Massachusetts COVID-19 Information page

BOSTON — On Tuesday, Governor Charlie Baker declared a State of Emergency in Massachusetts to support the Commonwealth’s response to the outbreak of Coronavirus.

The Baker-Polito Administration also announced new guidance for Executive Branch employees in order to prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. This includes discontinuing all out-of-state work-related travel, canceling or virtually holding conferences, seminars, and other discretionary gatherings, informing employees not to attend external work-related conferences, seminars, or events, reminding employees feeling sick with fever or flu symptoms to not come into work, and encouraging high risk employees to talk with their supervisors to review possible alternative work assignments.

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On March 12, 2020, Governor Baker issued an Executive Order modifying certain requirements of the Open Meeting Law, to enable public bodies to carry out their responsibilities while adhering to public health recommendations regarding social distancing.

The Executive Order relieves public bodies from the requirement in the Open Meeting Law that meetings be conducted in a public place that is open and physically accessible to the public, provided that the public body makes provision to ensure public access to the deliberations of the public body through adequate, alternative means. “Adequate, alternative means” may include, without limitation, providing public access through telephone, internet, or satellite enabled audio or video conferencing or any other technology that enables the public to clearly follow the proceedings of the public body in real time. A municipal public body that for reasons of economic hardship and despite best efforts is unable to provide alternative means of public access in real time may instead post on its municipal website a full and complete transcript, recording, or other comprehensive record of the proceedings as soon as practicable afterwards.

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Warning that the state is still in the throes of the coronavirus pandemic, Governor Charlie Baker on Tuesday ordered the state’s schools to remain closed through the rest of the school year, and the state’s day care centers to remain closed until the end of June.

Baker said there was no “authoritative guidance” on how to operate schools safely and how to get students to and from schools safely.

“We believe students therefore cannot safely return to school and avoid the risk of transmitting this virus to others,” he said. “It’s the right thing to do, considering the facts on the ground associated with the COVID 19 pandemic."