities reporting at least one probable or confirmed case of COVID-19: 421</li><li>Probable or confirmed COVID-19 deaths: 8,247</li></ul> <h2 id="block-3851d62b-9869-429d-a931-a6dc20418b07"><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://public.tableau.com/profile/massdph#!/vizhome/MADPHCOVID-19Dashboard/COVID-19Cases" target="_blank">MassDPH COVID-19 Dashboard</a></h2> Watch Live: US Rep. Richard Neal joins Charlie Baker in call for more federal pandemic stimulus dollars https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/watch-live-us-rep-richard-neal-joins-charlie-baker-in-call-for-more-federal-pandemic-stimulus-dollars/ Massachusetts news, politics, crime, commentary | Boston Herald urn:uuid:51d89168-cd86-78e8-98a5-ecfaa44a19d0 Mon, 08 Feb 2021 12:58:47 +0000 Gov. Charlie Baker and U.S. Rep. Richard Neal will team up on Monday to deliver a bipartisan call for more federal stimulus dollars, which they say are needed to pay for Massachusetts&#8217; coronavirus response. The Springfield Democrat will join the Republican governor and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito for a press conference at 1 p.m. in [&#8230;] <p>Gov. Charlie Baker and U.S. Rep. Richard Neal will team up on Monday to deliver a bipartisan call for more federal stimulus dollars, which they say are needed to pay for Massachusetts&#8217; coronavirus response.</p> <p><iframe class='youtube-player' width='640' height='360' src='https://www.youtube.com/embed/esVcTQDBImA?version=3&#038;rel=1&#038;showsearch=0&#038;showinfo=1&#038;iv_load_policy=1&#038;fs=1&#038;hl=en-US&#038;autohide=2&#038;wmode=transparent' allowfullscreen='true' style='border:0;' sandbox='allow-scripts allow-same-origin allow-popups allow-presentation'></iframe></p> <p>The Springfield Democrat will join the Republican governor and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito for a press conference at 1 p.m. in Gardner Auditorium &#8220;to highlight the need for additional federal funding to support the Commonwealth’s response to COVID-19,&#8221; Baker&#8217;s office said.</p> <p>Neal&#8217;s appearance at the Massachusetts State House comes as he leads the charge for passage of President Biden&#8217;s $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal.</p> <p>The aid package includes billions for coronavirus testing, vaccinations and up to $350 billion in direct federal aid to state and local governments that Baker has long said is needed to fight the highly infectious virus.</p> <p>Neal also plays a key role in pushing is for expanded support for workers, jobless benefits and health care coverage that will make up roughly half of deal.</p> <p>The House Ways and Means Chairman is also pressing for a child tax credit increase &#8212; included in the bill &#8212; that would bump the credit to up to $3,600 for each child under age 6 and as much as $3,000 for those up to 17 for about 20 million lower-earning Americans.</p> <p>Under the House Democrats’ plan that was unveiled Monday, those amounts would begin to phase out for individual parents earning $75,000 a year and couples making $150,000.</p> <p>Watch the 1 p.m. press conference here:</p> <p><em>Herald wire services contributed to this report.</em></p> Pittsfield Price Chopper/Market 32 to offer COVID vaccine appointments https://www.news10.com/news/berkshire-county/pittsfield-price-chopper-market-32-to-offer-covid-vaccine-appointments/ Massachusetts News | NEWS10 ABC urn:uuid:a593d373-3b44-abf3-45fc-5ff6031b675f Mon, 08 Feb 2021 10:42:41 +0000 SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Starting Sunday, Feb. 7, six Price Chopper/Market 32 pharmacies in Massachusetts will offer the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, based on availability and eligibility, focusing on those who are age 75 and older. The Pittsfield Price Chopper/Market 32 on Hubbard Ave. is included on the list of new vaccine locations. Vaccines will be [...] <p>SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (<a href="http://news10.com">NEWS10</a>) – Starting Sunday, Feb. 7, six Price Chopper/Market 32 pharmacies in Massachusetts will offer the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, based on availability and eligibility, focusing on those who are age 75 and older.</p> <p>The Pittsfield Price Chopper/Market 32 on Hubbard Ave. is included on the list of new vaccine locations. Vaccines will be given to those who qualify by appointment only.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.news10.com/news/tracking-covid-vaccinations-in-the-capital-region/" class="promo-link__link" target=&quot;_blank&quot; > Tracking COVID vaccinations in the Capital Region </a> </aside> </div> <p>Price Chopper/Market 32, in collaboration with eTrueNorth, has put in place a new <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="http://www.pricechopper.com/covidvaccine" data-type="URL" data-id="www.pricechopper.com/covidvaccine" target="_blank">online scheduling system</a>. The scheduler will be available on Sunday, Feb. 7 with appointments available starting on Monday, Feb. 8. A rolling seven days of appointments will be shown at once and new appointments will load every day.</p> <p>To determine eligibility for the vaccine and to register for an appointment, visit <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="http://www.pricechopper.com/covidvaccine/" data-type="URL" data-id="www.pricechopper.com/covidvaccine/" target="_blank">Price Chopper's website</a>. Patients must prove that they either live or work in Massachusetts to be eligible for the vaccine. Those who successfully get an appointment will receive an e-voucher to print out or display on a mobile device. That voucher should be brought to the pharmacy for their appointment, along with a government ID and insurance information.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.news10.com/news/dph-15-western-massachusetts-communities-at-high-risk-for-covid-19/" class="promo-link__link" target=&quot;_blank&quot; > DPH: 15 western Massachusetts communities at high-risk for COVID-19 </a> </aside> </div> <p>After receiving the vaccine, each recipient will be asked to remain in a dedicated safe space on the premises for a required observation period of 15 to 30 minutes.</p> Climate bill ‘tug-of-war’ continues as Charlie Baker sends bill back to Legislature with amendments https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/07/climate-bill-tug-of-war-continues-as-baker-sends-bill-back-to-legislature-with-amendments/ Massachusetts news, politics, crime, commentary | Boston Herald urn:uuid:02282054-ad82-4219-4754-05f223d40f0a Sun, 07 Feb 2021 22:27:52 +0000 The tug-of-war over a sweeping climate change bill that aims to slash carbon emissions by 2050 continues after Gov. Charlie Baker on Sunday returned a slew of amendments to the Legislature. <p>The tug-of-war over a sweeping climate change bill that aims to slash carbon emissions by 2050 continued Sunday as Gov. Charlie Baker returned a slew of amendments to the Legislature.</p> <p>Lawmakers were anticipating amendments to the bill after they defiantly refiled an identical version of the bill vetoed by the Republican governor last month. Lawmakers sent the bill to Baker with just two days left in the formal session, leaving them with no mechanism to override his veto.</p> <p>In a letter to lawmakers on Sunday outlining his changes, Baker said his administration has &#8220;been able to find considerable common ground&#8221; with the Legislature&#8217;s goals, but pressed for amendments on the same items that triggered his earlier veto.</p> <p>&#8220;I think we have worked very hard with the Legislature over the last three weeks or so to have these discussions, to get into the weeds of policy and data, and to find areas of common ground,&#8221; Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides said.</p> <p>Sen. Michael Barrett, one of the bill&#8217;s architects and a lead negotiator of the compromise legislation, told the Herald that despite the &#8220;tug-of-war&#8221; over the bill the Legislature is looking to enact positive change, not wield its &#8220;super majority power&#8221; &#8212; suggesting the Democrat-led body will be open to compromising with Baker.</p> <p>The Legislature&#8217;s bill would require the state to cut emissions by &#8220;at least&#8221; 50% of 1990 levels by 2030. Baker, however, is seeking a reduction range of 45% to 50% by 2030 and by 65% to 75% by 2040.</p> <p>The &#8220;flexibility&#8221; is necessary to &#8220;help the Commonwealth avoid the costs that are expected to result from imposing a higher limit, particularly on those who can least afford it,&#8221; Baker said in his Sunday amendment letter to lawmakers,</p> <p>In his veto letter last month, the Republican governor said a state analysis found it would cost Massachusetts residents $6 billion more to hit the additional 5% goal in emissions reductions outlined by the Legislature &#8212; a figure Barrett dismissed as &#8220;largely exaggerated &#8230; back-of-the-envelope math.&#8221;</p> <p>Building code revisions that would require increased efficiency in new construction remain a major sticking point for the governor, who said it could increase housing costs.</p> <p>&#8220;The governor seems determined to deliver for the builders,&#8221; Barrett told the Herald.</p> <p>Sector-specific emission reduction sublimits proposed by the Legislature are another bone of contention.</p> <p>Ben Hellerstein, state director for Environment Massachusetts, said, &#8220;legislators should reject any weakening amendments.&#8221;</p> <p><em>Herald wire services contributed to this report.</em></p> Longtime Reagan Secretary of State George Shultz dies at 100 https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/07/longtime-reagan-secretary-of-state-george-shultz-dies-at-100/ Massachusetts news, politics, crime, commentary | Boston Herald urn:uuid:223454d5-8250-247d-45b9-623c936a6086 Sun, 07 Feb 2021 21:21:59 +0000 WASHINGTON (AP) &#8212; Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz, a titan of American academia, business and diplomacy who spent most of the 1980s trying to improve Cold War relations with the Soviet Union and forging a course for peace in the Middle East, has died. He was 100. <p>By MATTHEW LEE</p> <p>WASHINGTON (AP) &#8212; Former Secretary of State George P. Shultz, a titan of American academia, business and diplomacy who spent most of the 1980s trying to improve Cold War relations with the Soviet Union and forging a course for peace in the Middle East, has died. He was 100.</p> <p>Shultz died Saturday at his home on the campus of Stanford University, where he was a distinguished fellow at the Hoover Institution, a think tank, and professor emeritus at Stanford&#8217;s Graduate School of Business.</p> <p>The Hoover Institution announced Shultz&#8217;s death on Sunday. A cause of death was not provided.</p> <p>A lifelong Republican, Shultz held three major Cabinet positions in GOP administrations during a lengthy career of public service.</p> <p>He was labor secretary, treasury secretary and director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Richard M. Nixon before spending more than six years as President Ronald Reagan&#8217;s secretary of state.</p> <p>&#8220;He was a gentleman of honor and ideas, dedicated to public service and respectful debate, even into his 100th year on Earth,&#8221; President Joe Biden said in a statement. &#8220;That&#8217;s why multiple presidents, of both political parties, sought his counsel. I regret that, as president, I will not be able to benefit from his wisdom, as have so many of my predecessors.&#8221;</p> <p>Shultz was the second-longest serving secretary of state since World War I I and had been the oldest surviving former Cabinet member of any administration.</p> <p>Condoleezza Rice, also a former secretary of state and current director of the Hoover Institution, said in a statement that Shultz &#8220;will be remembered in history as a man who made the world a better place.&#8221;</p> <p>Shultz had largely stayed out of politics since his retirement, but had been an advocate for an increased focus on climate change. He marked his 100th birthday in December by extolling the virtues of trust and bipartisanship in politics and other endeavors in a piece he wrote for The Washington Post.</p> <p>Coming amid the acrimony that followed the November presidential election, Shultz&#8217;s call for decency and respect for opposing views struck many as an appeal for the country to shun the political vitriol of the Trump years.</p> <p>&#8220;Trust is the coin of the realm,&#8221; Shultz wrote. &#8220;When trust was in the room, whatever room that was &#8212; the family room, the schoolroom, the locker room, the office room, the government room or the military room &#8212; good things happened. When trust was not in the room, good things did not happen. Everything else is details.&#8221;</p> <p>Over his lifetime, Shultz succeeded in the worlds of academia, public service and corporate America, and was widely respected by his peers from both political parties.</p> <p>After the October 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut that killed 241 soldiers, Shultz worked tirelessly to end Lebanon&#8217;s brutal civil war in the 1980s. He spent countless hours of shuttle diplomacy between Mideast capitals trying to secure the withdrawal of Israeli forces there.</p> <p>The experience led him to believe that stability in the region could only be assured with a settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and he set about on an ambitious but ultimately unsuccessful mission to bring the parties to the negotiating table.</p> <p>Although Shultz fell short of his goal to put the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel on a course to a peace agreement, he shaped the path for future administrations&#8217; Mideast efforts by legitimizing the Palestinians as a people with valid aspirations and a valid stake in determining their future.</p> <p>As the nation&#8217;s chief diplomat, Shultz negotiated the first-ever treaty to reduce the size of the Soviet Union&#8217;s ground-based nuclear arsenals despite fierce objections from Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to Reagan&#8217;s &#8220;Strategic Defense Initiative&#8221; or Star Wars.</p> <p>The 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was a historic attempt to begin to reverse the nuclear arms race, a goal he never abandoned in private life.</p> <p>&#8220;Now that we know so much about these weapons and their power,&#8221; Shultz said in an interview in 2008, &#8220;they&#8217;re almost weapons that we wouldn&#8217;t use, so I think we would be better off without them.&#8221;</p> <p>Former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, reflecting in his memoirs on the &#8220;highly analytic, calm and unselfish Shultz,&#8221; paid Shultz an exceptional compliment in his diary: &#8220;If I could choose one American to whom I would entrust the nation&#8217;s fate in a crisis, it would be George Shultz.&#8221;</p> <p>George Pratt Shultz was born Dec. 13, 1920, in New York City and raised in Englewood, New Jersey. He studied economics and public and international affairs at Princeton University, graduating in 1942. His affinity for Princeton prompted him to have the school&#8217;s mascot, a tiger, tattooed on his posterior, a fact confirmed to reporters decades later by his wife aboard a plane taking them to China.</p> <p>At Shultz&#8217;s 90th birthday party, his successor as secretary of state, James Baker, joked that he would do anything for Shultz &#8220;except kiss the tiger.&#8221; After Princeton, Shultz joined the Marine Corps and rose to the rank of captain as an artillery officer during World War II.</p> <p>He earned a Ph.D. in economics at MIT in 1949 and taught at MIT and at the University of Chicago, where he was dean of the business school. His administration experience included a stint as a senior staff economist with President Dwight D. Eisenhower&#8217;s Council of Economic Advisers and as Nixon&#8217;s OMB director.</p> <p>Shultz was president of the construction and engineering company Bechtel Group from 1975-1982 and taught part-time at Stanford University before joining the Reagan administration in 1982, replacing Alexander Haig, who resigned after frequent clashes with other members of the administration.</p> <p>A rare public disagreement between Reagan and Shultz came in 1985 when the president ordered thousands of government employees with access to highly classified information to take a &#8220;lie detector&#8221; test as a way to plug leaks of information. Shultz told reporters, &#8220;The minute in this government that I am not trusted is the day that I leave.&#8221; The administration soon backed off the demand.</p> <p>A more serious disagreement was over the secret arms sales to Iran in 1985 in hopes of securing the release of American hostages held in Lebanon by Hezbollah militants. Although Shultz objected, Reagan went ahead with the deal and millions of dollars from Iran went to right-wing Contra guerrillas in Nicaragua. The ensuing Iran-Contra scandal swamped the administration, to Shultz&#8217;s dismay.</p> <p>After Reagan left office, Shultz returned to Bechtel, having been the longest serving secretary of state since Cordell Hull under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.</p> <p>He retired from Bechtel&#8217;s board in 2006 and returned to Stanford and the Hoover Institution.</p> <p>In 2000, he became an early supporter of the presidential candidacy of George W. Bush, whose father had been vice president while Shultz was secretary of state. Shultz served as an informal adviser to the campaign.</p> <p>Former President Bush said &#8220;America has lost one of its finest statesmen with the passing of George Shultz.&#8221;</p> <p>&#8220;He was a person of deep intellect, talent, and patriotism,&#8221; Bush said in a statement. &#8220;He took on a wide range of important jobs and did them all well. George Shultz was a great public servant, and America is better because of that service.&#8221;</p> <p>Shultz remained an ardent arms control advocate in his later years but retained an iconoclastic streak, speaking out against several mainstream Republican policy positions. He created some controversy by calling the war on recreational drugs, championed by Reagan, a failure and raised eyebrows by decrying the longstanding U.S. embargo on Cuba as &#8220;insane.&#8221;</p> <p>He was also a prominent proponent of efforts to fight the effects of climate change, warning that ignoring the risks was suicidal.</p> <p>A pragmatist, Shultz, along with Kissinger, made headlines during the 2016 presidential campaign when he declined to endorse Republican nominee Donald Trump after being quoted as saying &#8220;God help us&#8221; when asked about the possibility of Trump in the White House.</p> <p>Shultz was married to Helena &#8220;Obie&#8221; O&#8217;Brien, an Army nurse he met in the Pacific in World War II, and they had five children. After her death, in 1995, he married Charlotte Maillard, San Francisco&#8217;s protocol chief, in 1997.</p> <p>Shultz was awarded the nation&#8217;s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 1989.</p> <p>Survivors include his wife, five children, 11 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.</p> <p>Funeral arrangements were not immediately announced.</p> <p>___</p> <p>Longtime AP Diplomatic Writer Barry Schweid, who died in 2015, contributed to this report.</p> <p>___</p> <p>The story has been corrected to reflect that Shultz was the second-longest serving secretary of state since World War II.</p> Backyard ice rinks find new popularity as families seek to beat the pandemic blues https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/07/backyard-ice-rinks-find-new-popularity-as-families-seek-to-beat-the-pandemic-blues/ Massachusetts news, politics, crime, commentary | Boston Herald urn:uuid:fd3c1402-6237-77cf-91c5-9778e01040c9 Sun, 07 Feb 2021 21:09:47 +0000 As the pandemic winter drags on, many Massachusetts parents with cooped up kids are finding a solution just steps from the garage: build a backyard ice rink. &#8220;We have two kids, and as you can imagine, they&#8217;re climbing the walls to get out of the house,&#8221; said 36-year-old Trevor Oldak, who built his first backyard [&#8230;] <div class="article-slideshow"><button class="icon-close"></button><ul data-total="7"><li data-index="1"><div class="image-wrapper"><img width="1024" height="682" src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc007.jpg" class="attachment-article_inline size-article_inline lazyload" alt="" loading="lazy" draggable="false" data-sizes="auto" data-srcset="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc007.jpg?w=620 620w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc007.jpg?w=780 780w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc007.jpg?w=810 810w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc007.jpg?w=1280 1280w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc007.jpg?w=1860 1860w" data-src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc007.jpg" /><p class="slide-credit"></p><p class="slide-caption">Needham MA. - February 4: The Mitchell children, Thomas, 13, Patrick, 11, and Annie, 7, play hockey on their neighborÕs rink, as the number of backyard ice rinks skyrocket during the pandemic on February 4, 2021 in Needham, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)</p></div></li><li data-index="2"><div class="image-wrapper"><img width="1024" height="1536" src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc006.jpg" class="attachment-article_inline size-article_inline lazyload" alt="" loading="lazy" draggable="false" data-sizes="auto" data-srcset="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc006.jpg?w=620 620w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc006.jpg?w=780 780w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc006.jpg?w=810 810w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc006.jpg?w=1280 1280w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc006.jpg?w=1333 1860w" data-src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc006.jpg" /><p class="slide-credit"></p><p class="slide-caption">Needham MA. - February 4: Chris Mitchell tightens up his daughter Annie, 7, skates, as she plays hockey on their neighborÕs rink, as the number of backyard ice rinks skyrocket during the pandemic on February 4, 2021 in Needham, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)</p></div></li><li data-index="3"><div class="image-wrapper"><img width="1024" height="746" src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc003.jpg" class="attachment-article_inline size-article_inline lazyload" alt="" loading="lazy" draggable="false" data-sizes="auto" data-srcset="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc003.jpg?w=620 620w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc003.jpg?w=780 780w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc003.jpg?w=810 810w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc003.jpg?w=1280 1280w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc003.jpg?w=1860 1860w" data-src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc003.jpg" /><p class="slide-credit"></p><p class="slide-caption">Needham MA. - February 4: The Mitchell children, Thomas, 13, Patrick, 11, and Annie, 7, play hockey on their neighborÕs rink, as the number of backyard ice rinks skyrocket during the pandemic on February 4, 2021 in Needham, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)</p></div></li><li class="slideshow-ad-slide" data-index="3"><div class="image-wrapper slideshow-ad-wrapper"><div class="slideshow-ad" id="ad-in-slideshow"></div></div></li><li data-index="4"><div class="image-wrapper"><img width="1024" height="682" src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc004.jpg" class="attachment-article_inline size-article_inline lazyload" alt="" loading="lazy" draggable="false" data-sizes="auto" data-srcset="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc004.jpg?w=620 620w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc004.jpg?w=780 780w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc004.jpg?w=810 810w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc004.jpg?w=1280 1280w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc004.jpg?w=1860 1860w" data-src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc004.jpg" /><p class="slide-credit"></p><p class="slide-caption">Needham MA. - February 4: The Mitchell children, Thomas, 13, Patrick, 11, and Annie, 7, play hockey on their neighborÕs rink, as the number of backyard ice rinks skyrocket during the pandemic on February 4, 2021 in Needham, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)</p></div></li><li data-index="5"><div class="image-wrapper"><img width="1024" height="682" src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc002.jpg" class="attachment-article_inline size-article_inline lazyload" alt="" loading="lazy" draggable="false" data-sizes="auto" data-srcset="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc002.jpg?w=620 620w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc002.jpg?w=780 780w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc002.jpg?w=810 810w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc002.jpg?w=1280 1280w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc002.jpg?w=1860 1860w" data-src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc002.jpg" /><p class="slide-credit"></p><p class="slide-caption">Needham MA. - February 4: The Mitchell children, Thomas, 13, Patrick, 11, and Annie, 7, play hockey on their neighborÕs rink, as the number of backyard ice rinks skyrocket during the pandemic on February 4, 2021 in Needham, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)</p></div></li><li data-index="6"><div class="image-wrapper"><img width="1024" height="682" src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc001.jpg" class="attachment-article_inline size-article_inline lazyload" alt="" loading="lazy" draggable="false" data-sizes="auto" data-srcset="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc001.jpg?w=620 620w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc001.jpg?w=780 780w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc001.jpg?w=810 810w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc001.jpg?w=1280 1280w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc001.jpg?w=1860 1860w" data-src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc001.jpg" /><p class="slide-credit"></p><p class="slide-caption">Needham MA. - February 4: The Mitchell children, Thomas, 13, Patrick, 11, and Annie, 7, play hockey on their neighborÕs rink, as the number of backyard ice rinks skyrocket during the pandemic on February 4, 2021 in Needham, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)</p></div></li><li class="slideshow-ad-slide" data-index="6"><div class="image-wrapper slideshow-ad-wrapper"></div></li><li data-index="7"><div class="image-wrapper"><img width="1024" height="682" src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc008.jpg" class="attachment-article_inline size-article_inline lazyload" alt="" loading="lazy" draggable="false" data-sizes="auto" data-srcset="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc008.jpg?w=620 620w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc008.jpg?w=780 780w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc008.jpg?w=810 810w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc008.jpg?w=1280 1280w,https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc008.jpg?w=1860 1860w" data-src="https://www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BACKYARDsc008.jpg" /><p class="slide-credit"></p><p class="slide-caption">Needham MA. - February 4: Josh Darwin watches as the Mitchell children, Thomas, 13, Patrick, 11, and Annie, 7, play hockey on his rink, as the number of backyard ice rinks skyrocket during the pandemic on February 4, 2021 in Needham, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)</p></div></li></ul><div class="caption"><button class="caption-expand">Show Caption</button><div class="slideshow-credit"></div><div class="slide-count"><span class="current"></span> of <span class="total"></span></div><p class="slideshow-caption"></p><a href="#" class="icon-enlarge"><span>Expand</span></a></div></div> <p>As the pandemic winter drags on, many Massachusetts parents with cooped up kids are finding a solution just steps from the garage: build a backyard ice rink.</p> <p>&#8220;We have two kids, and as you can imagine, they&#8217;re climbing the walls to get out of the house,&#8221; said 36-year-old Trevor Oldak, who built his first backyard rink in Natick this winter.</p> <p>Oldak said he started thinking about the rink back in September, when remote schooling began &#8212; and he wasn&#8217;t alone.</p> <p><iframe class='youtube-player' width='640' height='360' src='https://www.youtube.com/embed/MRxd3flfZWA?version=3&#038;rel=1&#038;showsearch=0&#038;showinfo=1&#038;iv_load_policy=1&#038;fs=1&#038;hl=en-US&#038;autohide=2&#038;wmode=transparent' allowfullscreen='true' style='border:0;' sandbox='allow-scripts allow-same-origin allow-popups allow-presentation'></iframe></p> <p>&#8220;More people have been at home,&#8221; said Andy Thompson, who works at Dorchester-based industrial supplier J.Freeman. He said that&#8217;s led them to get creative about how to entertain their families.</p> <p>Thompson said he &#8220;eats, sleep and breaths&#8221; shrink wrap for three months of the year, and supplies somewhere around 1,200 rolls of polyethylene &#8212; the plastic used in homemade rinks &#8212; each year.</p> <p>This past year the demand in plastic skyrocketed, as businesses constructed dividers and signs.</p> <p>A backyard rink boom was just the cherry on top.</p> <p>&#8220;We help people if they want to get fancy: if they want to put Bruins-style yellow plastic on boards. We have people who build bleachers in their backyard,&#8221; he said.</p> <p>&#8220;During the quarantine, it&#8217;s been a God-send,&#8221; said Chris Mitchell, a hockey dad in Needham who has a backyard rink.</p> <p>Just yards away, his neighbor, Josh Darwin, also has one.</p> <p>The thing about the pandemic is, kids are cooped up all the time. This is a great way to get out of the house, even if it&#8217;s for a homework break,&#8221; Darwin said.</p> <p>Both Mitchell and Darwin enlisted the help of a rink building professional to install their ice, but a do-it-yourself rink is possible.</p> <p>&#8220;You know, in all reality, you don&#8217;t really have to be that handy. It&#8217;s relatively simple,&#8221; said Gregg Lanciani, assistant manager at Concord Lumber.</p> <p>Lanciani said the lumber yard and hardware store get a handful of customers a week asking for advice about building a rink at home. His first recommendation is to survey the yard and be sure it&#8217;s a large, relatively flat area. A slight rise or fall in land can be corrected with a little sand, but it&#8217;s critical to have a flat surface for the ice.</p> <p>A DIY rink builder needs plywood, pressure-treated 2&#215;4 wood planks, a large sheet of polyethylene, and fasteners.</p> <p>Oldak described himself as a &#8220;fly be the seat of your pants&#8221; person, and said he constructed his 20 by 30-foot rink, mostly &#8220;by instinct.&#8221;</p> <p>He said the plastic was his biggest cost, clocking in at $220.</p> <p>&#8220;I&#8217;m really lucky that it panned out,&#8221; he said.</p> <p>Once the rink is up and filled, it&#8217;s just a matter of watching the weather report.</p> <p>&#8220;It really depends on Mother Nature. There are some years, where disappointingly, you might get five or 10 days only out of the rink, then there are years you get solid months,&#8221; Darwin said.</p> <p>&#8220;Trust me, it&#8217;s New England. It&#8217;s going to get cold. If you have one day when the kids can skate in the backyard, it&#8217;s worth it,&#8221; said Thompson.</p> Arlington software engineer, mother raises nearly $20K in 48 hours for coronavirus vaccine website https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/07/arlington-software-engineer-mother-raises-nearly-20k-in-48-hours-for-coronavirus-vaccine-website/ Massachusetts news, politics, crime, commentary | Boston Herald urn:uuid:347513c7-d474-7e5f-8d16-46d484a7f7a3 Sun, 07 Feb 2021 21:08:02 +0000 An Arlington mother and software engineer who made it her mission to build a better, simpler website to book coronavirus vaccine appointments in Massachusetts after widespread frustrations over the state's "disjointed" approach has raised nearly $20,000 in 24 hours. <p>An Arlington mother and software engineer who made it her mission to build a better, simpler website to book coronavirus vaccine appointments in Massachusetts following widespread frustrations over the state&#8217;s &#8220;disjointed&#8221; approach has raised nearly $20,000 in 48 hours.</p> <p>The money will go toward helping 28-year-old programmer Olivia Adams take her platform to the national stage and reimburse her for the cost of hosting her website &#8212; <a href="http://macovidvaccines.com">macovidvaccines.com</a> &#8212; which she said she has been paying out of her own pocket since launching the site on Feb. 5.</p> <p>As of Sunday evening, the <a href="https://www.gofundme.com/f/wwwmacovidvaccinescom?utm_source=customer&amp;utm_medium=copy_link&amp;utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1">Go Fund Me</a> page had raised more than $18,000 from 526 donors.</p> <p>&#8220;The response has been way more than I anticipated,&#8221; Adams told the Herald. &#8220;I thought maybe it would get used by a few friends or friends of friends.&#8221;</p> <p>By Sunday, the site was averaging more than 400 page views a minute and the athenahealth programmer was fielding interview requests from CNN and pitches from job recruiters across the nation.</p> <p>But for Adams it&#8217;s not about the notoriety, it&#8217;s about finding solutions and helping people.</p> <p>&#8220;This is something I&#8217;m passionate about,&#8221; Adams said. &#8220;This tells me that anyone who has a half-baked idea and likes to tinker around should do their darndest to get their work out because who knows how many people you could  help.&#8221;</p> <p>The MA COVID Vaccine Appointments website gathers vaccination appointment availability for about a dozen sites across Massachusetts, allowing users to view the number of appointments available at different locations on upcoming days on one centralized website.</p> <p>The state&#8217;s website currently requires people to register with one of a patchwork of different distribution sites run by hospitals, pharmacies and other health systems before showing availability &#8212; a &#8220;frustrating&#8221; system that the self-described &#8220;perfectionist&#8221; said has complicated her own effort.</p> <p>She plans to add more sites in the coming days and weeks and has plans to expand to more states. Her Go Fund Me goal will increase to $50,000 to bankroll the effort, she said.</p> <aside class="related left"><h2 class="widget-title" data-curated-ids="" data-relation-type="automatic-primary-tag">Related Articles</h2><ul><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/charlie-baker-to-work-with-arlington-mom-programmer-who-built-centralized-coronavirus-vaccine-appointment-website/" title="Charlie Baker to work with Arlington mom, programmer who built centralized coronavirus vaccine appointment website"> <span class="dfm-title"> Charlie Baker to work with Arlington mom, programmer who built centralized coronavirus vaccine appointment website </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/united-kingdom-coronavirus-variant-could-be-dominant-in-u-s-in-march-said-fauci/" title="United Kingdom coronavirus variant could be dominant in U.S. in March, said Fauci"> <span class="dfm-title"> United Kingdom coronavirus variant could be dominant in U.S. in March, said Fauci </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/massachusetts-coronavirus-cases-rise-1276-total-death-toll-surpasses-15000/" title="Massachusetts coronavirus cases rise 1,276, total death toll surpasses 15,000"> <span class="dfm-title"> Massachusetts coronavirus cases rise 1,276, total death toll surpasses 15,000 </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/reasons-to-be-optimistic-about-u-s-vaccine-rollout/" title="Reasons to be optimistic about U.S. vaccine rollout"> <span class="dfm-title"> Reasons to be optimistic about U.S. vaccine rollout </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/07/massachusetts-coronavirus-cases-up-3004-hospitalizations-keep-falling/" title="Massachusetts coronavirus cases up 3,004, hospitalizations keep falling"> <span class="dfm-title"> Massachusetts coronavirus cases up 3,004, hospitalizations keep falling </span> </a> </li></ul></aside> <p>Adams &#8212; who is on maternity leave with her second child &#8212; determined to build her own website after witnessing her mother-in-law&#8217;s trouble booking a vaccine appointment.</p> <p>&#8220;I kept hearing the same frustrations over and over &#8212; from family, from friends, and on the news. The sign-up process was too confusing, too disjointed,&#8221; Adams said.</p> <p>The site has not been endorsed by the state, but Gov. Charlie Baker on Friday said he wanted to talk to the woman behind the website. Adams said she still hadn&#8217;t received a call as of Sunday night.</p> <p>The Baker administration dodged questions from the Herald on whether the state would work with Adams or adopt some of her techniques, referring to the state&#8217;s own website instead.</p> Massachusetts State Treasurer Deb Goldberg tests positive for coronavirus https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/07/massachusetts-state-treasurer-deb-goldberg-tests-positive-for-coronavirus/ Massachusetts news, politics, crime, commentary | Boston Herald urn:uuid:34e715b7-d3ab-9cd1-4e85-423713fb84a0 Sun, 07 Feb 2021 20:17:43 +0000 Massachusetts State Treasurer Deb Goldberg has tested positive for the coronavirus, her office announced on Sunday. <p>Massachusetts State Treasurer Deb Goldberg has tested positive for the coronavirus, her office announced on Sunday.</p> <p>Goldberg recently learned of being potentially exposed to the virus and was tested. She tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday.</p> <p>&#8220;She is monitoring her symptoms, following the guidelines established by the CDC, and is quarantining at home,&#8221; her office said in a statement. &#8220;The Treasurer&#8217;s office will continue to function normally, and the Treasurer plans to participate remotely.&#8221;</p> <aside class="related left"><h2 class="widget-title" data-curated-ids="" data-relation-type="automatic-primary-tag">Related Articles</h2><ul><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/charlie-baker-to-work-with-arlington-mom-programmer-who-built-centralized-coronavirus-vaccine-appointment-website/" title="Charlie Baker to work with Arlington mom, programmer who built centralized coronavirus vaccine appointment website"> <span class="dfm-title"> Charlie Baker to work with Arlington mom, programmer who built centralized coronavirus vaccine appointment website </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/campaign-finance-accounts-offer-clues-of-2022-political-landscape-as-charlie-baker-still-lags-in-fundraising/" title="Campaign finance accounts offer clues of 2022 political landscape as Charlie Baker still lags in fundraising"> <span class="dfm-title"> Campaign finance accounts offer clues of 2022 political landscape as Charlie Baker still lags in fundraising </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/stimulus-checks-child-tax-credits-could-reach-massachusetts-residents-by-april-1-says-congressman-richard-neal/" title="Stimulus checks, child tax credits could come by April 1, says Congressman Richard Neal"> <span class="dfm-title"> Stimulus checks, child tax credits could come by April 1, says Congressman Richard Neal </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/united-kingdom-coronavirus-variant-could-be-dominant-in-u-s-in-march-said-fauci/" title="United Kingdom coronavirus variant could be dominant in U.S. in March, said Fauci"> <span class="dfm-title"> United Kingdom coronavirus variant could be dominant in U.S. in March, said Fauci </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/coronavirus-pandemic-hurting-lobster-industry-during-chinese-new-year-season/" title="Coronavirus pandemic hurting lobster industry during Chinese New Year season"> <span class="dfm-title"> Coronavirus pandemic hurting lobster industry during Chinese New Year season </span> </a> </li></ul></aside> <p>Her office added, &#8220;The Treasurer encourages everyone to continue to follow the advice of medical professionals, wear a mask, and maintain social distance.&#8221;</p> <p>During the first surge of the virus in the spring, Massachusetts <a href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2020/03/27/massachusetts-public-health-commissioner-monica-bharel-tests-positive-for-coronavirus/">Department of Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel tested positive</a>.</p> Massachusetts coronavirus cases up 3,004, hospitalizations keep falling https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/07/massachusetts-coronavirus-cases-up-3004-hospitalizations-keep-falling/ Massachusetts news, politics, crime, commentary | Boston Herald urn:uuid:3c4271c1-8c73-ebd0-2f1c-68ce362aa55c Sun, 07 Feb 2021 20:15:01 +0000 Massachusetts public health officials on Sunday reported 3,004 new coronavirus deaths and 76 new virus cases as the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations continued to drop. <p>Massachusetts public health officials on Sunday reported 3,004 new coronavirus cases and 76 new virus deaths as the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations continued to drop.</p> <p>Sunday&#8217;s tally of 3,004 cases follows Saturday&#8217;s 3,378 cases, Friday&#8217;s 2,982 cases, Thursday&#8217;s 2,602 cases and Wednesday&#8217;s 2,186 cases.</p> <p>Overall, the case counts have been significantly down from the start of the year. The seven-day average of confirmed cases is now 2,058, a drop from an average of 6,242 cases in the first week of January.</p> <p>The count of estimated active cases in Massachusetts is now 59,162, a significant decrease from 98,750 at the start of the year.</p> <p>The 76 new virus deaths and two new probable virus deaths bring the state&#8217;s total COVID-19 death toll to 14,999. The seven-day average of daily deaths is now 53, compared to 74 daily deaths three weeks ago. The death average peaked with 175 daily deaths in late April.</p> <p>Statewide hospitalizations have also been declining. Hospitalizations on Sunday dropped by 62 patients, bringing the total to 1,389 patients.</p> <p>The seven-day average of the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 has declined from 2,347 patients on Jan. 7 to an average of 1,566 patients now.</p> <p>As of Sunday, the CDC&#8217;s coronavirus vaccine tracker showed that 609,483 people in the Bay State have received the first dose of the two-shot treatment, and 169,148 people have received both doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. More than 1.2 million total doses have been distributed to the state, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.</p> <p>Meanwhile, there are thousands of available coronavirus vaccine appointments across the state in the coming week. As of Sunday, <a href="https://www.maimmunizations.org/clinic/search?commit=Search&amp;location=&amp;q%5Bclinic_date_eq%5D=&amp;q%5Bvaccinations_name_i_cont%5D=&amp;q%5Bvenue_search_name_or_venue_name_i_cont%5D=gillette&amp;search_radius=All#search_results#search_results">Foxboro&#8217;s Gillette Stadium</a> and <a href="https://curative.com/sites/24182#9/42.1408/-72.4864">Springfield&#8217;s Eastfield Mall</a> both showed thousands of available vaccination appointments. The slots are for anyone in the Phase 1 priority groups, and people 75 years-plus in Phase 2.</p> <aside class="related left"><h2 class="widget-title" data-curated-ids="" data-relation-type="automatic-primary-tag">Related Articles</h2><ul><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/charlie-baker-to-work-with-arlington-mom-programmer-who-built-centralized-coronavirus-vaccine-appointment-website/" title="Charlie Baker to work with Arlington mom, programmer who built centralized coronavirus vaccine appointment website"> <span class="dfm-title"> Charlie Baker to work with Arlington mom, programmer who built centralized coronavirus vaccine appointment website </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/campaign-finance-accounts-offer-clues-of-2022-political-landscape-as-charlie-baker-still-lags-in-fundraising/" title="Campaign finance accounts offer clues of 2022 political landscape as Charlie Baker still lags in fundraising"> <span class="dfm-title"> Campaign finance accounts offer clues of 2022 political landscape as Charlie Baker still lags in fundraising </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/stimulus-checks-child-tax-credits-could-reach-massachusetts-residents-by-april-1-says-congressman-richard-neal/" title="Stimulus checks, child tax credits could come by April 1, says Congressman Richard Neal"> <span class="dfm-title"> Stimulus checks, child tax credits could come by April 1, says Congressman Richard Neal </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/united-kingdom-coronavirus-variant-could-be-dominant-in-u-s-in-march-said-fauci/" title="United Kingdom coronavirus variant could be dominant in U.S. in March, said Fauci"> <span class="dfm-title"> United Kingdom coronavirus variant could be dominant in U.S. in March, said Fauci </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/coronavirus-pandemic-hurting-lobster-industry-during-chinese-new-year-season/" title="Coronavirus pandemic hurting lobster industry during Chinese New Year season"> <span class="dfm-title"> Coronavirus pandemic hurting lobster industry during Chinese New Year season </span> </a> </li></ul></aside> <p>The U.S. has reported more than 463,000 virus deaths and 26.9 million cases. The death toll and total case count are the highest in the world.</p> UMass Amherst students ordered to stay in their dorm rooms after surge in coronavirus cases https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/07/umass-amherst-students-ordered-to-stay-in-their-dorm-rooms-after-surge-in-coronavirus-cases/ Massachusetts news, politics, crime, commentary | Boston Herald urn:uuid:a9300ff8-891f-e8d5-5f09-aa5948cd0762 Sun, 07 Feb 2021 20:07:06 +0000 UMass Amherst students are being ordered to stay in their dorm rooms and all in-person classes are transitioning to remote after a recent surge in coronavirus cases on campus. <p>UMass Amherst students are being ordered to stay in their dorm rooms and all in-person classes are transitioning to remote after a recent surge in coronavirus cases on campus.</p> <p>The restrictions went into effect Sunday afternoon and will be in place for a minimum of 14 days as the COVID-19 risk level for the state&#8217;s flagship campus has been raised from &#8220;Elevated&#8221; to &#8220;High&#8221; risk.</p> <p>&#8220;The public health measures that will be implemented during this period include the transition of all in-person classes to remote format,&#8221; Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy wrote to the campus community on Sunday.</p> <p>&#8220;All students, whether residing in campus residences halls or in off-campus housing in the surrounding area, are directed to self-sequester,&#8221; he wrote. &#8220;Self-sequestration means that students must stay in their residences, both on and off campus, except to get meals, undergo twice-weekly COVID testing, or to attend medical appointments. In addition, to minimize potential spread, students should refrain from travel from campus or outside the surrounding area.&#8221;</p> <p>There are about 5,000 students living in residence halls, and 8,600 off-campus students in the Amherst area.</p> <p>From Tuesday to Thursday, the latest three days of testing results at UMass Amherst, the campus reported 298 positive tests.</p> <p>&#8220;Contact tracing data indicates that transmission of the virus is especially prevalent among some undergraduate students not following social distancing and mask protocols,&#8221; the chancellor wrote.</p> <p>For comparison, Boston University reported 55 positive tests in the same three-day period, and Northeastern University reported 23 positive tests.</p> <p>These new restrictions at UMass Amherst come two days after the <a href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/05/massachusetts-coronavirus-cases-increase-by-2982-with-74-new-deaths/">campus raised the risk level to &#8220;Elevated.&#8221;</a> That meant no student gatherings of any kind on or off campus, grab and go dining only, no visitors allowed on campus and restricted building access.</p> <aside class="related left"><h2 class="widget-title" data-curated-ids="" data-relation-type="automatic-primary-tag">Related Articles</h2><ul><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/charlie-baker-to-work-with-arlington-mom-programmer-who-built-centralized-coronavirus-vaccine-appointment-website/" title="Charlie Baker to work with Arlington mom, programmer who built centralized coronavirus vaccine appointment website"> <span class="dfm-title"> Charlie Baker to work with Arlington mom, programmer who built centralized coronavirus vaccine appointment website </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/campaign-finance-accounts-offer-clues-of-2022-political-landscape-as-charlie-baker-still-lags-in-fundraising/" title="Campaign finance accounts offer clues of 2022 political landscape as Charlie Baker still lags in fundraising"> <span class="dfm-title"> Campaign finance accounts offer clues of 2022 political landscape as Charlie Baker still lags in fundraising </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/stimulus-checks-child-tax-credits-could-reach-massachusetts-residents-by-april-1-says-congressman-richard-neal/" title="Stimulus checks, child tax credits could come by April 1, says Congressman Richard Neal"> <span class="dfm-title"> Stimulus checks, child tax credits could come by April 1, says Congressman Richard Neal </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/united-kingdom-coronavirus-variant-could-be-dominant-in-u-s-in-march-said-fauci/" title="United Kingdom coronavirus variant could be dominant in U.S. in March, said Fauci"> <span class="dfm-title"> United Kingdom coronavirus variant could be dominant in U.S. in March, said Fauci </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/08/coronavirus-pandemic-hurting-lobster-industry-during-chinese-new-year-season/" title="Coronavirus pandemic hurting lobster industry during Chinese New Year season"> <span class="dfm-title"> Coronavirus pandemic hurting lobster industry during Chinese New Year season </span> </a> </li></ul></aside> <p>Then after a further increase in cases, the campus raised the risk level up to &#8220;High.&#8221;</p> <p>&#8220;To many of you these may seem like drastic measures, but faced with the surge in cases we are experiencing in our campus community, we have no choice but to take these steps,&#8221; the chancellor wrote. &#8220;By acting aggressively now, we are confident we can contain this surge and more quickly return to normal operations, including a resumption of in-person classes and organized student activities.&#8221;</p> <p>Students who do not comply with the restrictions will be disciplined, the university said. That disciplinary action might include getting removed from residence halls and/or suspension.</p> <p>Last week, Stonehill College in Easton transitioned to all remote learning until at least Feb. 15 after a rise in positive tests on campus. Resident students are restricted to their individual rooms.</p> Massachusetts pounded with snow, again: Intense snow band drops about a foot https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/07/massachusetts-pounded-with-snow-again-intense-snow-band-drops-about-a-foot/ Massachusetts news, politics, crime, commentary | Boston Herald urn:uuid:f11f1977-58cd-e949-aecc-d3d3f2f33953 Sun, 07 Feb 2021 18:13:09 +0000 A quick-hitting storm dumped close to a foot of snow on parts of Massachusetts on Sunday, as an intense snow band dropped about 3 inches per hour -- resulting in dangerous driving conditions, and also a picturesque winter wonderland with huge flakes covering trees. <p>A quick-hitting storm dumped close to a foot of snow on parts of Massachusetts on Sunday, as an intense snow band dropped about 3 inches per hour &#8212; resulting in dangerous driving conditions, and also a picturesque winter wonderland with huge flakes covering trees.</p> <p>A nearly stationary powerful snow band set up just south of Boston Sunday afternoon, pounding several communities including Walpole, Norwood and Sharon. The 3-inches per-hour from the so-called frontogenesis band led to 11 inches in Walpole, 10.8 inches in Norwood, and 9 inches in Sharon.</p> <p>&#8220;You see these intense snow bands fairly often with winter storms,&#8221; said National Weather Service meteorologist Andrew Loconto, based out of the Norton office. &#8220;It can be a matter of only a few miles where you see significantly more snow than areas just outside of it.&#8221;</p> <p>The weather system started out as flurries for only a short period of time before the snowfall quickly ramped up.</p> <p>&#8220;All of a sudden, it can go from visibility that&#8217;s not too bad to a localized whiteout,&#8221; Loconto said.</p> <p>The Super Bowl Sunday winter storm hit as people were out picking up food for the big game, and as delivery drivers transported meals.</p> <p>The snow-covered and slippery roads resulted in numerous crashes and vehicles off the road in many locations.</p> <p>The Massachusetts Department of Transportation had 2,417 pieces of equipment deployed across the state for ice and snow operations. The department has been very busy lately, as it was dealing with a powerful <a href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/02/as-massachusetts-residents-dig-out-from-noreaster-forecasters-eyeing-another-potential-coastal-storm/">nor&#8217;easter less than a week ago</a>.</p> <p>Boston Public Works had 700 pieces of equipment treating and clearing neighborhoods as the city saw about 2 inches of snowfall per hour.</p> <p>The snow did result in a winter wonderland look across the state. The larger-size heavy snowflakes covered trees around the region.</p> <p>&#8220;It&#8217;s the clumpy sort of snow, with the flakes all clumping together,&#8221; Loconto said.</p> <p>Following last week&#8217;s nor&#8217;easter and Sunday&#8217;s winter storm, it appears the weather pattern will continue to be active in the coming week. There&#8217;s a chance for some snow midweek, and then another potential system later in the week.</p> <p>&#8220;It&#8217;s turning more active, that&#8217;s for sure,&#8221; Loconto said.</p> <p>The temps are also expected to be chillier, with highs in the 20s this week.</p> <p>&#8220;With temperatures being that cold, there shouldn&#8217;t be that much snowmelt,&#8221; Loconto said. &#8220;So the snow should stick around with us for the foreseeable future.&#8221;</p> Planning a night out to watch the Super Bowl? Massachusetts coronavirus rules might lead to a quick exit https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/06/planning-a-night-out-to-watch-the-super-bowl-dont-get-too-comfortable/ Massachusetts news, politics, crime, commentary | Boston Herald urn:uuid:1255a549-cfe1-9015-0f54-3583562b7947 Sun, 07 Feb 2021 12:50:50 +0000 Going to a bar or restaurant to watch Super Bowl LV Sunday? Don't get too comfortable. You may have to leave halfway through the game. <p>Going to a bar or restaurant to watch Super Bowl LV Sunday? Don&#8217;t get too comfortable. You may have to leave midway through the game.</p> <p>Under the state&#8217;s social-distancing and capacity limits, seated table service must be limited for each party to 90 minutes or less.</p> <p>Most of the bars and restaurants contacted by the Herald said they plan to abide by that limit, even if it means forcing customers to leave around halftime as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Kansas City Chiefs.</p> <p>&#8220;Unfortunately, that&#8217;s how it is,&#8221; said Luis Luna, general manager of Tony C&#8217;s in Boston&#8217;s Seaport district. &#8220;It&#8217;s a different Super Bowl this year; the experience is going to be split up.&#8221;</p> <p>&#8220;New Englanders will go to great lengths to watch their sports,&#8221; he said. &#8220;They&#8217;re always trying to double-book to try to circumvent the system. But we need to do our part to keep people safe.&#8221;</p> <p>But Adam Kretowicz, manager of the Yard House near Fenway, said he won&#8217;t abide by the state&#8217;s restriction on Sunday.</p> <p>&#8220;We&#8217;re not going to kick people out,&#8221; he said. &#8220;We feel with the Super Bowl, everyone is going to stay for the whole game. And the Yard House is known as a fun place to gather.&#8221;</p> <p>The Yard House will abide by the state&#8217;s other restrictions, including its 25% capacity limit, Kretowicz said. But he added: &#8220;We&#8217;re going to be packed tomorrow. We took only 1/4 of what we can take for reservations because we wanted to leave room for walk-ins. We&#8217;ll be turning away people as it is.&#8221;</p> <p>A spokeswoman for the state COVID Command Center did not return an email asking whether the state plans to enforce the seating limit Sunday.</p> <p>Jessie Lewis, assistant manager at Tavern in the Square&#8217;s North Station location, said she&#8217;ll honor the state&#8217;s 90-minute limit.</p> <p>&#8220;I hope people accept that and understand that we want to be hospitable, but we&#8217;re also running a business,&#8221; Lewis said. &#8220;All of it&#8217;s different. Last year, we&#8217;d be open until 1 a.m.; this year we&#8217;re closing at 11 p.m. We&#8217;re walking over a bridge to a new normal.&#8221;</p> <p>Although Tom Brady no longer plays for the New England Patriots, there&#8217;s still a lot of local interest in Sunday&#8217;s game because the legendary quarterback and former Pats tight end Rob Gronkowski now play for the Buccaneers. Brady is trying to win his seventh title after six championships with the Patriots — but the Chiefs, last year&#8217;s winners, are shooting to repeat, led by young star QB Patrick Mahomes.</p> <p>Restaurants around the state will see restrictions relax a bit further come Monday, when they can open up to 40% capacity, rather than 25%.</p> Asthma left off Massachusetts vaccine eligibility list, causing concern https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/06/asthma-left-off-massachusetts-vaccine-eligibility-list-causing-concern/ Massachusetts news, politics, crime, commentary | Boston Herald urn:uuid:39935103-c818-e5b0-42e6-7470af1d9fda Sun, 07 Feb 2021 02:20:45 +0000 While moderate-to-severe asthma will soon be a qualifying condition to receive a vaccine in New York, it won't be in Massachusetts. <p>All three of Neris Amaya’s adult children have asthma. Her youngest, who at just 18 has already experienced asthma attacks severe enough to land her in an emergency room, has been so afraid of contracting COVID-19 she’s barely left her room.</p> <p>Amaya lost her brother to the coronavirus last summer. He had asthma, too.</p> <p>“It’s been incredibly scary,” Amaya said in Spanish through a translator. “I would definitely feel a lot safer if I knew that everybody who has asthma could get the vaccine.”</p> <p>But the Chelsea resident’s children will have to wait. While moderate-to-severe asthma will soon be a <a href="https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-cuomo-announces-list-comorbidities-and-underlying-conditions-eligible-covid-19-vaccine">qualifying condition to receive a vaccine in New York,</a> it won&#8217;t be in Massachusetts — much to the surprise of many.</p> <p>“It’s news to me,” Chelsea City Council President Roy Avellaneda said. “I’d have to question what was the thinking of why a condition that is related to breathing is a condition that wouldn’t be of concern for a virus that we know if you get makes it very difficult to breathe.”</p> <p>The Baker administration is basing vaccine eligibility on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including the agency’s <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html">list of underlying medical conditions</a> that put people at increased risk for severe illness should they contract the coronavirus.</p> <p>Adults &#8220;are&#8221; at increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness if they&#8217;re obese, have cancer or certain heart conditions, or even if they smoke, according to the CDC.</p> <p>But they only &#8220;might&#8221; be at increased risk if they have <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with-medical-conditions.html#asthma">moderate-to-severe asthma</a> — a difference advocates say could prove crucial to vaccine access as Massachusetts moves further into Phase 2.</p> <p>Springfield was <a href="https://www.aafa.org/asthma-capitals-top-100-cities-ranking/">named the nation’s asthma capital</a> in 2019 by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, and Boston wasn’t far behind.</p> <p>More than 10% of Massachusetts adults had asthma as of 2015, according to a <a href="https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2018/05/09/burden-in-mass.pdf">state study</a> that also showed higher rates of the respiratory condition in several lower-income and largely minority communities, including those like Chelsea that are now being hardest hit by the pandemic. Studies have also shown Black people have higher rates of asthma.</p> <p>With <a href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/04/lawmakers-frustrated-by-massachusetts-vaccine-rollout-push-for-equity-director-in-new-bill/">state data</a> now showing Black and Hispanic residents receiving vaccines at far lower rates than their white counterparts, Maria Belen Power, associate executive director of the Chelsea-based social and environmental justice group GreenRoots, said including asthma as a comorbidity “could have addressed the inequities in the rollout of the vaccine.&#8221;</p> <p>Massachusetts residents with two <a href="https://www.mass.gov/info-details/certain-medical-conditions-for-phase-2-groups">medical comorbidities</a> are next in line to receive vaccines, while those with one eligible condition fall later in <a href="https://www.mass.gov/info-details/massachusetts-covid-19-vaccination-phases">Phase 2</a>.</p> <p>Medical experts say asthma presents a tricky case. The respiratory condition was considered a high-risk comorbidity early in the pandemic, but newer research has not fully borne that out, according to Dr. Purvi Parikh, an immunologist with the Allergy &amp; Asthma Network.</p> <p>“That being said, it’s tricky when you put people into these boxes because there are a lot of asthmatics that also have components of COPD,” or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which is a qualifying condition for a vaccine in Massachusetts, Parikh said. “You might be excluding someone who has a high risk of COVID-19 by just labeling them as asthmatic.”</p> <aside class="related left"><h2 class="widget-title" data-curated-ids="2264388,2262701,2263686,2263396,2262854,2262596" data-relation-type="curated">Related Articles</h2><ul><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/06/residency-restrictions-lead-to-confusion-at-framingham-vaccine-site/" title="Residency restrictions lead to confusion at Framingham vaccine site"> <span class="dfm-title"> Residency restrictions lead to confusion at Framingham vaccine site </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/06/in-rollout-of-vaccine-community-health-centers-play-a-critical-role/" title="In coronavirus vaccine rollout, Massachusetts community health centers play critical role"> <span class="dfm-title"> In coronavirus vaccine rollout, Massachusetts community health centers play critical role </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/06/seniors-leaving-massachusetts-vaccination-sites-without-second-dose-appointments/" title="Thousands leaving Massachusetts vaccine sites without second dose appointments"> <span class="dfm-title"> Seniors leaving Massachusetts vaccination sites without second dose appointments </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/05/baker-rolls-out-vaccine-call-center-for-massachusetts-residents/" title="Charlie Baker rolls out vaccine call center for Massachusetts residents"> <span class="dfm-title"> Charlie Baker rolls out vaccine call center for Massachusetts residents </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/04/boston-coronavirus-vaccine-rollout-the-citys-plan-to-put-shots-in-arms/" title="Boston coronavirus vaccine rollout: The city&#8217;s plan to put shots in arms"> <span class="dfm-title"> Boston coronavirus vaccine rollout: The city&#8217;s plan to put shots in arms </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/04/massachusetts-coronavirus-vaccine-data-nearly-700000-vax-shots-in-arms/" title="Massachusetts coronavirus vaccine data: Nearly 700,000 vax shots in arms"> <span class="dfm-title"> Massachusetts coronavirus vaccine data: Nearly 700,000 vax shots in arms </span> </a> </li></ul></aside> <p>Boston University infectious diseases specialist Dr. Davidson Hamer said he had pushed for asthma to be included in the university’s guidelines for vaccinating faculty, staff and students.</p> <p>“I was overruled, because they really wanted to stick to the state’s guidance and that’s coming from the CDC,” Hamer said.</p> <p>Michael Curry, the president of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers who sits on Gov. Charlie Baker’s vaccine advisory board, said campaigns to add certain conditions to the state’s eligibility list are ongoing. Down syndrome was included after the state saw data to back it up. But Curry, who’s had asthma since he was a kid, said he’s yet to be presented with data that supports adding it to the list.</p> <p>“There’s a need for advocates in the asthma space to ask for it,” Curry said. “Asthma has a huge prevalence in Black and brown communities that are infected, hospitalized and dying (from COVID-19) at a higher rate. But I try to approach these conversations with some deference to the scientific and medical community.”</p> <p>Manny Lopes, president and CEO of the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, said adding asthma to the list would &#8220;absolutely&#8221; help with vaccine equity.</p> <p>&#8220;We&#8217;ll be continuing to talk to our state officials,&#8221; Lopes said. &#8220;Including asthma, as well as other chronic diseases, will just help us open our doors and make sure those individuals get vaccinated as quickly as we possibly can.&#8221;</p> <p><em>Marie Szaniszlo contributed to this report.</em></p> Thousands leaving Massachusetts vaccine sites without second dose appointments https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/06/seniors-leaving-massachusetts-vaccination-sites-without-second-dose-appointments/ Massachusetts news, politics, crime, commentary | Boston Herald urn:uuid:a5869ccb-53f2-5fdd-8b7b-4ab1554d6948 Sat, 06 Feb 2021 20:06:42 +0000 Roughly 3,600 people who received doses between Jan. 29 and Feb. 3 at one of the two mass vaccination sites Massachusetts runs with the company Curative left without a return appointment. <p>Kollegal Murthy and his family spent hours booking his first coronavirus vaccine shot at the Eastfield Mall. Now the 81-year-old doesn’t know when he’ll get his second.</p> <p>Murthy, of Longmeadow, was one of the roughly 3,600 people who received doses between Jan. 29 and Feb. 3 at one of the two mass vaccination sites the state runs with California-based Curative who left without a return appointment — another bump in a rocky vaccine rollout in the Bay State.</p> <p>“It should be much smoother,” Murthy told the Herald.</p> <p>His wife, Helene Murthy, was more blunt: &#8220;It&#8217;s extremely frustrating.&#8221;</p> <p>The state Department of Public Health said it strongly encourages all vaccination sites to schedule patients&#8217; second appointments at the time of their first dose. But it&#8217;s not required.</p> <p>“The way most of these programs are set up, you’re typically booking your second dose while you’re doing your 15-minute observation before you leave,” Gov. Charlie Baker said in response to a Herald reporter’s question at a press conference this week.</p> <p>“Not everybody will do it that way,” he continued. “But generally speaking, the goal at most of these sites, which we think is the preferred option, is to have people book when they would come back to get their second dose before they leave.”</p> <p>That wasn’t the case at the Eastfield Mall, the mass vaccination site in Springfield that the state runs in partnership with Curative.</p> <p>Curative is now sending out emails to anyone who received their first dose between Jan. 29 and Feb. 3 at either the Eastfield Mall or the <a href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/03/massachusetts-coronavirus-vaccine-rollout-danvers-mass-vax-site-has-steady-stream-on-opening-day/">DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Danvers</a> with a private link to schedule their second appointments. The state indicated that roughly 3,600 people were not booked for their second shots during that time.</p> <aside class="related left"><h2 class="widget-title" data-curated-ids="2263396,2263114,2262596,2259199" data-relation-type="curated">Related Articles</h2><ul><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/05/baker-rolls-out-vaccine-call-center-for-massachusetts-residents/" title="Charlie Baker rolls out vaccine call center for Massachusetts residents"> <span class="dfm-title"> Charlie Baker rolls out vaccine call center for Massachusetts residents </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/04/lawmakers-frustrated-by-massachusetts-vaccine-rollout-push-for-equity-director-in-new-bill/" title="Lawmakers frustrated by Massachusetts vaccine rollout push for equity director in new bill"> <span class="dfm-title"> Lawmakers frustrated by Massachusetts vaccine rollout push for equity director in new bill </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/04/massachusetts-coronavirus-vaccine-data-nearly-700000-vax-shots-in-arms/" title="Massachusetts coronavirus vaccine data: Nearly 700,000 vax shots in arms"> <span class="dfm-title"> Massachusetts coronavirus vaccine data: Nearly 700,000 vax shots in arms </span> </a> </li><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/01/30/massachusetts-local-health-boards-frustrated-with-state-over-vaccine-rollout/" title="Massachusetts Phase 2 vaccine rollout: Local health officials frustrated by supply, communication issues"> <span class="dfm-title"> Local health officials frustrated by supply, communication issues in Phase 2 vaccine rollout </span> </a> </li></ul></aside> <p>State Sen. Eric Lesser, D-Longmeadow, said his office received calls and emails from constituents like Murthy who left the Eastfield Mall without a follow-up appointment.</p> <p>&#8220;We did flag that for the Department of Public Health,&#8221; he said. &#8220;They did follow up and work with Curative to get that issue addressed.&#8221;</p> <p>Sly Douglas, Curative&#8217;s northeast regional lead, said the company was beginning to schedule return appointments on-site in both Danvers and Springfield.</p> <p>&#8220;Our IT developers have worked tirelessly to get folks to make that process easier for our patients,&#8221; Douglas told the Herald. &#8220;We are rolling out the ability to schedule appointments as they walk out and patients have loved it.&#8221;</p> <p>Cambridge startup CIC Health, which operates the mass vaccination sites at Gillette Stadium and Fenway Park, offers people a QR code that links to a website with openings for them to book their second shot while they&#8217;re waiting in observation.</p> <p>But John Dowd, a Chatham resident who used to serve as an attorney for former President Donald Trump, told the Herald that even that system proved &#8220;difficult&#8221; when he and his wife tried to find similarly timed slots to return for their second shots.</p> <p>&#8220;The sign-up system needs to allow couples to sign up together so they stay together and get vaccinated together and get a second date together,&#8221; Dowd said in an email.</p> <p>For the Murthys — who as of Friday afternoon were still waiting for the email to sign Kollegal up for his second shot — the entire vaccine scheduling process has been one <a href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/01/27/massachusetts-phase-2-coronavirus-vaccine-signups-plagued-by-problems/">large dose of stress</a>.</p> <p>&#8220;People are very anxious,&#8221; his wife said. &#8220;It&#8217;s totally impossible unless you&#8217;re at the right time and right place to get what you need.&#8221;</p> Residency restrictions lead to confusion at Framingham vaccine site https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/06/residency-restrictions-lead-to-confusion-at-framingham-vaccine-site/ Massachusetts news, politics, crime, commentary | Boston Herald urn:uuid:53127dd0-7f11-b18f-ff67-0cafe8f713d2 Sat, 06 Feb 2021 19:53:16 +0000 Several seniors showed up to a vaccination site in Framingham on Saturday only to learn it was supposed to be restricted to city residents. <p>Elizabeth Papendorp was thrilled to snag a slot in Framingham for her 85-year-old mother to get her first coronavirus vaccine shot.</p> <p>Her excitement faded when the Somerville resident drove her mother, who lives in Dracut, to the Keefe Regional Technical School on Saturday only to find out her mother wasn&#8217;t eligible for a vaccine there because she&#8217;s not a Framingham resident.</p> <p>&#8220;They said, &#8216;You should have received a cancellation if you&#8217;re not a Framingham resident,'&#8221; Papendorp told the Herald. &#8220;I said we didn&#8217;t. We were not the only ones.&#8221;</p> <p>Several seniors who showed up to the Keefe school on Saturday soon learned the site was supposed to be restricted to city residents. After waiting outside, they were still given their first shots, but were told the city wouldn&#8217;t be able to book their second doses.</p> <p>&#8220;It was a nightmare,&#8221; Papendorp said. &#8220;I would not have made her an appointment there if it had said &#8216;for Framingham residents only.'&#8221;</p> <p>The mishap occurred after the Framingham vaccination site was mistakenly posted on the state&#8217;s registration portal as open to anyone age 75 or older, the group currently eligible under Phase 2 of the state&#8217;s rollout, Mayor Yvonne Spicer said.</p> <p>&#8220;The state&#8217;s portal opened this up to everybody and we had to go back and manually tell people&#8221; they couldn&#8217;t get their shot there, Spicer told the Herald. &#8220;This is a closed vaccination event and for Framingham residents, and somehow, some way, people still ended up with a confirmation.&#8221;</p> <p>Eligible Framingham residents were given their vaccines first. But Spicer said the city was ultimately able to accommodate those from other communities, including Papendorp&#8217;s mother and someone who had traveled up from Easton, using extra doses left over from first responder vaccinations.</p> <p>Still, Spicer said the city &#8220;couldn&#8217;t guarantee&#8221; that they&#8217;d have enough second doses on hand for the out-of-towners, hence why they were told to look elsewhere for the next round.</p> <p>&#8220;We have 300 shots for Framingham residents. Nearly 75,000 people live in Framingham,&#8221; Spicer said. &#8220;This is a drop in the bucket compared to the work that&#8217;s ahead of us.&#8221;</p> <p>The miscommunication in Framingham was just the latest shot snafu to plague the state&#8217;s Phase 2 vaccine rollout.</p> <p>But with more vaccination sites coming online, tens of thousands of new appointments added each week and hope on the horizon for more vaccines, Spicer said &#8220;it will get better.&#8221;</p> <p>&#8220;Be patient,&#8221; she pleaded. &#8220;Just be patient.&#8221;</p> <p>Papendorp will soon be back to perusing the state&#8217;s online portal to book a second shot for her mom — a process now complicated by the fact she&#8217;ll have to find a new site that offers the same type of vaccine that her mom received in Framingham.</p> <p>&#8220;I&#8217;m happy she was able to get one dose,&#8221; Papendorp said. &#8220;This was just really unfortunate. I know it&#8217;ll get better — I hope it will.&#8221;</p> Massachusetts adds 3,378 new coronavirus cases as thousands of vaccine appointments sit open https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/06/massachusetts-adds-3378-new-coronavirus-cases-as-thousands-of-vaccine-appointments-sit-open/ Massachusetts news, politics, crime, commentary | Boston Herald urn:uuid:528d5894-5faa-6c6e-5472-0519a04ea612 Sat, 06 Feb 2021 19:02:47 +0000 Massachusetts public health officials reported 3,378 new coronavirus cases and 59 more deaths on Saturday as thousands of vaccine appointments for the upcoming week sat unfilled. <p>Massachusetts public health officials reported 3,378 new coronavirus cases and 59 more deaths on Saturday as thousands of vaccine appointments for the upcoming week sat unfilled.</p> <p>Gov. Charlie Baker said Friday morning that 20,000 appointments were <a href="https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-vaccination-locations">still available for the upcoming week</a> across the mass vaccination sites at Fenway Park, Gillette Stadium and Springfield&#8217;s Eastfield Mall.</p> <p>Thousands of appointments were still available through Valentine&#8217;s Day at Gillette and Eastfield, and hundreds were available at Fenway as of Saturday evening, though most of the openings are for later in the week.</p> <p>The open slots come as the number of new confirmed cases ticked up to 3,378 on Saturday, an increase from Friday&#8217;s count of 2,982 cases, Thursday’s tally of 2,602 and Wednesday&#8217;s count of 2,186.</p> <p>There have now been 513,526 confirmed coronavirus cases in the commonwealth, according to the Department of Public Health. Another 241 probable cases were reported, for a combined confirmed and probable case tally of 540,827.</p> <p>The DPH estimates there are 58,768 active COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts, down significantly from nearly 100,000 in January.</p> <p>There were 1,451 patients in hospitals as of Saturday, including 310 in intensive care units and 189 who were intubated.</p> <p>The 59 new fatalities bring the state&#8217;s confirmed death toll to 14,622. Three new probable deaths were reported on Saturday, bringing the state&#8217;s combined toll from confirmed and probable cases to 14,921.</p> <p>More than half the state&#8217;s fatalities continue to come from long-term care facilities, where the death toll stood at 8,225 on Saturday.</p> <p>More than 461,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus and 26.8 million have been infected, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. Deaths have crossed 2.3 million globally, and cases total more than 105 million.</p> Boston company wants to transform its buses into mobile coronavirus vaccination sites https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/06/company-wants-to-transform-its-buses-into-mobile-coronavirus-vaccination-sites/ Massachusetts news, politics, crime, commentary | Boston Herald urn:uuid:4dba0bab-6c0c-21c0-8f2d-6a183b5ce75f Sat, 06 Feb 2021 18:01:31 +0000 A South Boston bus company whose business has dropped dramatically since the coronavirus pandemic hit last year is looking at transforming its fleet into mobile vaccination centers. <p>A South Boston bus company whose business has dropped dramatically since the coronavirus pandemic hit last year is looking at transforming its fleet into mobile vaccination centers.</p> <p>Yankee Line already has redesigned a portion of its 70 buses to each accommodate six vaccination stations and is in talks with the federal, state and local government about repurposing them for the state&#8217;s vaccine rollout, said Michael Costa, the company&#8217;s manager.</p> <p>&#8220;Our industry, which is mostly tourism-based, has been brought to a standstill, so we&#8217;re eager to pivot our idle resources,&#8221; Costa said. &#8220;We&#8217;re tired of doing nothing.&#8221;</p> <p>In the buses that have been reconfigured, he said, about half of their 50 seats have been removed to make room for the vaccination stations; each would have refrigeration for the Moderna vaccine, which has to be frozen at about minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit; and each would have space for dry-ice storage for the Pfizer vaccine, which has to be kept at about minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit.</p> <p>The buses also would have ramps to make them handicapped-accessible, as well as Wi-Fi and power outlets for laptops needed for record keeping, Costa said.</p> <p>The buses could go virtually anywhere they&#8217;re needed, including workplaces so that employees don&#8217;t have to take time off to get a vaccine, he said.</p> <p>&#8220;We&#8217;re not in the business of doing this, but we&#8217;re excited to pivot to help us move forward,&#8221; Costa said.</p> <p>A spokesperson for the city said Yankee has contacted officials, who are interested in learning more.</p> <p>The company also has contacted the American Bus Association, whose members would have the ability to transform as many as 1,500 buses into mobile vaccination sites from New England to Hawaii, Costa said</p> <p>Yankee&#8217;s tourism business is down by as much as 99%, he said, and the rest of its business — including transporting the National Guard, commuters to work, and people to conventions — has been cut roughly in half.</p> <p>&#8220;We&#8217;re looking at (mobile vaccination sites) as a temporary way to ride out this storm,&#8221; Costa said. &#8220;We&#8217;re eager to go back to business as usual. We don&#8217;t want to do this full time.&#8221;</p> <p>Currently, the state&#8217;s at the start of its second phase of vaccinations. The first phase included first responders, health care workers and people living in congregate settings, and the first part of this second phase, which started a week ago, includes people ages 75 and up. The third phase, likely coming in April, will be for the general public with no restrictions.</p> In coronavirus vaccine rollout, Massachusetts community health centers play critical role https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/06/in-rollout-of-vaccine-community-health-centers-play-a-critical-role/ Massachusetts news, politics, crime, commentary | Boston Herald urn:uuid:013ae2e3-977c-afa9-256d-946991f025f8 Sat, 06 Feb 2021 17:13:35 +0000 In the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine, Massachusetts and its municipalities have turned to a small but formidable brigade: community and neighborhood health centers that have earned the trust of their patients and are willing to go the extra mile to get them vaccinated. <p>In the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine, Massachusetts and its municipalities have turned to a small but formidable brigade: community and neighborhood health centers that have earned the trust of their patients and are willing to go the extra mile to get them vaccinated.</p> <p>&#8220;Community health centers are critical to getting vaccines into people’s arms &#8230; in the communities hit hardest by this pandemic,&#8221; said Caitlin McLaughlin, a Boston Public Health Commission spokeswoman.</p> <p>Many of them are communities of color with memories that stretch back to the Tuskegee Study, an experiment the federal government conducted from 1932 to 1972 on 400 black male sharecroppers infected with syphilis. They were told that they were receiving free health care, but the purpose of the experiment was merely to learn how syphilis affected black subjects.</p> <p>The memory of that experiment, together with poor treatment some people of color have received at hospitals and misinformation about the vaccine on social media, have made them distrust the government&#8217;s rollout of the coronavirus vaccine.</p> <p>&#8220;You can open up as many vaccination sites as you like, but if the community doesn&#8217;t trust you, they&#8217;re going to be hesitant to get a vaccine,&#8221; said Stan A. McLaren, president and CEO of the Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center, which has been treating people in Dorchester since 1969.</p> <p>McLaren and his staff of 115 people are urging people to get vaccinated partly through public-service announcements and paid ads in historically black newspapers like the Bay State Banner, as well as Haitian and Latino radio and television stations. The health center also has been urging bodega store employees to get vaccinated and will be putting up flyers in those stores to encourage customers to do the same.</p> <p>Before the Whittier Street Health Center in Roxbury began vaccinating people at its two locations, it held a series of focus groups in the community.</p> <p>&#8220;People wanted to know who were in the clinical trials, the side effects, how the vaccine was developed so quickly,&#8221; said Frederica Williams, the center&#8217;s president and CEO. &#8220;We were able to explain to them and assure them and not minimize what they were saying.&#8221;</p> <p>Like the Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center, the Whittier has run public-service announcements on social media, including on its YouTube channel, showing black and brown people getting vaccinated.</p> <p>&#8220;The message is: We trust the science, and we want you to trust us,&#8221; Williams said.</p> <p>If people 75 or older can&#8217;t get to the center on their own, she said, the center will send one of its three vans to pick them up.</p> <p>&#8220;The longer-range plan if we have the supply is to use our vans to vaccinate people,&#8221; Williams said. &#8220;Churches, nursing homes, public housing are all calling us.&#8221;</p> <p>The East Boston Neighborhood Health Center has received 4,000 doses of the vaccine for people 75 or older at the center and three other sites: the South End, Revere and La Colaborativa in Chelsea.</p> <p>All of those communities have been hard hit by the virus because they have large numbers of essential workers who don&#8217;t have the option of working from home and who have to take mass transit, and people who can&#8217;t isolate because they live in multi-generational housing, said Manny Lopes, president and CEO of the center, which has more than 25 interpreters for the diverse population it serves.</p> <p>Gladys Vega, La Colaborativa&#8217;s executive director, said she and her staff plan to knock on doors, going from house to house, telling people to make an appointment because the vaccine is safe.</p> <p>To date, more than 58,000 doses have been distributed to 60 community health centers, according to the state&#8217;s COVID Command Center, and more will be disseminated as the federal vaccine supply ramps up.</p> <p>Michael Curry, president and CEO of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, said every center has gotten the vaccine, but nowhere close to what&#8217;s needed for its patient population.</p> <p>&#8220;This is our national Katrina,&#8221; Curry said, referring to the 2005 Category 5 hurricane that had been forecast as early as three days before it killed 1,800 people and caused $125 billion in damage in New Orleans and the surrounding area. &#8220;We should have known that immigrant communities would be hesitant about the vaccine. We should have known that African Americans coming out of neglect, experimentation and abuse would have a higher level of distrust.</p> <p>&#8220;It&#8217;s critically important to have any COVID response lead with trusted entities that speak the language, know the culture and have pre-existing relationships with people,&#8221; he said. &#8220;That&#8217;s our way through this pandemic.&#8221;</p> Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence injured in Brockton https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/05/oscar-winner-jennifer-lawrence-injured-in-brockton/ Massachusetts news, politics, crime, commentary | Boston Herald urn:uuid:2b219a99-353e-ba29-a384-1ac2a773b76c Sat, 06 Feb 2021 01:38:10 +0000 Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence was injured on the job in Brockton when filming a scene for her Netflix movie "Don't Look Up," the Herald confirmed. <p>Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence was injured on the job in Brockton when filming a scene for her Netflix movie &#8220;Don&#8217;t Look Up,&#8221; the Herald confirmed.</p> <p>The accident occurred Friday at the intersection of Main Street and Legion Parkway while filming an action sequence, the Herald was told.</p> <p>As for her injury, it was said to be minor &#8212; but numerous outlets from the New York Post to TMZ report she may have been hit in the face or eye with glass. The Herald was told the film crew will be back at work bright and early Saturday.</p> <p>A Brockton Enterprise photographer who said he witnessed the accident said Lawrence was injured after a trash bin was thrown into the window of a building. The actress was seen falling to the ground right after and was immediately helped by fellow actor Timothee Chalamet.</p> <p>She was brought inside the nearby building, the photographer added, and then someone on a loudspeaker announced: &#8220;It&#8217;s a wrap.&#8221;</p> <p>The 30-year-old Lawrence has been seen all over Greater Boston as she films the Netflix movie co-starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The film crew also reportedly tied up traffic on the Mass Pike this week &#8212; that drew a rebuke from Gov. Charlie Baker who said it was news to him, but rules around what movie companies can do are strictly listed.</p> <p>The New York Post&#8217;s <a href="https://pagesix.com/2021/02/05/jennifer-lawrence-injured-on-set-of-movie-dont-look-up/?_ga=2.88955035.1858591332.1612391320-656224457.1540679782">&#8220;Page Six&#8221;</a> reports Lawrence has been seen filming in a flame-red wig as her character, Kate Dibiasky. In one recent scene, Page Six says, she was snapped wearing a Michigan State sweatshirt, and while on the Manhattan set, she was in a more stylish trench coat.</p> <p>The A-list cast also includes Chalamet, Cate Blanchett, Jonah Hill, Ariana Grande, Matthew Perry and the disaster comedy is directed by Adam McKay, whose credits include “The Big Short” and “Vice,&#8221; the Post added.</p> <p>The Netflix &#8220;<a href="https://about.netflix.com/en/news/adam-mckay-comedy-dont-look-up-starring-jennifer-lawrence-lands-at-netflix">newsroom</a>,&#8221; which posts press releases, had yet to address the mishap as of late Friday night. It did, however, say the flick &#8220;tells the story of two low-level astronomers, who must go on a giant media tour to warn mankind of an approaching asteroid that will destroy planet earth.&#8221;</p> <p>It&#8217;s a comedy, the site adds.</p> <p>Lawrence is one of Hollywood&#8217;s top stars. She won the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in “Silver Linings Playbook” and has been nominated for three additional Oscars for “Joy,” “American Hustle” and “Winter’s Bone.” She was also the star of the &#8220;Hunger Games&#8221; series of films.</p> <p>Netflix says the film will be released later this year.</p> <p>Director McKay, Netflix adds, said he&#8217;s “thrilled to make this movie with Jen Lawrence. She’s what folks in the 17th century used to call &#8216;a dynamite act.&#8217; And the fact that Netflix sees this movie as a worldwide comedy sets the bar high for me and my team in an exciting and motivating way.”</p> <figure id="attachment_2263825" class="wp-caption aligncenter"><img loading="lazy" class=" lazyautosizes lazyload" src="https://i1.wp.com/www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/AP19156162074405.jpg?fit=620%2C9999px&amp;ssl=1" sizes="370px" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/AP19156162074405.jpg?fit=620%2C9999px&amp;ssl=1 620w,https://i1.wp.com/www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/AP19156162074405.jpg?fit=310%2C9999px&amp;ssl=1 310w" width="763" height="507" data-sizes="auto" data-src="https://i1.wp.com/www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/AP19156162074405.jpg?fit=620%2C9999px&amp;ssl=1" data-srcset="https://i1.wp.com/www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/AP19156162074405.jpg?fit=620%2C9999px&amp;ssl=1 620w,https://i1.wp.com/www.bostonherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/AP19156162074405.jpg?fit=310%2C9999px&amp;ssl=1 310w" /><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Cast member Jennifer Lawrence at the Los Angeles premiere of &#8220;Dark Phoenix&#8221; at TCL Chinese Theatre on Tuesday, June 4, 2019. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)</figcaption></figure> <p>&nbsp;</p> Neal says Biden coronavirus relief plan likely to pass before unemployment benefits expire in March https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/05/neal-says-biden-coronavirus-relief-plan-likely-to-pass-before-unemployment-benefits-expire-in-march/ Massachusetts news, politics, crime, commentary | Boston Herald urn:uuid:90448c4a-74ef-d45a-09d0-f77fe01f2c73 Sat, 06 Feb 2021 01:13:45 +0000 U.S. Rep. Richard Neal indicated that the next round of coronavirus relief could get approved before crucial unemployment benefits expire in mid-March. <p>U.S. Rep. Richard Neal indicated that the next round of coronavirus relief could get approved before crucial unemployment benefits expire in mid-March.</p> <p>Neal, who heads the House Ways and Means Committee, was part of a group of 13 House leaders and committee chairs who met with President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House on Friday to discuss the administration&#8217;s $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan.&#8221;</p> <p>&#8220;We also are on a timeline to get this done before unemployment benefits begin to expire in the middle of March,&#8221; Neal told reporters on a press call Friday.</p> <p>The U.S. House voted by a slim margin to approve a budget plan passed by the U.S. Senate — with Harris serving as the tie-breaking vote — that allows the president&#8217;s $1.9 trillion aid package to begin working its way through congressional committees. The plan passed without Republican support.</p> <p>“We have been focused like a laser on getting this done,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said after the leading House Democrats met with Biden on Friday. “We hope to be able to put vaccines in people’s arms, money in people’s pockets, children safely in schools and workers in their jobs. That’s what we are doing now.”</p> <p>The stimulus package would include checks of up to $1,400 for low- and moderate-income families. While details on the parameters of those checks were not immediately clear, Neal said Biden &#8220;would not retreat&#8221; on them.</p> <p>&#8220;The president indicated he is still open to suggestions that people might have. He indicated a willingness to target the impact payments to make sure that the people that needed it the most received the checks, but he would not retreat,&#8221; on the dollar amount, Neal said, &#8220;And he will not retreat on the size of the package of $1.9 trillion.&#8221;</p> <p>Biden&#8217;s proposal would also extend key jobless benefits at a time when the economy is showing new signs of weakening. Employers added just 49,000 jobs in January, according to the latest Labor Department report, after cutting 227,000 jobs in December.</p> <p>Biden has expressed hope of passing his relief package with bipartisan support. But as some Republicans call for slowing down or scaling back the effort, the president has also indicated his party is willing to go it alone.</p> <p>&#8220;I know some in Congress think we’ve already done enough to deal with the crisis in the country. Others think that things are getting better and we can afford to sit back and either do a little or do nothing at all,&#8221; Biden said in remarks on Friday.</p> <p>&#8220;If I have to choose between getting help right now to Americans who are hurting so badly and getting bogged down in a lengthy negotiation or compromising on a bill &#8230; that’s an easy choice,&#8221; Biden said. &#8220;I’m going to help the American people who are hurting now.&#8221;</p> <p>Still Biden conceded a key element of his plan — hiking the minimum wage to $15 an hour — was unlikely to become law.</p> <p><em>Herald wire services contributed to this report.</em></p> Biden admin preserves DACA, Harvard students help immigrants with applications https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/05/biden-admin-preserves-daca-harvard-students-help-immigrants-with-applications/ Massachusetts news, politics, crime, commentary | Boston Herald urn:uuid:c780db74-08b0-fbbd-d55e-d3cb75f5b80c Fri, 05 Feb 2021 19:19:22 +0000 Immigration reform presented by the Biden administration has led to an influx in immigrants seeking assistance with DACA applications, and a local organization founded by Harvard students is offering free help. <p>Immigration reform presented by the Biden administration has led to an influx in immigrants seeking assistance with DACA applications, and a local organization founded by Harvard students is offering free help.</p> <p>“I&#8217;m the son of a Mexican immigrant so I remember my mom went through a very long naturalization process and I want to be part of a team that helps streamline these processes,&#8221; said Fernando Urbina, founding member of <a href="https://www.immigrationhelp.org/">ImmigrationHelp.org</a>, a nonprofit that helps people prepare their immigration forms for free.</p> <p>Urbina, a junior at Harvard studying government, started the organization in 2019 and has joined with other students and lawyers to review immigrants&#8217; forms, documents and applications online so they are error-free before getting sent off to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.</p> <p>That review process can sometimes cost thousands of dollars when done by an attorney.</p> <p>“We want to help individuals bypass those high costs,&#8221; said Urbina, adding that the volunteers mostly help with DACA applications, but also work on green cards and permits.</p> <p>The organization helps immigrants in Massachusetts and across the country. In the last month, more than 500 people used ImmigrationHelp, and Urbina said he expects interest to keep growing.</p> <p>On his first day in office, President Biden signed an <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/20/preserving-and-fortifying-deferred-action-for-childhood-arrivals-daca/">executive order</a> to preserve Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which protects some undocumented immigrations from deportation if they were brought here as children, have obeyed the law and stayed in school.</p> <p>The Trump administration had unsuccessfully tried to terminate DACA, and did not accept new, first-time applicants.</p> <p>“There&#8217;s a lot less fear surrounding immigration, people feel a lot more comfortable applying now,&#8221; Urbina said.</p> <p>Jaya Nayar, a Harvard freshman, volunteered with ImmigrationHelp last month after seeing her family members in India struggle to try and come to the U.S. for many years.</p> <p>“I&#8217;ve always been passionate about immigration because it&#8217;s something I&#8217;ve always been so connected to even though I&#8217;m not an immigrant,&#8221; Nayar said.</p> <p>She said the experience made her realize a passion for wanting to do more nonprofit work in the future.</p> <p>&#8220;I think it will go a really long way to helping immigrants access the legal help they really need,&#8221; Nayar said of the organization.</p> <p>Urbina said he looks forward to helping more immigrants as the organization becomes busier and policy surrounding immigration continues to develop and change.</p> <p>“For me it means so much. Coming from a family of immigrants I know how important immigrants are to our society and how the U.S. is built upon immigrants,&#8221; said Urbina.</p> UMass Amherst cracks down on parties, visitors, dining as Massachusetts reports 2,982 new coronavirus cases https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/05/massachusetts-coronavirus-cases-increase-by-2982-with-74-new-deaths/ Massachusetts news, politics, crime, commentary | Boston Herald urn:uuid:8a3f1f85-e97f-aec7-a2b9-5c88ac71da0c Fri, 05 Feb 2021 18:52:21 +0000 UMass Amherst is cracking down on gatherings, visitors and dining due to a rise in coronavirus cases among undergraduate students, the university announced Friday, as state health officials reported 74 new coronavirus deaths and 2,982 new cases. <p>UMass Amherst is cracking down on gatherings, visitors and dining due to a rise in coronavirus cases among undergraduate students, the university announced Friday, as state health officials reported 74 new coronavirus deaths and 2,982 new cases.</p> <p>Restrictions at UMass Amherst include no student gatherings of any kind on or off campus, grab and go dining only, no visitors allowed on campus and restricted building access.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-width="500" data-dnt="true"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Effective 3:00 p.m. today:</p> <p>Given a concerning rise in new positive COVID-19 cases, predominantly among undergraduate students, the operational posture of the campus has been changed to &quot;Elevated.&quot; This institutes new restrictions on many everyday activities: (1/4)</p> <p>&mdash; UMass Amherst (@UMassAmherst) <a href="https://twitter.com/UMassAmherst/status/1357746079110987776?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 5, 2021</a></p></blockquote> <p><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></p> <p>The restrictions come as the state&#8217;s Friday count of 2,982 cases follows Thursday&#8217;s tally of 2,602 and Wednesday’s count of 2,186 cases.</p> <p>The 74 new virus deaths and one new probable virus deaths bring the state’s total COVID-19 death toll to 14,857. The seven-day average of daily deaths is now 42, compared to 74 daily deaths three weeks ago. The death average peaked with 175 daily deaths in late April.</p> <p>The seven-day average of confirmed cases is now 1,828, a drop from an average of 6,236 cases in the first week of January.</p> <p>The count of estimated active cases in the Bay State is now 59,934, a significant decrease from 98,750 at the start of the year.</p> <p>Statewide hospitalizations have also been declining. Hospitalizations on Friday went down by 51 patients, bringing the total to 1,503 patients.</p> <p>The seven-day average of the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 has declined from 2,347 patients on Jan. 7 to an average of 1,651 patients now.</p> <p>The seven-day weighted average of the state’s positive test rate — removing higher education — has also gone down in recent weeks. The rate is now 5.1% after peaking at 9.4% at the start of January.</p> <p>Of Massachusetts’ total virus deaths, 8,206 deaths have been tied to long-term care facilities, an increase of 80 from Thursday.</p> <p>The United States continues to struggle with controlling the pandemic, but has also seem similar declines in coronavirus rates recently. There have been a total of 26.7 million cases and 458,000 Americans have died.</p> State phone line now available to eligible residents looking to schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointment https://www.news10.com/news/mass-news/governor-baker-to-provide-covid-19-vaccination-update/ Massachusetts News | NEWS10 ABC urn:uuid:aad78469-8cc5-5afe-8b29-c0c9b9e77ae3 Fri, 05 Feb 2021 17:58:21 +0000 Governor Charlie Baker is scheduled to provide an update on the COVID-19 vaccination process Friday morning. <p>BOSTON (WWLP) - Governor Baker provided an update from the State House on Massachusetts' COVID-19 vaccination status. </p> <p>Baker announced a phone line people can call, to make a COVID-19 vaccine appointment.</p> <p>This is something that people have been asking for, for weeks now. Starting Friday, people 75 and older can call this phone line to make a COVID-19 vaccine appointment.</p> <p><strong>The phone number is 211</strong> and it is open now. Callers should select the prompt: "Help for scheduling a vaccine." Phone lines are open from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.wwlp.com/news/massachusetts/baker-goal-million-vaccinations-a-month-by-spring/" class="promo-link__link" > Baker goal: Million vaccinations a month by spring </a> </aside> </div> <p>Before this phone line, people could only book appointments online. This was a big issue for elderly residents who either don't know how to use a computer or don't have access to one.</p> <p>Cities like Springfield were helping residents sign up for vaccine slots but it was still a difficult process. People using the online sign up have called it a "maze of links" and have been asking the state to create a phone line for elderly people to use instead.</p> <p>Governor Baker also said that there are still 20,000 available vaccine appointments for time slots next week at mass vaccination sites across the state, including at the Eastfield Mall.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.wwlp.com/news/health/coronavirus-local-impact/find-a-vaccine-site-near-you-and-book-an-appointment-if-youre-eligible/" class="promo-link__link" > Find a vaccine site near you and book an appointment if you’re eligible </a> </aside> </div> <p>Governor Charlie Baker said Wednesday that 120,000 new appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations will be made available for next week as the state continues to scramble to improve the rollout of its vaccination program. </p> <p>There are currently 125 vaccination sites in Massachusetts, and the Baker-Polito Administration expects this will increase to 165 sites by mid-February. </p> Charlie Baker climate official blasted for comments to ‘break your will’ over emissions [+video] https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/05/baker-climate-official-blasted-for-comments-to-break-your-will-over-emissionsvideo/ Massachusetts news, politics, crime, commentary | Boston Herald urn:uuid:15504550-fd5b-de9c-7b1a-11326694ff86 Fri, 05 Feb 2021 17:56:28 +0000 The state's $130,000-a-year undersecretary for climate change is being blasted by a fiscal watchdog for saying the administration needs to “break" the will of taxpayers when it comes to heating homes and driving cars. <p>The state&#8217;s $130,000-a-year undersecretary for climate change is being blasted by a fiscal watchdog for saying the administration needs to “break&#8221; the will of taxpayers when it comes to heating homes and driving cars.</p> <p><iframe class='youtube-player' width='640' height='360' src='https://www.youtube.com/embed/muxVGmgykA4?version=3&#038;rel=1&#038;showsearch=0&#038;showinfo=1&#038;iv_load_policy=1&#038;fs=1&#038;hl=en-US&#038;autohide=2&#038;wmode=transparent' allowfullscreen='true' style='border:0;' sandbox='allow-scripts allow-same-origin allow-popups allow-presentation'></iframe></p> <p>The video shows David Ismay, Gov. Charlie Baker’s under secretary for climate change, telling Vermont climate advocates that it&#8217;s time to go after homeowners and motorists to help reduce emissions.</p> <p>At the end of the clip, he adds: &#8220;I can&#8217;t even say that publicly.&#8221;</p> <p>Ismay did not return a Herald request for comment Friday.</p> <p>Asked about the video during a press conference, Baker said he and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito had seen the video earlier that morning. He added Climate Secretary Kathleen Theoharides, Ismay&#8217;s boss, is also aware of it.</p> <p>&#8220;First of all, no one who works in our administration should ever say or think anything like that — ever,&#8221; the governor said. &#8220;Secondly, Secretary Theoharides is going to have a conversation with him about that.&#8221;</p> <p>Baker continued, &#8220;And the third — and one of the main reasons we didn&#8217;t sign the climate bill when it got to our desk was because we were specifically concerned about the impact that it&#8217;s going to have on people&#8217;s ability to pay for many of the pieces that were in it, which means it also doesn&#8217;t represent the administration policy or position.&#8221;</p> <aside class="related left"><h2 class="widget-title" data-curated-ids="2233187" data-relation-type="curated">Related Articles</h2><ul><li> <a class="article-title" href="https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/01/05/2020-massachusetts-state-employee-payroll-executive-branch/" title="2020 Massachusetts state employee payroll: Executive branch and more&#8230;"> <span class="dfm-title"> 2020 Massachusetts state employee payroll: Executive branch and more&#8230; </span> </a> </li></ul></aside> <p>In the video posted by MassFiscal Alliance, Ismay says the state needs to “break their will” and “turn the screws on” ordinary people to force changes in their consumption of heating fuels and gasoline. Ismay described the ordinary people as the “person across the street” and the “senior on fixed income.”</p> <p>In the clip, he starts by saying there is &#8220;no bad guy left&#8221; in Massachusetts and that 60% of emissions comes from &#8220;residential heating and passenger vehicles.&#8221;</p> <p>This all comes as sweeping climate policy legislation is being pushed that would force net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, set interim emission reduction targets, establish appliance energy efficiency standards and authorize additional purchases of offshore wind power. Baker has until Sunday to sign, reject or amend that bill.</p> <p>Also part of the debate is the Transportation Climate Initiative championed by Baker that aims to reduce motor vehicle pollution by at least 26% and generate over $1.8 billion in Massachusetts by 2032, according to a deal Massachusetts signed with Rhode Island, Connecticut and Washington, D.C.</p> <p>It will up the price of gas by 5 to 7 cents per gallon, according to state estimates. Eight other states are still considering the deal.</p> <p>Paul Diego Craney, spokesman for MassFiscal, said the video clip provides a &#8220;sneak peek into the minds of regulators&#8221; with Ismay&#8217;s harsh rhetoric.</p> <p>Ismay’s direct quote is: “So let me say that again, 60% of our emissions that need to be reduced come from you, the person across the street, the senior on fixed income, right … there is no bad guy left, at least in Massachusetts to point the finger at, to turn the screws on, and you know, to break their will, so they stop emitting. That’s you. We have to break your will. Right, I can’t even say that publicly.”</p> <p>The remarks were made on Jan. 25 at the Vermont Climate Council meeting.</p> <p>Craney added it&#8217;s &#8220;frightening to think an official so high up in the Baker administration is bragging to an out-of-state group about the economic pain he wants to inflict on the very people who he’s supposed to work for.”</p> COVID-19 in Massachusetts: 74 new deaths, 2,602 new cases https://www.news10.com/news/covid-19-in-massachusetts-74-new-deaths-2602-new-cases/ Massachusetts News | NEWS10 ABC urn:uuid:6b1b9e53-cfbf-b740-44e7-dcb17092762e Fri, 05 Feb 2021 17:33:09 +0000 State public health officials reported 74 newly confirmed deaths and 2,602 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts. <p id="block-29a112ee-c350-4e7b-a938-93df359988ff">BOSTON (<a href="https://www.wwlp.com/news/health/coronavirus-local-impact/covid-19-in-massachusetts-74-new-deaths-2602-new-cases/">WWLP</a>) – State public health officials reported 74 newly confirmed deaths and 2,602 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts.</p> <h2 id="block-30d154fd-543a-4476-81c5-e1185f65444f">Total COVID-19 Cases by Age Group:</h2> <ul id="block-eaeb52e2-4126-4f9c-b2fc-5671bb0d9979"><li>0-19 years: 9,817</li><li>20-29 years: 8,504</li><li>30-39 years: 7,001</li><li>40-49 years: 6,362</li><li>50-59 years: 6,897</li><li>60-69 years: 4,754</li><li>70-79 years: 2,474</li><li>80+ years: 1,823</li></ul> <h2 id="block-524803ce-fa8a-4160-902f-39fdcdd88d43">Testing:</h2> <p id="block-05941d8c-e797-4d05-a126-cc4fcccd8d6b">According to the Department of Public Health, 81,286 new tests were performed with an overall of 13,955,444 molecular tests administered. Of those, 4,636,805 tests were first time tests and 9,318,639 were repeat tests.</p> <p id="block-6fc21e31-9393-4b99-8644-9436c0ba9220"><strong>Antigen Tests</strong>: A total of 3,010 new individuals have tested positive&nbsp;with 487,573 total tests reported.</p> <p id="block-30c17eb7-3209-47aa-937a-ad69fffe0b28">The current turn around time for a molecular test is 1.90 days. The 7-day average of percent positivity is 3.29%.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.news10.com/news/dph-15-western-massachusetts-communities-at-high-risk-for-covid-19/" class="promo-link__link" target=&quot;_blank&quot; > DPH: 15 western Massachusetts communities at high-risk for COVID-19 </a> </aside> </div> <h2 id="block-c4af20bb-8227-4bec-9e60-22ca6d1dc9b1">Hospitalizations:</h2> <p id="block-2fce79a5-0828-42ad-a820-04aa6c96c7cf">1,554 patients are currently&nbsp;hospitalized&nbsp;with COVID-19 with 335 patients that are in intensive care units and 208 patients intubated. The average age of patients currently hospitalized is 68-years-old.</p> <p id="block-b9a47685-af44-4ed8-9bf5-4b8f54d740f7">As of Thursday, 84.2% of medical/surgical beds are occupied and 79% of ICU beds are occupied. There are currently 41 beds occupied through alternate medical sites.</p> <p id="block-2ee3f2c6-f9e1-407d-b329-3478df4a92d5">In western Massachusetts, there are a total of 1,194 medical/surgical beds with 979 that are occupied. The ICU units have a total of 153 beds and 97 of them are occupied.</p> <h2 id="block-94df7ebe-6998-4704-a4df-864a5631d798">Confirmed COVID-19 Cases:</h2> <ul id="block-2355fff3-ed36-4b4b-a5a1-fedc5cb7cb04"><li>New Cases: 2,602</li><li>Total Cases: 507,166</li><li>Estimated Active Cases: 61,864</li><li>New Deaths: 74 </li><li>Total Deaths: 14,489</li></ul> <h2 id="block-ef6a066c-c987-43a3-aee7-3bc01fd3394e">Probable COVID-19 Cases</h2> <ul id="block-76d994d9-0a3d-4c6b-8831-489c59ff852e"><li>New Cases: 202</li><li>Total Cases: 26,755</li><li>New Deaths: 2</li><li>Total Deaths: 295</li></ul> <h2 id="block-7017994d-cda8-4eef-be94-a218f78456b2">Hampden County:</h2> <ul id="block-f5150877-13e4-42ad-bd64-83c2769c10a7"><li>New Confirmed Cases: 180</li><li>Total Confirmed Cases: 37,911</li><li>New Deaths: 5</li><li>Total Confirmed and Probable Deaths: 1,215</li></ul> <h2 id="block-2dacb73a-3b91-4372-ae20-ca2830248913">Hampshire County:</h2> <ul id="block-5e920c7f-646b-4c2d-83b5-d36d66ccbf97"><li>New Confirmed Cases: 114</li><li>Total Confirmed Cases: 5,905</li><li>New Deaths: 0</li><li>Total Confirmed and Probable Deaths: 236</li></ul> <h2 id="block-2289809a-4f3a-44f9-86d0-c3e120da7a1d">Franklin County:</h2> <ul id="block-d01e2b67-dd83-4d10-befd-9e0992e75e47"><li>New Confirmed Cases: 11</li><li>Total Confirmed Cases: 1,808</li><li>New Deaths: 0</li><li>Total Confirmed and Probable Deaths: 98</li></ul> <h2 id="block-45495291-5263-410d-997d-8a4997566d85">Berkshire County:</h2> <ul id="block-3e053642-1f54-4cce-8003-18826994b4ef"><li>New Confirmed Cases: 15</li><li>Total Confirmed Cases: 4,584</li><li>New Deaths: 2</li><li>Total Confirmed and Probable Deaths: 224</li></ul> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.news10.com/news/mass-news/governor-baker-to-provide-covid-19-vaccination-update/" class="promo-link__link" target=&quot;_blank&quot; > State phone line now available to eligible residents looking to schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointment </a> </aside> </div> <h2 id="block-3269057a-b27a-4364-b971-b594700f6a28">Higher Education:</h2> <p id="block-6660e130-6379-4b1d-a879-946b32757620">There are 1,044 new cases in the last week with a total of 9,753 confirmed COVID-19 cases in higher education institutions. In the last week there were 233,579 new tests reported with a total of 4,049,869 tests performed.</p> <h2 id="block-6cc7c451-217f-4f0a-b12a-0055848009c6">COVID-19 Cases in Long-Term Care Facilities:</h2> <ul id="block-014fa901-3a6a-4c8c-871a-33fd2c9c5f5f"><li>Residents/Healthcare workers with probable or confirmed COVID-19: 34,105</li><li>Facilities reporting at least one probable or confirmed case of COVID-19: 421</li><li>Probable or confirmed COVID-19 deaths: 8,187</li></ul> DPH: 15 western Massachusetts communities at high-risk for COVID-19 https://www.news10.com/news/dph-15-western-massachusetts-communities-at-high-risk-for-covid-19/ Massachusetts News | NEWS10 ABC urn:uuid:a2d66619-c6b0-61d1-d9fe-9512a1f7c2c2 Fri, 05 Feb 2021 17:09:47 +0000 The number of high-risk communities in western Massachusetts continues to trend downward, as state public health officials reported 15 red zones Thursday. <p>BOSTON (<a href="https://www.wwlp.com/news/health/coronavirus-local-impact/dph-15-western-massachusetts-communities-at-high-risk-for-covid-19/">WWLP</a>) - The number of high-risk communities in western Massachusetts continues to trend downward, as state public health officials reported 15 red zones Thursday. This is a big decrease compared to previous weeks where over 20 high-risk zones were reported in the western part of the state. </p> <p>As of Thursday, February 4, the following local towns/cities remain at high risk for COVID-19: </p> <ul><li>Adams&nbsp;</li><li>Agawam&nbsp;</li><li>Chicopee&nbsp;</li><li>Granby&nbsp;</li><li>Great Barrington&nbsp;</li><li>Hampden&nbsp;</li><li>Holyoke&nbsp;</li><li>Ludlow&nbsp;</li><li>Monson&nbsp;</li><li>Palmer&nbsp;</li><li>Southampton&nbsp;</li><li>Southwick&nbsp;</li><li>Springfield&nbsp;</li><li>West Springfield&nbsp;</li><li>Westfield&nbsp;</li></ul> <figure class="wp-block-gallery columns-2 is-cropped"><ul class="blocks-gallery-grid"><li class="blocks-gallery-item"><figure><img loading="lazy" src="https://www.wwlp.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/26/2021/02/covid-dph-1.jpg" srcset="https://www.wwlp.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/26/2021/02/covid-dph-1.jpg?w=160 160w, https://www.wwlp.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/26/2021/02/covid-dph-1.jpg?w=256 256w, https://www.wwlp.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/26/2021/02/covid-dph-1.jpg?w=320 320w, https://www.wwlp.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/26/2021/02/covid-dph-1.jpg?w=640 640w, https://www.wwlp.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/26/2021/02/covid-dph-1.jpg?w=876 876w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 876px" alt="" data-id="696553" data-full-url="https://www.wwlp.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/26/2021/02/covid-dph-1.jpg" data-link="https://www.wwlp.com/?attachment_id=696553" class="wp-image-696553"/></figure></li><li class="blocks-gallery-item"><figure><img loading="lazy" src="https://www.wwlp.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/26/2021/02/covid-dph.jpg" srcset="https://www.wwlp.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/26/2021/02/covid-dph.jpg?w=160 160w, https://www.wwlp.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/26/2021/02/covid-dph.jpg?w=256 256w, https://www.wwlp.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/26/2021/02/covid-dph.jpg?w=320 320w, https://www.wwlp.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/26/2021/02/covid-dph.jpg?w=640 640w, https://www.wwlp.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/26/2021/02/covid-dph.jpg?w=876 876w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 876px" alt="" data-id="696554" data-full-url="https://www.wwlp.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/26/2021/02/covid-dph.jpg" data-link="https://www.wwlp.com/?attachment_id=696554" class="wp-image-696554"/></figure></li></ul></figure> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.news10.com/news/mass-news/governor-baker-to-provide-covid-19-vaccination-update/" class="promo-link__link" target=&quot;_blank&quot; > State phone line now available to eligible residents looking to schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointment </a> </aside> </div> <p>The Massachusetts Department of Public Health takes population size into account when determining an area’s level of COVID-19 spread.  </p> <p>There are now more than 20 communities at moderate-risk for the virus.&nbsp;</p> <p>Most of those areas have transitioned from the red zone to the yellow zone list including Amherst, Belchertown, Brimfield, Dalton, Deerfield, East Longmeadow, Easthampton,&nbsp;Greenfield, Hadley, Lee, Lenox, Longmeadow, Montague, North Adams, Northampton,&nbsp;Orange,&nbsp;Pittsfield,&nbsp;Russell,&nbsp;South Hadley, Ware,&nbsp;Wilbraham, Williamstown. </p> <p>Last week, state health officials reported 17 western Massachusetts areas in the yellow zone, meaning less than or 25 total COVID-19 cases were reported in those communities.&nbsp;</p> <p>There are now seven green zones, low-risk communities, in western Massachusetts:&nbsp;</p> <ul><li>Blandford&nbsp;&nbsp;</li><li>Erving&nbsp;&nbsp;</li><li>Hatfield&nbsp;&nbsp;</li><li>Holland&nbsp;</li><li>Huntington&nbsp;&nbsp;</li><li>Otis&nbsp;</li><li>Sunderland&nbsp;</li></ul> <p>Also on Thursday, the DPH reported 74 new COVID-related deaths along with 2,602 new cases in Massachusetts. </p> <p>Overall, the state has reported 504,564 COVID cases and 14,416 COVID-related deaths since the outbreak began in early March.</p> Watch Live: Charlie Baker expected to give details regarding Massachusetts coronavirus vaccine call center https://www.bostonherald.com/2021/02/05/watch-live-charlie-baker-expected-to-give-details-regarding-massachusetts-coronavirus-vaccine-call-center/ Massachusetts news, politics, crime, commentary | Boston Herald urn:uuid:eb7761a4-1a81-b04a-3f8d-baae3e23324f Fri, 05 Feb 2021 11:30:37 +0000 Charlie Baker expected to give details regarding Massachusetts coronavirus vaccine call center <p>Charlie Baker is expected to give details regarding Massachusetts coronavirus vaccine call center today. Click below to watch it live.</p> <p><iframe class='youtube-player' width='640' height='360' src='https://www.youtube.com/embed/u04KusqT2FI?version=3&#038;rel=1&#038;showsearch=0&#038;showinfo=1&#038;iv_load_policy=1&#038;fs=1&#038;hl=en-US&#038;autohide=2&#038;wmode=transparent' allowfullscreen='true' style='border:0;' sandbox='allow-scripts allow-same-origin allow-popups allow-presentation'></iframe></p> Governor Baker tours in-person learning school https://www.news10.com/news/mass-news/watch-live-governor-baker-tours-in-person-learning-school-provides-coronavirus-update/ Massachusetts News | NEWS10 ABC urn:uuid:06e6a9bb-65c8-2534-0c4a-2493a7c2a80f Fri, 05 Feb 2021 02:51:17 +0000 Governor Charlie Baker is scheduled to visit a school in Salem where students are learning in-person and also provide an update on state's response efforts on the coronavirus pandemic Thursday afternoon. <p>SALEM, Mass. (WWLP) - Governor Charlie Baker visited a school in Salem where students are learning in-person and also provided an update on state's response efforts on the coronavirus pandemic Thursday morning.</p> <p>Governor Baker joined Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, Secretary of Education James Peyser, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley and Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll to visit and tour Bentley Academy Innovation School, where students are learning in-person.</p> <p>The students are required to wear masks and desks are being spaced 6 feet apart, but what the governor is hoping to see other districts adopt is the teaching styles that he witnessed during the tour.</p> <p>The Salem school district has been offering in person learning for months now, and a majority of students in the community are opting to go into the classroom. During his visit, the governor noted that one of the teachers was instructing students both online and in the classroom, referring to them as roomers and zoomers.</p> <figure class="ns-block-embed-anvato" data-anvato-player-id="p10"> <div id="anvato-player-p10" class="ns-block-embed__wrapper"> <div id="p10"></div> </div> <div data-react-component="AnvatoVideoPlayer"></div> <script>window.loadAnvato({"mcp":"LIN","width":"100%","height":"100%","video":"6258627","autoplay":false,"expect_preroll":true,"pInstance":"p10","plugins":{"comscore":{"clientId":"6036439","c3":"news10.com","script":"//w3.cdn.anvato.net/player/prod/v3/plugins/comscore/comscoreplugin.min.js","useDerivedMetadata":true,"mapping":{"video":{"c3":"news10.com","ns_st_st":"wten","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"Video","cs_ucfr":""},"ad":{"c3":"news10.com","ns_st_st":"wten","ns_st_pu":"Nexstar","ns_st_ge":"Video","cs_ucfr":""}}},"dfp":{"adTagUrl":"https://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/ads?sz=1x1000&iu=/5678/mg.wten/news/massachusetts_news&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=vmap&unviewed_position_start=1&ad_rule=1&description_url=https://www.news10.com/news/mass-news/feed/&cust_params=vid%3D6258627%26vidcat%3D/news/massachusetts_news%26bob_ck%3D[bob_ck_val]%26d_code%3Dna003"}},"expectPrerollTimeout":8,"accessKey":"M2v78QkkxRrJdUParbi6H2bj8oQ6BogR","token":"eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJ2aWQiOiI2MjU4NjI3IiwiaXNzIjoiTTJ2NzhRa2t4UnJKZFVQYXJiaTZIMmJqOG9RNkJvZ1IiLCJleHAiOjE2MTI4NDAyOTd9.FZXj7XOoopV9FbjiMNnJuAzlocSl2VL6WHcmLRGT6dg","nxs":{"mp4Url":"https://nxsglobal.storage.googleapis.com/wwlp/video/video_studio/153/21/02/04/6258627/6258627_1E220B874B9242FBB7DE572B644FA854_210204_6258627_Governor_Baker_tours_Bentley_Academy_Innovation__4000.mp4"},"disableMutedAutoplay":false,"recommendations":false,"expectPreroll":true,"titleVisible":true,"pauseOnClick":true,"trackTimePeriod":60});</script> </figure> <p>Baker said, "The creativity and the imagination that she was bringing to it spoke to something that I think is critical to all of the work that's being done here in Salem and in other places."</p> <p>Officials toured the school at around 10:30 a.m. inside Bentley Academy. To help schools bring students back safely, the state is offering 'pool testing' in 120 districts. However, the testing plan has received pushback from teachers unions across the state.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.wwlp.com/news/health/coronavirus-local-impact/massachusetts-schools-to-start-covid-19-pool-testing-program-within-the-next-month/" class="promo-link__link" > Massachusetts schools to start COVID-19 pool testing program </a> </aside> </div> <p>Union members don't believe the testing plan is a sufficient way to prevent a deadly outbreak, and they're asking that teachers be moved up in the vaccine distribution process.</p> <p>Massachusetts schools will begin a new weekly pool testing program to screen students and staff for COVID-19, according to Governor Baker on Friday.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.wwlp.com/news/health/coronavirus-local-impact/business-restrictions-easing-due-to-positive-virus-trends/" class="promo-link__link" > Governor Baker Update: Business restrictions easing due to positive virus trends </a> </aside> </div> <p>Schools that are doing in-person or hybrid learning will be prioritized to get the pool testing kits, but they will be available to school systems that are doing remote-learning but are looking to get students back into the classroom.</p> North Adams man arrested by FBI in connection with Jan. 6 riots at U.S. Capitol https://www.news10.com/news/local-news/north-adams-man-arrested-by-fbi-in-connection-with-jan-6-riots-at-u-s-capitol/ Massachusetts News | NEWS10 ABC urn:uuid:87b97bbe-9dcf-c710-8a3d-448c45a26229 Thu, 04 Feb 2021 23:49:04 +0000 A Berkshire County man is among two individuals arrested by federal authorities Thursday on an arrest warrant in connection with the January 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol. <p>BOSTON (WWLP) --&nbsp;A&nbsp;Berkshire County&nbsp;man is among two individuals&nbsp;arrested by federal authorities Thursday on an arrest warrant in connection with&nbsp;the January 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol.&nbsp;</p> <p>Agents assigned to the FBI Boston Division’s Western Massachusetts Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested 33-year-old Brian McCreary, of North Adams, on a warrant issued by the U.S. Court for the District of Columbia. </p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.news10.com/top-stories/schenectady-man-accused-of-joining-insurrection-at-u-s-capitol-released-from-jail/" class="promo-link__link" target=&quot;_blank&quot; > Schenectady man accused of joining insurrection at U.S. Capitol released from jail </a> </aside> </div> <p>The FBI said McCreary was taken into custody without incident and is charged with the&nbsp;following:&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <ul><li>Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority&nbsp;</li><li>&nbsp;Knowingly Entering or Remaining in any Restricted Building or Grounds Without Lawful Authority&nbsp;</li><li>&nbsp;Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct on Capitol Grounds&nbsp;</li><li>Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct on Capitol Grounds&nbsp;</li><li>&nbsp;Violent Entry and Disorderly Conduct on Capitol Grounds&nbsp;</li></ul> <p>A photo captured of McCreary shows him standing next to the "horn man" while recording the incidents that took place at the Capitol on Wednesday, January 6, 2021.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.news10.com/news/warren-county/fbi-arrests-glens-falls-man-who-recorded-himself-smoking-pot-in-the-capitol/" class="promo-link__link" target=&quot;_blank&quot; > FBI arrests Glens Falls man who recorded himself smoking pot in the Capitol </a> </aside> </div> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img loading="lazy" width="675" src="https://www.wwlp.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/26/2021/02/Brian-McCreary-1.jpg?w=675" srcset="https://www.wwlp.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/26/2021/02/Brian-McCreary-1.jpg?w=160 160w, https://www.wwlp.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/26/2021/02/Brian-McCreary-1.jpg?w=256 256w, https://www.wwlp.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/26/2021/02/Brian-McCreary-1.jpg?w=320 320w, https://www.wwlp.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/26/2021/02/Brian-McCreary-1.jpg?w=640 640w, https://www.wwlp.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/26/2021/02/Brian-McCreary-1.jpg?w=876 876w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 675px" alt="" class="wp-image-696198"/></figure> <p>As of date, the FBI Boston Division has arrested a total of five individuals in connection with the violent riots at the U.S. Capitol.&nbsp;</p> COVID-19 in Massachusetts: 53 new deaths, 2,186 new cases https://www.news10.com/news/mass-news/covid-19-in-massachusetts-53-new-deaths-2186-new-cases/ Massachusetts News | NEWS10 ABC urn:uuid:2d3f276f-5325-aa9e-2e7f-0f3cab3ac90b Thu, 04 Feb 2021 19:04:31 +0000 State public health officials reported 53 newly confirmed deaths and 2,186 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts. <p id="block-29a112ee-c350-4e7b-a938-93df359988ff">BOSTON (<a href="https://www.wwlp.com/news/health/coronavirus-local-impact/covid-19-in-massachusetts-53-new-deaths-2186-new-cases/">WWLP</a>) – State public health officials reported 53 newly confirmed deaths and 2,186 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.news10.com/news/mass-news/massachusetts-receives-federal-approval-for-2-6k-vulnerable-children-to-receive-additional-food-benefits/" class="promo-link__link" target=&quot;_blank&quot; > Massachusetts receives federal approval for 2.6K vulnerable children to receive additional food benefits </a> </aside> </div> <h2 id="block-30d154fd-543a-4476-81c5-e1185f65444f">Total COVID-19 cases by age group</h2> <ul id="block-eaeb52e2-4126-4f9c-b2fc-5671bb0d9979"><li>0-19 years: 9,817</li><li>20-29 years: 8,504</li><li>30-39 years: 7,001</li><li>40-49 years: 6,362</li><li>50-59 years: 6,897</li><li>60-69 years: 4,754</li><li>70-79 years: 2,474</li><li>80+ years: 1,823</li></ul> <h2 id="block-524803ce-fa8a-4160-902f-39fdcdd88d43">Testing</h2> <p id="block-05941d8c-e797-4d05-a126-cc4fcccd8d6b">According to the Department of Public Health, 91,639 new tests were performed with an overall of 13,874,158 molecular tests administered. Of those, 4,625,449 tests were first time tests and 9,248,709 were repeat tests.</p> <p id="block-6fc21e31-9393-4b99-8644-9436c0ba9220"><strong>Antigen Tests</strong>: A total of 3,571 new individuals have tested positive&nbsp;with 484,563 total tests reported.</p> <p id="block-30c17eb7-3209-47aa-937a-ad69fffe0b28">The current turn around time for a molecular test is 1.90 days. The 7-day average of percent positivity is 3.30%.</p> <h2 id="block-c4af20bb-8227-4bec-9e60-22ca6d1dc9b1">Hospitalizations</h2> <p id="block-2fce79a5-0828-42ad-a820-04aa6c96c7cf">1,635 patients are currently&nbsp;hospitalized&nbsp;with COVID-19 with 335 patients that are in intensive care units and 203 patients intubated. The average age of patients currently hospitalized is 68-years-old.</p> <p id="block-b9a47685-af44-4ed8-9bf5-4b8f54d740f7">As of Wedensday, 84.2% of medical/surgical beds are occupied and 79% of ICU beds are occupied. There are currently 36 beds occupied through alternate medical sites.</p> <p id="block-2ee3f2c6-f9e1-407d-b329-3478df4a92d5">In western Massachusetts, there are a total of 1,206 medical/surgical beds with 978 that are occupied. The ICU units have a total of 153 beds and 91 of them are occupied.</p> <h2 id="block-94df7ebe-6998-4704-a4df-864a5631d798">Confirmed COVID-19 cases</h2> <ul id="block-2355fff3-ed36-4b4b-a5a1-fedc5cb7cb04"><li>New Cases: 2,186</li><li>Total Cases: 504,564</li><li>Estimated Active Cases: 64,431</li><li>New Deaths: 53</li><li>Total Deaths: 14,415</li></ul> <h2 id="block-ef6a066c-c987-43a3-aee7-3bc01fd3394e">Probable COVID-19 cases</h2> <ul id="block-76d994d9-0a3d-4c6b-8831-489c59ff852e"><li>New Cases: 269</li><li>Total Cases: 26,553</li><li>New Deaths: 3</li><li>Total Deaths: 293</li></ul> <h2 id="block-7017994d-cda8-4eef-be94-a218f78456b2">Hampden County</h2> <ul id="block-f5150877-13e4-42ad-bd64-83c2769c10a7"><li>New Confirmed Cases: 91</li><li>Total Confirmed Cases: 37,731</li><li>New Deaths: 3</li><li>Total Confirmed and Probable Deaths: 1,210</li></ul> <h2 id="block-2dacb73a-3b91-4372-ae20-ca2830248913">Hampshire County</h2> <ul id="block-5e920c7f-646b-4c2d-83b5-d36d66ccbf97"><li>New Confirmed Cases: 31</li><li>Total Confirmed Cases: 5,791</li><li>New Deaths: 2</li><li>Total Confirmed and Probable Deaths: 236</li></ul> <h2 id="block-2289809a-4f3a-44f9-86d0-c3e120da7a1d">Franklin County</h2> <ul id="block-d01e2b67-dd83-4d10-befd-9e0992e75e47"><li>New Confirmed Cases: 5</li><li>Total Confirmed Cases: 1,797</li><li>New Deaths: 0</li><li>Total Confirmed and Probable Deaths: 98</li></ul> <h2 id="block-45495291-5263-410d-997d-8a4997566d85">Berkshire County</h2> <ul id="block-3e053642-1f54-4cce-8003-18826994b4ef"><li>New Confirmed Cases: 18</li><li>Total Confirmed Cases: 4,569</li><li>New Deaths: 2</li><li>Total Confirmed and Probable Deaths: 222</li></ul> <h2 id="block-3269057a-b27a-4364-b971-b594700f6a28">Higher education</h2> <p id="block-6660e130-6379-4b1d-a879-946b32757620">There are 1,044 new cases in the last week with a total of 9,753 confirmed COVID-19 cases in higher education institutions. In the last week there were 233,579 new tests reported with a total of 4,049,869 tests performed.</p> <h2 id="block-6cc7c451-217f-4f0a-b12a-0055848009c6">COVID-19 cases in long-term care facilities</h2> <ul id="block-014fa901-3a6a-4c8c-871a-33fd2c9c5f5f"><li>Residents/Healthcare workers with probable or confirmed COVID-19: 34,036</li><li>Facilities reporting at least one probable or confirmed case of COVID-19: 421</li><li>Probable or confirmed COVID-19 deaths: 8,126</li></ul> <h2 id="block-3851d62b-9869-429d-a931-a6dc20418b07"><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://public.tableau.com/profile/massdph#!/vizhome/MADPHCOVID-19Dashboard/COVID-19Cases" target="_blank">MassDPH COVID-19 Dashboard</a></h2> Great Barrington police investigate hate speech on social media https://www.news10.com/news/local-news/great-barrington-police-investigate-hate-speech-on-social-media/ Massachusetts News | NEWS10 ABC urn:uuid:0bc5185f-3ec1-1c3f-0833-526a1aa90c8a Thu, 04 Feb 2021 19:02:50 +0000 Police in Great Barrington identified person involved in hate speech posted on social media. <p>GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. (<a href="https://www.wwlp.com/news/local-news/berkshire-county/great-barrington-police-investigate-hate-speech-on-social-media/">WWLP</a>) — Police in Great Barrington identified a person involved in hate speech posted on social media.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.news10.com/news/canada-designates-the-proud-boys-as-a-terrorist-entity/" class="promo-link__link" target=&quot;_blank&quot; > Canada designates the Proud Boys as a terrorist entity </a> </aside> </div> <p>According to the Great Barrington Police Department, an investigation identified parties involved in a social media post that resulted in hate speech and intimidation. Police say they did not receive a complaint directly. However, they take these situations very seriously to denounce discrimination, hate speech, and intimidation.</p> <p>The person that made such comments indicated that their husband is a police officer, police confirmed that was not true.</p> <p>Great Barrington Police Department are reminding the public that they are here to support all members of the community.</p> Man swallows AirPod while sleeping, does not realize it https://www.news10.com/news/mass-news/man-swallows-airpod-while-sleeping-does-not-realize-it/ Massachusetts News | NEWS10 ABC urn:uuid:44adc8b3-d2ec-8198-d6cf-fef0bb857e8b Thu, 04 Feb 2021 18:54:52 +0000 HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — A Massachusetts man is lucky to be breathing after accidentally swallowing one of his AirPods.  Bradford Gauthier woke up Tuesday morning and noticed he had a little trouble swallowing. He attributed it to a dry or sore throat and carried on with his day.  The day before he had been shoveling snow for two hours after the Nor’ester that hit Massachusetts earlier this week; [...] <p>HARLINGEN, Texas (<a href="https://www.valleycentral.com/news/national-news/man-swallows-airpod-while-sleeping-does-not-realize-it/">KVEO</a>) — A Massachusetts man is lucky to be breathing after accidentally swallowing one of his AirPods. </p> <p>Bradford Gauthier woke up Tuesday morning and noticed he had a little trouble swallowing. He attributed it to a dry or sore throat and carried on with his day. </p> <p>The day before he had been shoveling snow for two hours after the <a href="https://www.news10.com/weather/a-long-two-days-major-storm-pummels-northeast-with-snow/">Nor’ester that hit Massachusetts earlier this week</a>; he says he went to sleep that night ‘worn out.’  </p> <p>“I went back out in the morning and shoveled [snow] for an hour. When I came in, I tried to drink a glass of water again and couldn't,” said Gauthier.  </p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large is-resized"><img loading="lazy" src="https://www.valleycentral.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/39/2021/02/GAUTHIER.jpg?w=591" srcset="https://www.valleycentral.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/39/2021/02/GAUTHIER.jpg?w=160 160w, https://www.valleycentral.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/39/2021/02/GAUTHIER.jpg?w=256 256w, https://www.valleycentral.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/39/2021/02/GAUTHIER.jpg?w=320 320w, https://www.valleycentral.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/39/2021/02/GAUTHIER.jpg?w=640 640w, https://www.valleycentral.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/39/2021/02/GAUTHIER.jpg?w=876 876w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 591px" alt="" class="wp-image-1464832" width="591"height="936"/><figcaption>Credit: Bradford Gauthier</figcaption></figure> <p>At this point, Gauthier also noticed that one of his Air Pods was missing. The father of two says he sleeps with them almost every day, as to not disturb his sleeping six-month-old.  </p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.news10.com/news/albany-county/cdta-to-glow-red-honor-essential-workers-on-february-4/" class="promo-link__link" target=&quot;_blank&quot; > Capital Region buildings glowing red for heart disease </a> </aside> </div> <p>His family began putting the clues together.</p> <p>“By that point, my son and wife had gotten the idea that I may have swallowed it. They brought it up jokingly at first, but it seemed too coincidental that I would be missing it when I knew I went to bed with it, while I felt a distinct blockage in the center of my chest,” explained Gauthier.  </p> <p>After contemplating the idea for a few minutes, Gauthier went to the emergency room and much to the doctor’s surprise, an x-ray showed his missing&nbsp;AirPod&nbsp;lodged in his esophagus.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>An emergency endoscopy removed the AirPod and Gauthier went home to catch up on his work, having never experienced more than some minor discomfort.  </p> <p>“The GI physician said it's extremely uncommon for a blockage not to be painful or severely discomforting,” he said.&nbsp;“It never occurred to me that [sleeping with headphones] could be a safety hazard. I was&nbsp;really quite&nbsp;lucky.”&nbsp;</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large is-resized"><img loading="lazy" src="https://www.valleycentral.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/39/2021/02/GAUTHER2.jpg?w=539" srcset="https://www.valleycentral.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/39/2021/02/GAUTHER2.jpg?w=160 160w, https://www.valleycentral.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/39/2021/02/GAUTHER2.jpg?w=256 256w, https://www.valleycentral.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/39/2021/02/GAUTHER2.jpg?w=320 320w, https://www.valleycentral.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/39/2021/02/GAUTHER2.jpg?w=640 640w, https://www.valleycentral.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/39/2021/02/GAUTHER2.jpg?w=876 876w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 539px" alt="" class="wp-image-1464833" width="539"height="1026"/><figcaption>Credit: Bradford Gauthier</figcaption></figure> Massachusetts receives federal approval for 2.6K vulnerable children to receive additional food benefits https://www.news10.com/news/mass-news/massachusetts-receives-federal-approval-for-2-6k-vulnerable-children-to-receive-additional-food-benefits/ Massachusetts News | NEWS10 ABC urn:uuid:30b0a3dd-23b3-ad23-4717-69fb88a6aaa4 Thu, 04 Feb 2021 16:10:41 +0000 BOSTON (NEWS10) – Massachusetts has received approval from the federal government to connect about 2,600 vulnerable children with disabilities to additional nutritional supports. Beginning this month, certain children with disabilities who qualify for Medicaid because they receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can be directly certified for free and reduced-price meals through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National [...] <p>BOSTON (<a href="http://news10.com">NEWS10</a>) – Massachusetts has received approval from the federal government to connect about 2,600 vulnerable children with disabilities to additional nutritional supports.</p> <p>Beginning this month, certain children with disabilities who qualify for Medicaid because they receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can be directly certified for free and reduced-price meals through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Children made eligible for free or reduced-price school meals under this new approval who also qualify for P-EBT because they are either learning in a fully remote or hybrid model will receive their first round of P-EBT benefits on February 25.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.news10.com/news/mass-news/massachusetts-ramping-up-efforts-to-vaccinate-residents/" class="promo-link__link" target=&quot;_blank&quot; > Massachusetts ramping up efforts to vaccinate residents </a> </aside> </div> <p>These children will then also automatically meet one of the eligibility criteria to receive <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.mass.gov/info-details/pandemic-ebt-p-ebt" target="_blank">Pandemic EBT</a> (P-EBT). P-EBT provides additional emergency food benefits to cover the cost of missed school meals for over 500,000 students in remote or hybrid learning environments. Additionally, it supports local grocery and corner stores and farmers.</p> <p>“This benefit is important during a time of increased food insecurity for families in the state due to the economic impact of COVID-19,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders. “We will continue to maximize every opportunity to address nutritional needs of children and families, and use all federal food assistance programs and flexibilities during the public health emergency.”</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.news10.com/news/berkshire-county/berkshire-mountain-distillers-launch-craft-brewers-whiskey-project/" class="promo-link__link" target=&quot;_blank&quot; > Berkshire Mountain Distillers launch craft brewers whiskey project </a> </aside> </div> <p>Under standard rules, Medicaid programs are allowed to provide “Direct Certification” for children to qualify for free or reduced-price meals without the need for a household application based on their income-based Medicaid eligibility. However, due to different program rules, children who qualify for Medicaid because they receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and live with a relative caregiver, such as a grandparent, were not eligible to be directly certified for free or reduced-price meals. The Commonwealth has been pursuing federal approval to allow these thousands of vulnerable children to immediately be eligible for this important nutritional benefit for several years.</p> <p>MassHealth and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) are setting up system changes so that, when schools begin to operate school lunches again in the future, these children are directly certified through the eligibility systems.</p> Berkshire Mountain Distillers launch craft brewers whiskey project https://www.news10.com/news/berkshire-county/berkshire-mountain-distillers-launch-craft-brewers-whiskey-project/ Massachusetts News | NEWS10 ABC urn:uuid:632728b5-45ba-a2a1-4ec0-a76b956ea008 Thu, 04 Feb 2021 10:46:30 +0000 SHEFFIELD, Mass. (NEWS10) – Berkshire Mountain Distillers (BMD) has released the first trio of whiskeys in partnership with three brewers in the Northeast as part of their Craft Brewers Whiskey Project (CBWP). The five-year collaboration includes the distilling of a dozen different popular beers from a group of the country’s top craft brewers across five states. Each [...] <p>SHEFFIELD, Mass. (<a href="http://news10.com">NEWS10</a>) – Berkshire Mountain Distillers (BMD) has released the first trio of whiskeys in partnership with three brewers in the Northeast as part of their <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="http://craftbrewerswhiskeyproject.com" data-type="URL" data-id="craftbrewerswhiskeyproject.com" target="_blank">Craft Brewers Whiskey Project</a> (CBWP). The five-year collaboration includes the distilling of a dozen different popular beers from a group of the country’s top craft brewers across five states. Each addition to the whiskey collection is the product of a single-sourced craft brew.</p> <p>“We were thrilled to collaborate with all of our brewer-partners and are excited these whiskeys are finally ready to be enjoyed by beer and whiskey aficionados alike,” said Chris Weld, founder and proprietor of Berkshire Mountain Distillers. “This fun collaboration has been an exceptional project-in-the-making involving 12 brewers, 12 beers, 12 whiskeys and 80 barrels of spirits -- we’re eager to release each one to the public.”</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.news10.com/news/berkshire-county/rsvp-of-berkshire-county-announces-recipient-of-2020-volunteer-of-the-year-award/" class="promo-link__link" target=&quot;_blank&quot; > RSVP of Berkshire County announces recipient of 2020 Volunteer of the Year Award </a> </aside> </div> <p>The Project combines the flavors and essences of some of the best and well-known craft beers in the country. Each CBWP product will be blended to 86 proof using BMD’s historic spring water in Sheffield and packaged in BMD’s custom bottles with a brewer-designed label.</p> <p>The first release will feature three whiskeys distilled from UFO White Ale from Massachusetts Bay Brewing Company, Spencer Brewery’s Trappist Ale, and 413 Farmhouse Ale from Big Elm Brewing - also located in Sheffield.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.news10.com/news/mass-news/massachusetts-prepares-for-phase-2-of-vaccine-distribution/" class="promo-link__link" target=&quot;_blank&quot; > Massachusetts prepares for Phase 2 of vaccine distribution </a> </aside> </div> <p>“Whiskey is like beer’s older cousin: it’s taken more time to mature but comes from the same stock. So when Berkshire Mountain Distillers came to us more than four years ago with this project, we knew it’d be a fun way to collaborate with a local distiller to see what our beer could turn into,” said Dan Kenary, CEO and co-founder of Mass. Bay Brewing Co. “The resulting whiskey does not disappoint.”</p> <p>Scheduled to be released in the early part of 2021, the next set of whiskeys will highlight Sam Adams' Boston Lager, Berkshire Brewing Company's Imperial Steel Rail Extra Pale Ale, and Jack’s Abby Craft Lagers's Smoke &amp; Dagger Black Lager.</p> There are currently 125 COVID-19 vaccination sites in Massachusetts https://www.news10.com/news/mass-news/watch-live-governor-baker-tours-fenway-park-mass-vaccination-site/ Massachusetts News | NEWS10 ABC urn:uuid:050f8314-05c5-394b-0273-d714654069f3 Wed, 03 Feb 2021 23:50:23 +0000 Governor Charlie Baker is scheduled to provide a live update on the state's response on the COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday morning. <p>BOSTON (WWLP) - The Baker-Polito Administration provided an update on COVID-19 vaccination efforts and announced new vaccination locations across the Commonwealth.</p> <p>The Administration continues to expand Commonwealth’s vaccination infrastructure. There are currently 125 vaccination sites in Massachusetts, and the Administration expects this will ramp up to 165 sites by mid-February. Over 120,000 appointments will be made available over the course of this week.</p> <p>It is expected to take several weeks for residents to secure appointments due to limited supply of vaccines from the federal government.&nbsp;<strong>Residents can visit&nbsp;</strong><a href="https://nam11.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mass.gov%2FCOVIDvaccine&amp;data=04%7C01%7CAshley.Shook%40wwlp.com%7Cb1523e569fb64a9da83a08d8c87c27e0%7C9e5488e2e83844f6886cc7608242767e%7C0%7C0%7C637479782857942545%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&amp;sdata=RsrrazNdmQcIQRjSrONvMjhV7RThxZztpqFTpSJ8VCQ%3D&amp;reserved=0" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener"><strong>www.mass.gov/COVIDvaccine</strong></a><strong>&nbsp;to check when they are eligible to get the vaccine, find an appointment at a location near them, and get ready for their appointment.</strong></p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.wwlp.com/news/health/coronavirus-local-impact/find-a-vaccine-site-near-you-and-book-an-appointment-if-youre-eligible/" class="promo-link__link" > Find a vaccine site near you and book an appointment if you’re eligible </a> </aside> </div> <p><strong><u>Mass Vaccination Sites</u></strong></p> <p>Each Thursday, new appointments will be available for the mass vaccination sites. This week, over 55,000 new appointments will go live for the following week. Residents can use the map or ZIP Code search tool to find a vaccination location near them at&nbsp;<strong>www.mass.gov/COVIDVaccine.</strong></p> <p>The Administration expects at least seven mass vaccination sites to be established in the Commonwealth and is working to set up additional locations.</p> <p><strong>Reggie Lewis Center in Roxbury:&nbsp;</strong>In collaboration with the City of Boston, the vaccination site at the Reggie Lewis Center opened this week. This site is currently serving residents of Boston but will transition to being a mass vaccination site at the end of the month.</p> <p><strong>Fenway Park in Boston:&nbsp;</strong>Fenway Park officially opened to the public on Monday, February 1. All eligible groups can get vaccinated at this location. By end of the day Tuesday, 1,200 doses have been administered at the site. About 500 doses per day are expected to be given each day this week.</p> <p>Next week, Fenway will ramp up to 1,000 doses a day, and for the week after that 1,250. The Administration expects this site to eventually ramp up to do about 8,000 doses a week.</p> <p><a href="https://www.wwlp.com/news/health/coronavirus-local-impact/covid-19-vaccine-locations-for-individuals-currently-eligible-to-be-vaccinated-in-massachusetts/">Massachusetts COVID-19 Command Center announces more details for vaccine online booking process</a></p> <p><strong>Gillette Stadium in Foxboro:&nbsp;</strong>At Gillette Stadium, 23,000 doses have been administered to date.</p> <p><strong>DoubleTree Hotel in Danvers:&nbsp;</strong>Today, the Double Tree Hilton Hotel in Danvers opened to the public, serving all eligible priority groups. The Administration expects 500 doses to be administered today.</p> <p><strong>Eastfield Mall in Springfield:&nbsp;</strong>The Eastfield Mall in Springfield on Friday, January 29. To date, 2,741 doses have been administered.</p> <p>Mass vaccination sites are listed as&nbsp;<strong>large red stars</strong>&nbsp;on the map at&nbsp;<a href="https://nam11.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mass.gov%2FCOVIDvaccine&amp;data=04%7C01%7CAshley.Shook%40wwlp.com%7Cb1523e569fb64a9da83a08d8c87c27e0%7C9e5488e2e83844f6886cc7608242767e%7C0%7C0%7C637479782857952497%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&amp;sdata=2C%2B6c%2FdTPiY7uhWUAIfK6zrHkyKxOq%2F3mrAcxLEuHJE%3D&amp;reserved=0" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener"><strong>www.mass.gov/COVIDvaccine</strong></a>.</p> <p><strong><u>Pharmacies</u></strong></p> <p>Pharmacies including Walgreens and CVS Health post appointments daily, totaling over 15,500 per week.&nbsp; Retail pharmacy sites like Stop and Shop and Hannaford and Topco sites including Wegmans, Big Y and Price Chopper post 4,600 appointments weekly.</p> <p>The COVID-19 Response Command Center is also working to set up sites in the communities hardest hit by COVID-19.&nbsp; This week, 8 new Walgreens sites opened in some of these communities: 2 sites in Mattapan, 2 sites in Roxbury, Dorchester, Chelsea, Revere, Everett.&nbsp; A community vaccination site also opened in Brockton, which is being run by their local board of health.</p> <p>Next week, under the Retail Pharmacy Partnership Program CVS Health will open an additional 30 pharmacy sites primarily in areas that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID.&nbsp; This effort will add 21,000 appointments, which will come online in the next week or so.</p> <p>Pharmacy and grocery vaccination locations are listed as&nbsp;<strong>blue stars</strong>&nbsp;on the map at&nbsp;<a href="https://nam11.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mass.gov%2FCOVIDvaccine&amp;data=04%7C01%7CAshley.Shook%40wwlp.com%7Cb1523e569fb64a9da83a08d8c87c27e0%7C9e5488e2e83844f6886cc7608242767e%7C0%7C0%7C637479782857952497%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&amp;sdata=2C%2B6c%2FdTPiY7uhWUAIfK6zrHkyKxOq%2F3mrAcxLEuHJE%3D&amp;reserved=0" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener"><strong>www.mass.gov/COVIDvaccine</strong></a>.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><u>Other Providers</u></strong></p> <p>Other provider sites including healthcare locations and local vaccination sites will make over 57,000 appointments available over the course of this week.</p> <p>These sites include: Community Health Centers, Medical Centers, Hospital Providers and community vaccination clinics operated by local health departments.</p> <p>On the map at&nbsp;<a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://nam11.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mass.gov%2FCOVIDvaccine&amp;data=04%7C01%7CAshley.Shook%40wwlp.com%7Cb1523e569fb64a9da83a08d8c87c27e0%7C9e5488e2e83844f6886cc7608242767e%7C0%7C0%7C637479782857962448%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&amp;sdata=3OI1JEUT5BlcKvj8L08XNZLXuVI2XX8zKLwq39B9dZw%3D&amp;reserved=0" target="_blank"><strong>www.mass.gov/COVIDvaccine</strong></a>, health care locations are listed as&nbsp;<strong>green stars</strong>&nbsp;and local vaccination clinics operated by local health departments are listed as&nbsp;<strong>yellow stars</strong>.</p> Massachusetts ramping up efforts to vaccinate residents https://www.news10.com/news/mass-news/massachusetts-ramping-up-efforts-to-vaccinate-residents/ Massachusetts News | NEWS10 ABC urn:uuid:eb715c01-0f5c-f82c-0d07-3d4a470ef793 Wed, 03 Feb 2021 22:10:55 +0000 BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts is ramping up its vaccination efforts and is hoping to administer up to a million vaccines a month by the spring, Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday. In the meantime, Baker urged residents to be patient. There are currently 125 sites up and running, including a handful of mass vaccination sites and [...] <p>BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts is ramping up its vaccination efforts and is hoping to administer up to a million vaccines a month by the spring, Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.news10.com/news/mass-news/watch-live-governor-baker-tours-fenway-park-mass-vaccination-site/" class="promo-link__link" target=&quot;_blank&quot; > There are currently 125 COVID-19 vaccination sites in Massachusetts </a> </aside> </div> <p>In the meantime, Baker urged residents to be patient. There are currently 125 sites up and running, including a handful of mass vaccination sites and sites at dozens of community health centers, the Republican said.</p> <div class="wp-block-jetpack-slideshow aligncenter" data-effect="slide"><div class="wp-block-jetpack-slideshow_container swiper-container"><ul class="wp-block-jetpack-slideshow_swiper-wrapper swiper-wrapper"><li class="wp-block-jetpack-slideshow_slide swiper-slide"><figure><img loading="lazy" width="6000" height="4000" alt="" class="wp-block-jetpack-slideshow_image wp-image-615309" data-id="615309" src="https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034577579938.jpg?w=900" srcset="https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034577579938.jpg 6000w, https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034577579938.jpg?resize=300,200 300w, https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034577579938.jpg?resize=768,512 768w, https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034577579938.jpg?resize=1080,720 1080w, https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034577579938.jpg?resize=1536,1024 1536w, https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034577579938.jpg?resize=2048,1365 2048w, https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034577579938.jpg?resize=50,33 50w, https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034577579938.jpg?resize=876,584 876w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 876px" /><figcaption class="wp-block-jetpack-slideshow_caption gallery-caption">From left, Marty Martinez, Boston's Chief of Health and Human Services; Stacey Kokaram, Director of the Office of Public Health Preparedness; and Dr. Valerie Roberson, President of Roxbury Community College hold a news conference about the new COVID-19 vaccination site at the Reggie Lewis Center, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021, in Boston's Roxbury section. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)</figcaption></figure></li><li class="wp-block-jetpack-slideshow_slide swiper-slide"><figure><img loading="lazy" width="5299" height="3533" alt="" class="wp-block-jetpack-slideshow_image wp-image-615310" data-id="615310" src="https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034579110595.jpg?w=900" srcset="https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034579110595.jpg 5299w, https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034579110595.jpg?resize=300,200 300w, https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034579110595.jpg?resize=768,512 768w, https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034579110595.jpg?resize=1080,720 1080w, https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034579110595.jpg?resize=1536,1024 1536w, https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034579110595.jpg?resize=2048,1365 2048w, https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034579110595.jpg?resize=50,33 50w, https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034579110595.jpg?resize=876,584 876w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 876px" /><figcaption class="wp-block-jetpack-slideshow_caption gallery-caption">The new COVID-19 vaccination site is open at the Reggie Lewis Center, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021, in Boston's Roxbury section. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)</figcaption></figure></li><li class="wp-block-jetpack-slideshow_slide swiper-slide"><figure><img loading="lazy" width="5075" height="3384" alt="" class="wp-block-jetpack-slideshow_image wp-image-615311" data-id="615311" src="https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034583797632.jpg?w=900" srcset="https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034583797632.jpg 5075w, https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034583797632.jpg?resize=300,200 300w, https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034583797632.jpg?resize=768,512 768w, https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034583797632.jpg?resize=1080,720 1080w, https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034583797632.jpg?resize=1536,1024 1536w, https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034583797632.jpg?resize=2048,1366 2048w, https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034583797632.jpg?resize=50,33 50w, https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034583797632.jpg?resize=876,584 876w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 876px" /><figcaption class="wp-block-jetpack-slideshow_caption gallery-caption">People on line are directed at a COVID-19 testing site, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021, in Boston's Roxbury section. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)</figcaption></figure></li><li class="wp-block-jetpack-slideshow_slide swiper-slide"><figure><img loading="lazy" width="4419" height="2946" alt="" class="wp-block-jetpack-slideshow_image wp-image-615312" data-id="615312" src="https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034578157848.jpg?w=900" srcset="https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034578157848.jpg 4419w, https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034578157848.jpg?resize=300,200 300w, https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034578157848.jpg?resize=768,512 768w, https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034578157848.jpg?resize=1080,720 1080w, https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034578157848.jpg?resize=1536,1024 1536w, https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034578157848.jpg?resize=2048,1365 2048w, https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034578157848.jpg?resize=50,33 50w, https://www.news10.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/64/2021/02/AP21034578157848.jpg?resize=876,584 876w" sizes="(max-width: 899px) 100vw, 876px" /><figcaption class="wp-block-jetpack-slideshow_caption gallery-caption">A woman waits to cross the street outside of the new COVID-19 vaccination site at the Reggie Lewis Center, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021, in Boston's Roxbury section. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)</figcaption></figure></li></ul><a class="wp-block-jetpack-slideshow_button-prev swiper-button-prev swiper-button-white" role="button"></a><a class="wp-block-jetpack-slideshow_button-next swiper-button-next swiper-button-white" role="button"></a><a aria-label="Pause Slideshow" class="wp-block-jetpack-slideshow_button-pause" role="button"></a><div class="wp-block-jetpack-slideshow_pagination swiper-pagination swiper-pagination-white"></div></div></div> <p>By the middle of the month, the number should increase to about 165. Baker said the state is also making an effort to increase vaccinations among those hardest hit by the pandemic, including Black residents.</p> <p>The state is working with trusted organizations in local communities, and in Boston, the city is setting up specific days to vaccinate neighborhood residents, he said.</p> <div class="nlp-ignore-block article-content rich-text"> <aside class="promo-link"> <a href="https://www.news10.com/news/mass-news/some-hopeful-trends-in-massachusetts-covid-19-statistics/" class="promo-link__link" target=&quot;_blank&quot; > Some hopeful trends in Massachusetts COVID-19 statistics </a> </aside> </div> <p>Baker made the comments at Fenway Park, which has been turned into a mass vaccination site. The ballpark is planning to ramp up to about 1,000 shots a day next week and 1,200 the following week with a goal of up to 8,000 doses a week in the near future, Baker said.</p> <p>Baker said he understands many people want the process to go faster. “I get how unhappy people are,” he said.</p> <p>He said that some of the frustration was because of the phased rollout that targeted specific groups first, like medical workers and those in long-term care facilities. But he also acknowledged there are extra steps the state can take, like launching a hotline to help people, especially seniors, who may have trouble signing up for an appointment online.</p> <p>He said the hotline should be up and running this week. “We have work to do, and we know it,” he said.</p>