BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP)– The Chairs of the Joint Committee on COVID-19 and Emergency Preparedness and Management have released their report on the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The committee held nine hearings and six listening sessions in 2021 and 2022 to gather input on the state’s response, and recommendations for future planning for state health emergencies.

“I am grateful to all who shared their experiences and expertise before the Committee,” says House Chair
Bill Driscoll Jr. “This report focuses on recommendations for the near-term that are important as the
Commonwealth navigates the ongoing pandemic and builds readiness to contend with future
emergencies.”

Senate Chair Jo Comerford stated, “When COVID hit, we were less resilient and less prepared than we
ought to have been. This report will help our Commonwealth respond and recover equitably from this
pandemic as well as be better prepared for the next contagion or the next disaster. I am grateful to our
state colleagues who are responding to this pandemic and who serve on this Committee, and look forward
to working with them to implement the recommendations contained in this report.”

Among the report, 16 recommendations were calls to:

  • Restructure and update the Commonwealth’s incident management structure to better align with well-established standardized incident organizational structures
  • Create a mechanism to report at-home and rapid testing results to local boards of public health and the Department of Public Health
  • Fund contact tracing efforts by investing in local public health, with supplemental funding during disease outbreaks
  • Designate a “Special Assistant to the Governor for COVID-19 Vaccine Administration” for all efforts related to vaccinations

Read the report of the Joint Committee on COVID-19 and Emergency Preparedness and Management: