Government agencies

2-1-1 phone service. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) announced that Massachusetts 2-1-1 will now provide real-time COVID-19 information, resources, and referrals in multiple languages. Through this partnership with Massachusetts 2-1-1, DPH subject matter experts are expanding access to information 24/7, and empowering call operators to provide the latest information about the status of COVID-19 response efforts in Massachusetts. Residents with questions should dial 2-1-1 from any landline or cellphone. Callers dialing 2-1-1 will hear an automated menu of options. Callers press 2-6 for coronavirus. Residents can also reach 2-1-1 through a live chat  option on the website which you can visit by clicking here Mass 2-1-1 website. As of 9:00 AM today, Mass 2-1-1 has answered a total of 4,502 coronavirus-related calls since last Friday. There are 17 staff now answering calls, including staff from United Way and 7 staff members from DPH.

Boston Public Health Commission has information on the virus, the need for social distancing and handwashing available here.

Census. You can complete the Census online, by phone, or by mail. The Census has paused field operations for the 2020 Census until at least April 1. Learn more by clicking here.

COVID-19 Text Alerts. Today, Massachusetts launched a text alert system called AlertsMA. The new messaging tool will allow residents to subscribe to real-time notifications by texting the keyword COVIDMA to 888-777.  After signing up, state and public health officials can send short messages and links to information directly to a resident’s cell phone or other mobile device.

DPH further guidance and recommendations. Health-related guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for various audiences can be accessed by clicking here.

Franklin information portal. Franklin is closing its schools and municipal buildings (with some exceptions). You can read the TA and Superintendent’s letter by clicking here. You can view other information on Franklin’s portal by clicking here.

Mass Cultural Council has put forward five items they will be doing to help the cultural sector in managing financial disruptions. Learn more by clicking here.

Resources for non-profit arts. The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) has been working closely with the Baker Administration and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to aid local non-profits arts programs. MCC has created a helpful website to assist programs navigate this difficult time; that information can be found here. Furthermore, MCC is working with the Nonprofit Finance Fund to help programs who may find themselves struggling financially. Click here for the Nonprofit Finance Fund COVID-19 resources page.

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has formed an Interagency Planning Working Group comprised of health, human services, public safety and several other government agencies to develop continuity plans for COVID-19. This working group is broken down into three subgroups that include 1) Support to First Responders Subgroup; 2) Logistics Subgroup, and 3) Mass Care Subgroup. These groups are tasked with developing strategies and coordinating support efforts related to COVID-19.  This follows the Department of Public Health’s infectious disease task force that was stood up in January.

The Massachusetts Trial Courts are closed to the public, except for emergencies through April 6. You can read the full court order by clicking here.

MBTA Service Changes. Effective March 17, 2020, all MBTA services will run on a reduced schedule until further notice, in the interest of the health and safety of our riders and employees. See full details by clicking here.

Medway information pages. The Medway Public Schools will be closed, beginning Monday, March 16. You can view the Medway School Department’s update page by clicking here. The town’s health page can be accessed by clicking here.

Open Meeting Law. On March 12, Governor Baker issued an emergency order making modifications to the state’s Open Meeting Law to allow state, quasi and local governments to continue to carry out essential functions during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Registry of Motor Vehicles is extending the expiration date of certain credentials to reduce the number of customers in service centers and AAA locations. Learn more by clicking here.

SNAP Benefits.The Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) is accepting online applications for SNAP benefits. To find resources, information, announcements or to apply online, please click here.