Neal telephone town hall addresses COVID-19 constituent concerns

Coronavirus Local Impact
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CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP)– Congressman Richard Neal held a telephone town hall meeting on Tuesday afternoon to address the concerns of constituents about the COVID-19 crisis.

He was joined by Dr. James Lederer, Chief Medical and Chief Quality Officer of Berkshire Health System (BHS), who provided information on what is being done in Berkshire County to combat COVID-19.

Both Neal and Lederer took questions from listeners during the hour long call. The questions varied from the access to testing and health care to USPS mail delivery and economic support to residents, businesses and communities.

One caller was concerned about the situation at the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke. Congressman Neal replied that he would be speaking with Massachusetts Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders to make sure the facility gets all the resources they need to control the situation. On a personal note, Neal said he has an uncle at the home.

Several questions involved the federal COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Package. Neal told listeners that Congress is crafting a Phase 4 of the package to extend benefits should the crisis continue into the summer.

Dr. Lederer provided information about what is being done to procure needed tests, PPE supplies and ventilators. He said medical facilities across western Massachusetts have been working together to help fill gaps in the supply chain. He also reiterated the importance of social distancing when in public or at work, hand cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, and only leaving home when necessary.

You can listen to the entire call here.

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