Coronavirus Cases Grow by 33% in Mass., Up in Watertown; FEMA Will Provide Assistance

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On the same day that Massachusetts had its largest increase in positive Coronavirus cases, FEMA announced it will make disaster assistance to the Bay State to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak. Watertown also saw its positive cases grow by three.

In Watertown, the cases increased from 24 to 27 in one day, according to the total provided on the Watertown Health Department’s website, and Middlesex County now has 847 cases.

Massachusetts had 1,017 more cases and nine more deaths, according to according to Mass. Department of Public’s latest COVID-19 update on Saturday. The positive cases went up by about 33 percent, to a total of 4,257 and 44 people have died. Statewide, 350 people have been hospitalized due to the Coronavirus.

On Saturday, the Governor’s office announced that FEMA had issued a Major Disaster Declaration, which will make federal disaster assistance available. Local governments, state agencies and some non-profit organizations will be reimbursed 75 percent for the cost of response and emergency protective measures related to the Coronavirus outbreak.

FEMA will also provide funding for counseling for people and family of those recovering from COVID-19 to deal with the psychological effects of the having had the virus. The counseling will be provided using “electronic phone and chat technology,” according to the announcement.

See the Governor’s office entire announcement below:

In response to Governor Charlie Baker’s request for federal disaster assistance, the White House and FEMA announced today that the President has issued a Major Disaster Declaration that will make federal disaster assistance available beyond what was included in the Emergency Declaration declared by President Trump on March 13, 2020.  

Public Assistance Program – Under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program within the Major Disaster Declaration, affected local governments, state agencies and certain private non-profit organizations statewide will be reimbursed for 75% of their costs associated with response and emergency protective measures. The eligible emergency protective measures include non-congregate isolation and quarantine costs for homeless individuals and families as well as first responders as well as other types of properly documented costs.

Individual Assistance Program – Under FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program within the Major Disaster Declaration, Crisis Counseling Assistance will provide funding for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health to assist individuals and families in recovering from the psychological effects of the COVID -19 outbreak through electronic phone and chat technology. 

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency will provide webinars and other information about the process for applying for the Public Assistance Program to municipal and state officials and eligible non-profits. See here for more information.

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