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Massachusetts officials report 1,696 new COVID-19 cases in Thursday

Massachusetts Coronavirus Update

On May 7, the Massachusetts Public Health Department reported that the state added 1,696 more positive cases of COVID-19 bringing to total to 73,721. This is a decrease from Wednesday’s 1,754 reported cases.

132 new COVID-19 related deaths were reported on Thursday bringing the total deaths in Massachusetts to 4,552. As of 4 pm today, 351,632 people in Massachusetts have been tested for COVID-19 – 11,993 new tests since yesterday.

As of May 5, 32,019 individuals in Massachusetts were subject to quarantine with 22,148 no longer in quarantine. 9,871 individuals are undergoing monitoring/under quarantine.

Gov. Charlie Baker lifted the ban on golfing in Massachusetts. Full details here.

New Bedford Coronavirus Update

New Bedford officials reported three more COVID-19 related deaths since yesterday or seven deaths since Saturday bringing the total to 26 in the city.

Mayor Jon Mitchell’s office reported 13 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases in New Bedford on Thursday, bringing the total positive cases in the city to 891, up from 878 on Wednesday. Three additional COVID-19 related death was also reported today bringing the total to 26 in the city.

Mayor Jon Mitchell and Club Madeirense S.S. Sacramento together have announced that the 106th Feast of the Blessed Sacrament, scheduled for July 30 through August 2, has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Full details here.

Fall River Coronavirus Update

30 additional cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Fall River. This brings the total in Fall River to 685. The City has been notified of its eleventh fatality due to COVID-19. Full details here.




Wareham Police to give back to the community by giving away $50 gift cards

In a show of support to the Wareham restaurants and grocery stores struggling through this difficult time and in an effort to give back to the community that has supported them, the members of the Wareham Police Department are purchasing $50.00 gift cards from every Wareham restaurant and grocery store.

Unfortunately, some restaurants have closed during this time but gift cards will be purchased once they reopen.

The department members plan on distributing the gift cards throughout the year to local families in need. If anyone knows of a family that would benefit from a gift card please contact any member of the Wareham Police Department. Contact information can be found on the Wareham Police Department website.




Governor Baker provides update on COVID-19 Community Tracing Collaborative

Today, the Baker-Polito Administration joined Partners in Health and local public health officials to provide an update on contract tracing efforts through the COVID-19 Community Tracing Collaborative (CTC) launched last month. The initiative focuses on tracing the contacts of confirmed positive COVID-19 patients, and supporting individuals in quarantine, building on COVID-19 Response Command Center efforts to leverage public health college students to augment the contact tracing being done by local boards of health.

If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, the MA COVID Team will reach out by phone to connect the confirmed case with support and resources necessary for quarantine, and to identify any close contacts that may have been exposed. As the CTC continues its contact tracing work to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, it is critical that Massachusetts residents answer the phone when a contact tracer calls or texts. Contact tracers will only reach out from phone numbers with 833 or 857 area codes, and the phone’s caller ID will say MA COVID Team.

Since calls began on April 12, tens of thousands of Massachusetts residents have participated in contact tracing. Staffed with more than 1,600 tracers, the Tracing Collaborative has reached nearly 14,000 confirmed cases and established more than 7,500 of their contacts since calls began on April 12. In part due to effective social distancing measures, the median number of contacts reported by each confirmed case remains approximately two.

To learn more about the MA COVID Team and the Community Tracing Collaborative, visit www.mass.gov/MATracingTeam.




New Bedford reports three more COVID-19 related deaths on Thursday

New Bedford officials reported three more COVID-19 related deaths since yesterday or seven deaths since Saturday bringing the total to 26 in the city.

Mayor Jon Mitchell’s office reported 13 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases in New Bedford on Thursday, bringing the total positive cases in the city to 891, up from 878 on Wednesday. Three additional COVID-19 related death was also reported today bringing the total to 26 in the city.

Mayor Jon Mitchell and Club Madeirense S.S. Sacramento together have announced that the 106th Feast of the Blessed Sacrament, scheduled for July 30 through August 2, has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Full details here.

26 additional cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Fall River, according to the Mayor’s Office. This brings the total in Fall River to 655. Full details here.

On May 6, the Massachusetts Public Health Department reported that the state added 1,754 more positive cases of COVID-19 bringing to total to 72,025. This is an increase from Monday’s 1,184 reported cases. Full details here.

Gov. Charlie Baker lifted the ban on golfing in Massachusetts. Full details here.




New Bedford’s Cape Verdean American Veterans Association to host FREE food event for veterans

On Saturday, May 9th from 10:00am-12:00pm the Cape Verdean American Veterans Association will be hosting a free food event in the New Bedford High School gym parking lot at 230 Hathaway Blvd. New Bedford.

All veterans are eligible to receive a 2 week boxed supply of food and you can sign up at www.Bit.Ly/CVFood4VETS. Simply bring a military ID, VA card, DD-214 to register on site.

Provided by the Massachusetts Military Support Foundation. Partnered by Colleen Pina-Carron, Gary Correia, Derek Baptiste, CV Vets Hall & City of New Bedford.




New Bedford 106th Feast of the Blessed Sacrament CANCELLED due to COVID-19 pandemic

Mayor Jon Mitchell and Club Madeirense S.S. Sacramento together have announced that the 106th Feast of the Blessed Sacrament, scheduled for July 30 through August 2, has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Club and the Feast Committee will announce further details about cancellation and any virtual commemoration or other Feast-related arrangements in the coming days.

The Feast is one of America’s largest and most popular ethnic festivals, attracting hundreds of thousands of attendees every summer. Founded in 1915 by four Madeiran immigrant men to recreate the religious festivals common in the villages of their home island and to commemorate their safe passage to America, this traditional midsummer gathering for family and friends is considered to be the world’s largest festival honoring Portuguese culture.




Governor Baker lifts ban on golfing in Massachusetts

Colin A. Young
State House News Service

Gov. Charlie Baker is ready to let people tee off in Massachusetts again.

The administration updated a COVID-19 essential services webpage Thursday morning and said that while golf courses are not considered essential businesses, “private operators of golf courses may permit individuals access to the property so long as there are no gatherings of any kind…”

The new rules require that “appropriate social distancing of six feet between individuals is strictly followed” and groups will be limited to four golfers, as is traditional.

The updated guidance also allows municipal golf courses to open, but all courses must comply with a strict set of restrictions — including a ban on caddies and golf carts and the mandate that courses have hand sanitizer readily available.

Golfers have become vocal about their desire to get back on the links, and their frustration that the governor consistently encouraged people to get outside and get exercise, but did not seem to give real credence to the idea that golf could be a safe, distant activity.

“We’re not a warm weather state. It’s been winter for the most part. I get the fact that there are golfers who like to golf in the winter. But if you were to say to me do I think that golfing in the winter would be considered an essential thing to be doing at a point in time when we were closing down thousands and thousands and thousands of other non-essential businesses in Massachusetts? My answer to that would be no,” Baker said last week.

The governor was responding to a question from online golf columnist Tom Gorman, who recently dubbed the governor “Golf’s Grim Reaper.”

Of the states that closed golf courses at the start of the pandemic, Massachusetts was the last to allow the sport to resume.

“Things have gotten testy at times in Massachusetts as eager golfers have clamored their state government for golf courses to reopen,” Golf Advisor, which tracks the status of courses around the country, wrote Thursday morning.

Under the new guidance, golf courses can identify staff to serve as security personnel and enforce social distancing, but no other employees may work the “recreational component” of the golf operation. Groundskeeping has been allowed throughout the pandemic. Golfers will have to pay either online or via a remote payment method.

Players must wait in their car until 15 minutes before their tee time, and courses are required to keep practice greens and driving ranges closed. Tee times must be at least 15 minutes apart, according to the guidance.

Everyone must use their own clubs. Flag sticks must remain in the hole at all times, there will be no rakes to tidy bunkers, and courses must remove or cover ball washers. Once the round is over, players must immediately return to their cars.

There will be no 19th hole — clubhouses, pro shops, restaurants and other facilities must remain closed, under the new rules.




Massachusetts officials report 208 COVID-19 related deaths Wednesday

Massachusetts officials today reported 208 COVID-19 related deaths – the second highest one-day total yet (based on initial reports). On April 22, health officials reported 221 deaths, but that number has since been revised to less than 200. Here’s the current official chart:

Massachusetts Coronavirus Update

On May 6, the Massachusetts Public Health Department reported that the state added 1,754 more positive cases of COVID-19 bringing to total to 72,025. This is an increase from Tuesday’s 1,184 reported cases.

208 new COVID-19 related deaths were reported on Wednesday bringing the total deaths in Massachusetts to 4,420. As of 4 pm today, 339,639 people in Massachusetts have been tested for COVID-19 – 6,290 new tests since yesterday.

As of May 5, 32,019 individuals in Massachusetts were subject to quarantine with 22,148 no longer in quarantine. 9,871 individuals are undergoing monitoring/under quarantine.

Key indicators about the COVID-19 outbreak in Massachusetts have for the first time moved in an encouraging direction for several days straight, Gov. Charlie Baker said Tuesday, but as other states are opening up economic activity, officials here still want to see at least two weeks of steady progress. Full details here.

State tax collections tumbled in April by more than $2.3 billion compared to last April, another sign of the damage inflicted on the economy and the state’s finances by forced business shutdowns aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19. Full details here.

A Massachusetts Senate committee will investigate an incident at the Bristol County House of Correction, while Gov. Charlie Baker cautioned against “drawing conclusions” about the violent altercation. Full details here.

New Bedford Coronavirus Update

New Bedford has seen four new COVID-19 related deaths since Saturday bringing the total to 23.

Mayor Jon Mitchell’s office reported 60 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases in New Bedford on Tuesday, bringing the total positive cases in the city to 878, up from 818 on Tuesday. One additional COVID-19 related death was also reported today bringing the total to 23 in the city.

Fall River Coronavirus Update

26 additional cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Fall River, according to the Mayor’s Office. This brings the total in Fall River to 655. Full details here.




New Bedford’s Mayor Mitchell and Board of Health order strong public health measures to keep workplaces safe

Mayor Jon Mitchell and the Board of Health have acted to ensure the safety of large industrial workplaces in New Bedford, both for essential businesses currently in operation, and those not designated as essential that will return to operations in the coming weeks. The Mayor and Board of Health announced two emergency orders to keep employees safe at their place of work, and to outline reporting requirements of COVID-19 in the workplace.

The order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in industrial facilities requires that each facility enforce social distancing best practices, modify workstations accordingly, perform regular cleaning and disinfection, and designate a health and safety officer for COVID-19.

Facilities will also be required to conduct temperature checks at the start of all production floor workers’ shifts, ensure a positive-testing employee not return to work until it is safe, notify the New Bedford Health Department of positives, and ensure any staffing agency with which they work is complying with federal and state law providing sick time to employees. The facilities are also encouraged to conduct hazard assessments and develop preparedness and response plans for the spread of disease, with the input of their employees.

The order outlining reporting of COVID-19 in the workplace requires employees to notify their employer of a positive test or advice to self-quarantine, and requires staffing agencies or contractors to report the same to any workplace in New Bedford if an employee is not directly employed by the workplace. This order enables the employer to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their facilities.

Violation of the City’s orders may result in a $300 per day fine for each violation.

Mayor Mitchell declared a state of emergency in New Bedford on March 13 due to the COVID-19 outbreak and has acted to enforce social distancing measures, including the closure of personal care businesses and playgrounds, to protect public health during the state of emergency. The Mayor and Board of Health have taken action to protect senior citizens, ensure safety at essential businesses by requiring employees to wear masks or face coverings, and have acted to ensure workplaces uphold stringent safety requirements to protect workers.




74% support vote-by-mail in Massachusetts

Michael P. Norton
State House News Service

Seventy-four percent of Massachusetts residents support conducting upcoming state elections entirely by mail, with 21 percent opposed, according to new poll results.

The Suffolk University/WGBH News/Boston Globe poll results showed vote-by-mail was supported by 84 percent of Democrats and 82 percent of independents, but only 14 percent of Republicans. The survey, involving 500 respondents and conducted April 29–May 2, also measured public opinion on leadership and decision-making during the COVID-19 crisis and the pandemic’s impacts on income.

Gov. Charlie Baker’s decision to extend his nonessential business closure order and stay-at-home advisory for Massachusetts from May 4 to May 18 was supported by 85 percent of respondents, the same number that supported his handling of the crisis.

Sixty-six percent of respondents disapproved of President Trump’s handling of the pandemic, and 25 percent approved. Forty-six percent of respondents said the coronavirus has diminished their regular income. The results showed residents feel they are more vigilant about wearing masks than others are, and indicate just 23 percent said they would feel comfortable attending a sporting event, while 18 percent would ride a bus, subway or commuter train. Even if there were a vaccine, nearly one in four still would not attend a sporting event or take public transportation.

“These data can inform politicians, sports team owners and business organizations as they consider how to emerge from the current restrictions once public health indicators deem it safe,” David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston, said in a statement. “The large percentages of people who rule out going to an athletic event or riding public transportation suggest that even as businesses reopen it will not be business as usual.”

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