Baker-Polito Administration to Distribute $502 Million from the Federal Coronavirus Relief Fund to Local Cities and Towns

The Baker-Polito Administration today announced that it is preparing to distribute up to $502 million from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund to local cities and towns for eligible costs related to the COVID-19 response effort. The Administration is also providing guidance to local municipalities on this formal distribution process and establishing protocols to maximize the use of federal resources and promote compliance with federal restrictions. To read more, please go to


COVID-19 Outbreak Local Public Health Responds – An Open Letter from the Coalition for Local Public Health – April 17, 2020

Dear MAHB Members,

Over the last month, the Coalition for Local Public Health has been advocating tirelessly for our members, and for the broader local public health workforce. A month ago, the Coalition asked Governor Baker’s COVID-19 Command Center to invest in increasing local capacity for contact tracing. They responded by directing emergency funds to local public health departments. Subsequently, they announced directly with the Baker Administration to fine-tune the Community Tracing Collaborative. Much of our advocacy has focused on ensuring that this large-scale contact tracing initiative integrates with our local public health system and builds local capacity for the future .

We are pleased to announce that, at the request of the Coalition, the Baker Administration and Partners in Health are hosting a webinar on Tuesday, April 21 at 3pm in lieu of the DPH/LBOH call, to explain the details and timeline of the the launch of a statewide Contact Tracing Collaborative. We are pleased that they are responding to our request for investment in this area, but we recognize that there are many questions about how this new statewide initiative will impact the work of local health departments.

Recently, two representatives of the Coalition (Dawn Sibor, MA Health Officers Association and Kristina Kimani, MA Public Health Association) have been working Community Tracing Collaborative, and in order to provide clarity and detailed information to local boards of health.

As you know, contact tracing is a critical public health tool that works best when done locally. However, in this time of crisis, not all communities have the capacity to do their own contact tracing. For that reason, the statewide effort will play a crucial role. But, it must also integrate the work of those communities that do have substantial capacity and are already engaged in substantial contact tracing. By leveraging the strengths of both local and statewide efforts, we can best protect the public and save lives.

Please join us in participating in this webinar to learn how together we can leverage the Community Tracing Collaborative to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect all residents of our Commonwealth. We will follow-up with a registration link for the webinar when it becomes available.

We are in this together,

Ruth Mori, MSN, RN President  – Massachusetts Association of Public Health Nurses , Public Health Nurse, Town of Wayland

Cheryl Sbarra, Director of Policy & Law, Massachusetts Association of Health Boards

Sigalle Reiss, President, Massachusetts Health Officers Association,  Director, Town of Norwood Health Department

Laura Kittross,  Western Massachusetts Public Health Association,  Public Health Program Manager, Berkshire Regional Planning Commission

Robin Williams, President, Massachusetts Environmental Health Association, Environmental Health Manager, Framingham Department of Public Health

Carlene Pavlos, Executive Director , Massachusetts Public Health Association

FEBRUARY 8,  2020

Coronavirus death toll hits 811, eclipsing SARS


The death toll in China from the coronavirus has risen to 811, surpassing SARS fatalities in the 2002-2003 outbreak, Chinese health authorities announced on Sunday, 2/9/2020  China’s National Health Commission said total cases in the country from the virus had increased to to 37,198, up from 31,774 a day earlier. The outbreak of SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, killed 774 people and infected more than 8,000 worldwide. Like the new virus, it also originated in China.



FEBRUARY 1,  2020
Man returning from Wuhan, China is first case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus confirmed in Massachusetts – Click to go to news release
Published by the Mass Department of Public Health, Executive Office of Health and Human Services

The first case of the 2019 novel coronavirus in Massachusetts has been confirmed in a man returning from Wuhan, China who is in his 20s and lives in Boston. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) were notified by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the positive test results late Friday evening. This is the eighth case of infection with 2019 novel coronavirus reported in the United States. The risk to the public from the 2019 novel coronavirus remains low in Massachusetts.

JANUARY 25, 2020

2019 Novel Coronavirus, Wuhan, China

2019 Novel Coronavirus, Wuhan, China

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is closely monitoring an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Chinese authorities identified the new coronavirus, which has resulted in hundreds of confirmed cases in China, including cases outside Wuhan, with additional cases being identified in a growing number of countries internationally. The first case in the United States was announced on January 21, 2020. There are ongoing investigations to learn more.

JANUARY 18, 2020 – CDC begins ‘enhanced’ health screenings at 3 airports due to China virus

The CDC and CBP began screenings Jan. 17 at San Francisco (SFO), New York (JFK), and Los Angeles (LAX) airports to detect ill travelers to this country on direct or connecting flights from Wuhan in response to an outbreak there caused by a novel coronavirus (2019 nCoV) that has resulted in 40 confirmed infections and two deaths in humans from the virus whose origin is being investigated in that city in Central China.  To read full story, go to