BOSTON (WWLP) – Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito joined Massachusetts health officials to provide an update on coronavirus.

Governor Baker has asked all early education and child care centers in Massachusetts to closed by March 23rd. Emergency child care programs set aside for workers “critical” to fighting the coronavirus outbreak will be made available.

Read the Executive Order here:Early Education and Care Order

Employees that are emergency personnel, medical professionals and other response teams will be placed on the top of the list for emergency child care. Other positions left available will be given to people that do not hold a critical role but still need to work.

Baker said daycare centers will be able to reopen at the end of the state of emergency.

Two public health orders were also issued Wednesday allowing physician assistants to work on more health care needs and allow pharmacists to administer medications to relief nurses.

Governor Baker also announced that the state is planning relief for small businesses, especially restaurants and hospitality businesses, by postponing sales, meals and room occupancy tax due dates until June 20th.

The Governor on Wednesday signed Senate Bill S.2599 to provide unemployment assistance to workers impacted by COVID-19. This legislation will allow new claims to be paid more quickly by waiving the one week waiting period for unemployment benefits.

According to Cooley Dickinson Health Care spokesperson Christina Trinchero, the hospital was notified by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Tuesday that the two patients tested positive.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Massachusetts increased to 256 on Wednesday, according to data released by the state Department of Public Health. 

The state will continue to update the public on further developments and individuals are encouraged to consult both the Department of Public Health and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites for the most up to date information.

The latest information and guidance regarding COVID-19 can be found at

MAP: Interactive Coronavirus Cases

LINKS: Coronavirus Information

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