Events & Updates - Representative Joe McGonagle

Ma Department of Public Health:Arbovirus Report

please find the weekly statewide Department of Public Health (DPH) arbovirus report for the week of June 12, 2023. This report outlines the risk levels for municipalities based on both historical prevalence and recent activity of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus (WNV), including information on the most recent WNV human cases.

As you will read in the attached report, Massachusetts Department of Public Health has identified zero individuals who have tested positive for WNV and zero WNV positive mosquito samples.

 

Community risk levels can be found on the DPH Arbovirus Update Page: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/massachusetts-arbovirus-update.  

 

Helpful tips and links on prevention and mitigation measures are provided within the attached document and at www.mass.gov/dph/mosquito.

Several 30 second PSA videos are available

Mosquitoes and Ticks | Mass.gov

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Hurricane Season

Atlantic Hurricane Season Kicks Off June 1

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency invites residents to prioritize personal preparedness and explore digital planning resources

 

FRAMINGHAM – In conjunction with the beginning of Atlantic Hurricane Season today, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) announced a series of online resources for the Commonwealth’s residents to deepen their awareness of and prepare for the impacts of tropical storms and hurricanes. Residents are encouraged to go online, make a plan, and stay informed about storms that may emerge this season. 


“With severe weather events occurring more frequently due to our changing climate, it’s more important than ever that Massachusetts is prepared to respond before, during and after emergency weather situations like hurricanes,” said Governor Maura Healey. “Our administration has a host of helpful resources available, and we encourage everyone to go online, make a plan and stay informed about potential storms to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.”

 

“History shows that regardless of where you are in Massachusetts – on the coast or inland – a tropical storm or hurricane can have significant impacts on your area,” said MEMA Acting Director Dawn Brantley. “Ensuring Massachusetts communities are prepared for hurricane season requires immense collaboration among emergency management partners at the state and local levels, as well as participation from all residents to prioritize personal preparedness.”

 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) seasonal outlook predicts near-normal hurricane activity in the Atlantic this year, but it only takes one storm to cause significant impacts.

The beginning of hurricane season is a timely reminder for all residents to prepare for the effects of a hurricane by learning if you live or work in a hurricane evacuation zone, developing an emergency plan that reflects your local conditions, building an emergency kit to meet your household needs, and staying informed before, during, and after the storm. If you have a disability or care for someone who does, it may require extra planning to handle an emergency.

 

Steps to Prepare

 

Know Your Evacuation Zone – Visit www.mass.gov/knowyourzone to learn if you live or work in a hurricane evacuation zone. If you live in an area that may flood and may need assistance evacuating, plan with family, neighbors, and friends who may be able to assist, and contact your local public safety officials to make them aware of your needs.

 

Make an Emergency Plan – A plan should address how your family would communicate, evacuate, and shelter in place if needed. Be sure to account for the needs of all your family members, including seniors, children, individuals with access and functional needs, and pets: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/make-a-family-emergency-plan. If you receive medical treatment or home health care services, work with your medical provider to determine how to maintain care and service if you are unable to leave your home or have to evacuate.

 

Build an Emergency Kit – Build an emergency kit that will sustain your household for three to five days without power. For tips on what to include, visit https://www.mass.gov/info-details/build-an-emergency-kit

 

Stay Informed – Every family should have multiple methods for receiving emergency alerts. Learn more about different types of alerting and information tools, including the Emergency Alert System, Wireless Emergency Alerts, NOAA Weather Radio, social and traditional news media, Mass 2-1-1 and local notification systems: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/be-informed-and-receive-emergency-alerts

 

MEMA will share preparedness and safety information throughout hurricane season. For more resources, visit the Hurricane Safety Tips section of MEMA’s website at https://www.mass.gov/mema/hurricanes.

 


MassDOT Advisory: Overnight Bridge Deck Paving Operations on Route 16 over MBTA Railroad

MassDOT Advisory: Everett

 

Overnight Bridge Deck Paving Operations on Route 16 over MBTA Railroad

 

Work will occur from 8 p.m. tonight, Thursday, June 1, through 5 a.m. on Friday June 2

 

Temporary lane closures will be in place on Route 16 westbound

 

EVERETT - The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) is announcing it will be conducting overnight bridge deck repaving operations on Route 16 westbound over the MBTA railroad in Everett.  The work will take place from 8:00 p.m. tonight, Thursday, June 1, to 5:00 a.m. on Friday, June 2. 

The work will require temporary lanes closures on Route 16 westbound over the MBTA railroad corridor.  One lane of travel will be maintained at all times.

All work is weather dependent and subject to cancellation or modification.

 

Drivers who are traveling through the impacted areas should expect delays, reduce speed, and use caution. 

 

Message boards, signs, traffic control devices, and police details will be used to guide drivers safely through the work zone. 

 

For more information on traffic conditions, travelers are encouraged to:

  • Download the Mass511 mobile app or visit mass511.comto view live cameras, travel times, real-time traffic conditions, and project information before setting out on the road. Users can subscribe to receive text and email alerts for traffic conditions.
  • Dial 511 and select a route to hear real-time conditions.
  • Follow MassDOT on Twitter @MassDOT to receive regular updates on road and traffic conditions.

DCR Opens 81 State Beaches and Waterfronts for Summer Season Starting Memorial Day Weekend

The Department of Conservation and Recreation will be opening 81 State Beaches and Waterfronts for the summer season, starting Memorial Day Weekend

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MBTA June Service Change

The MBTA today announced service changes in June on the Red, Green, Orange, Kingston, Middleborough, Greenbush, Lowell, and Fairmount lines. The MBTA will continue working to improve service reliability across the system.

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Treasury Grant Opportunity: Financial Education Funding for Veteran-Serving Organizations

Operation Money Wise—a financial education opportunity grant.

The State Treasurer’s Office of Economic Empowerment (OEE) invites non-profit organizations, public agencies, and higher education institutions located in Massachusetts to apply for opportunity grants to help empower the Massachusetts Military, Veteran, Family, and Survivor Community (MVFSC) by enhancing regional access to financial education opportunities. The grant application deadline is Thursday, May 25 at 5 PM.

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Massachusetts State Revolving Fund Project Solicitation


DCR Recreational Advisory: Day Use Parking Fees

Please be advised for the following DCR Recreational Advisory in regards to Day Use Parking Fees. Starting Saturday, May, 13th, DCR will start collecting day use parking fees across the Massachusetts State Park system. 

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Public Health Updates: COVID & RSV

COVID Updates

What the End of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Means in MA

The state and federal COVID-19 public health emergency declaration expired on May 11, 2023, three years after the onset of the pandemic. Although this does not mark the end of the pandemic, the formal ending of the emergency order will lead to some changes in coverage and masking guidelines. Health insurers will continue to cover the cost of COVID tests; however, private health insurers will no longer be required to provide free rapid antigen tests. Access to vaccines and treatments will remain unaffected as their coverage by insurance continues. Healthcare facilities can set their own mask policies, allowing hospital systems to lift their masking requirements. The Commonwealth will continue to focus resources on prevention and virus management. Learn more at mass.gov/covid-19.

Extra Spring COVID Booster Cleared for Certain Americans 

U.S. regulators have cleared another COVID-19 booster dose for older adults and people with weak immune systems so they can shore up protection this spring. The FDA ruled that anyone 65 or older can opt to receive the booster as long as it’s been at least four months since their first dose of the bivalent vaccine, which targets omicron strains. Additionally, most people who are immune-compromised can receive another bivalent booster shot at least two months after their last dose, with additional doses in the future at the discretion of their physician. For everyone else, regardless of whether it’s a first shot or a booster, the FDA also said the original versions of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are outdated and will no longer be used. Instead, anyone getting a Pfizer or Moderna shot will receive the newer omicron-targeted version. For most people, if it’s their first-ever vaccine, just one combo dose will be enough. The FDA is expected to decide over the summer if younger, healthy people will eventually be offered a second bivalent booster. 

FDA Approves United States’ First-Ever RSV Vaccine 

The FDA recently approved GlaxoSmithKline’s vaccine against the respiratory syncytial virus, making it the first authorized RSV shot in the U.S. GSK's vaccine is approved for adults aged 60 and older, a population that is particularly vulnerable to RSV. The disease causes up to 10,000 deaths and as many as 160,000 hospitalizations for people 65 and up per year, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Expanded Services for 22+ Students with Special Needs

In the legislature’s COVID-19 Recovery law, signed by the Governor in December 2021, the legislature appropriated $10 million for compensatory services for students with disabilities who reached age 22 during the pandemic, enabling them to seek additional programming and support after turning 22 that they may have been unable to access during the pandemic (e.g., when schools were physically closed).

 

Since then, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has been working with other state agencies including the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, the Department of Developmental Services, and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission as well as advocacy organizations like the Federation for Children with Special Needs to stand up a variety of programs that eligible individuals can access. DESE also has shared information about this program with school districts and encouraged them to be in touch with current and former students. The Federation for Children with Special Needs now offers families a direct point-of-contact to assist with identifying services that may be appropriate and accessible.

Individuals to consult https://fcsn.org/transition-support/ for additional information and support.


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