No. 591: Declaration of a State of Emergency to Respond to COVID-19

| Posted by | Categories: Learn

On March 10, Governor Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency, giving the Administration more flexibility to respond to the outbreak.  Read more information here.

WHEREAS, on January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization designated the 2019 novel Coronavirus outbreak as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern;

WHEREAS, on January 31, 2020, United States Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II declared a public health emergency for the entire United States to aid the nation’s healthcare community in responding to the 2019 novel Coronavirus (“COVID-19”);

WHEREAS, the disease caused by the 2019 novel Coronavirus is a contagious, and at times fatal, respiratory disease;

WHEREAS, symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath, and the disease can spread from person to person via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes;

WHEREAS, as of March 10, 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), there are more than 114,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, and over 4,000 of those cases have resulted in death;

WHEREAS, as of March 10, 2020, according to the CDC, there are more than 600 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, and 25 of those cases have resulted in death;

WHEREAS, as of March 10, 2020, there are 91 presumed positive cases of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth;

WHEREAS, both travel-related cases and community contact transmission of COVID-19 have been detected in the Commonwealth and such transmission is expected to continue;

WHEREAS, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has instituted a Public Health Incident Management Team to manage the public health aspects of the incident;

WHEREAS, the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 and the effects of its extreme risk of person-to-person transmission throughout the United States and the Commonwealth significantly affect the life and health of our people, as well as the economy, and is a disaster that impacts the health, security, and safety of the public;

WHEREAS, it is critical to take additional steps to prepare for, respond to, and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 to protect the health and welfare of the people of the Commonwealth; and

WHEREAS, declaring a state of emergency will facilitate and expedite the use of Commonwealth resources and deployment of federal and interstate resources to protect persons from the impacts of the spread of COVID-19;

NOW THEREFORE, I, Charles D. Baker, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, pursuant to the powers provided by Chapter 639 of the Acts of 1950 and Section 2A of Chapter 17 of the General Laws, do hereby issue this proclamation that there now exists in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts a STATE OF EMERGENCY.

Pursuant to the powers granted to the Governor in Sections 5, 6, 7, 8, and 8A of Chapter 639 of the Acts of 1950, as amended, and other provisions of law, I shall from time to time issue recommendations, directives, and orders as circumstances may require.

This proclamation of a STATE OF EMERGENCY is effective immediately and shall remain in effect until notice is given, pursuant to my judgment, that the STATE OF EMERGENCY no longer exists.

Given in Boston on 3:20 PM this 10th day of March two thousand and twenty.