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Coronavirus Update March 11 with breaking news update at end – Commissioner Steven A. Florio

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The Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Coronavirus Update dated March 11, 2020, by Commissioner Steven A Florio Hello

I would like to provide you with a summary of Governor Baker’s press conference regarding the Coronavirus, which took place yesterday, on March 10, 2020 To date, there are 92 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Massachusetts with more testing expected It is hopeful that the spread of the virus will subside In his press conference, Governor Baker also announced a state of emergency for Massachusetts, which allows the administration to exercise more authority over decision making For example, if there is uncertainty about whether or not to host an event, prior permission and approvals need not be sought in order to make a determination to cancel Or if a position is taken that temporary sites are needed for safety, the administration has the authority to designate them

The state of emergency declaration also enables the Commonwealth to access more federal funding in order to mobilize resources, obtain testing kits and other things as needed Therefore, a declaration of this kind is significant For that reason, precautionary measures have been set in place that apply to Executive branch employees That includes myself and the MCDHH agency For example, large conferences, meetings or other discretionary gatherings involving more than 15 people are to be canceled or held virtually

This restriction is set in place for the next 30 days, from March 11th to April 10th Also, of particular concern is those who are considered the highest risk population This includes older adults, those in their 60’s, 70’s, or above, and those with serious chronic medical conditions It is important to keep in the mind the safety of these groups Anyone is susceptible to contracting the virus, however these groups are particularly vulnerable

Therefore, safety precautions are encouraged Also, please continue to monitor media outlets to stay abreast of the latest news, as information changes and is constantly being updated Please continue to stay tuned As for the greater community, I would like to address public events that have been scheduled to take place over the next 30 days Deaf-Blind Awareness Day, which was scheduled for tomorrow, March 12th at the State House, has been canceled

The same is true for the National Independent Living Awareness Day, which was scheduled to take place at the State House tomorrow It has also been canceled The Joint Ways and Means Committee, which will hear public testimony on the H2 budget, will still conduct their hearing as planned on April 24th If you would like the opportunity to provide testimony on the Governor’s H

2 budget, the hearing is still scheduled to take place Next, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Constituents Day, scheduled for March 30th, is canceled unfortunately We will identify a date to reschedule In addition, I was planning on presenting at the Western Massachusetts Association of the Deaf on April 1st, but will have to cancel that engagement as well The Statewide Advisory Council Meeting scheduled for Thursday evening, April 2nd, had to be canceled too

That meeting will be postponed until May Lastly, I was planning on hosting a community forum in Pittsfield with Viability, however, that has been canceled for the same reason That forum will be postponed and a new date will be scheduled As you can see, a lot has happened and there have been numerous cancellations and changes to the schedule We hope that we have your understanding and support as these decisions are made in light of new information regarding the coronavirus and out of care and safety of the public and the Commonwealth

I’d like to conclude my announcement today by making a final point Use common sense to prevent the spread of the virus Wash your hands using soap for at least 20 seconds, being sure to include both the front and back sides of your hands and in between your fingers Though it may seem like a long time, washing your hands for at least 20 seconds will help to minimize the spread of the virus Anytime you enter the restroom or the kitchen, take the opportunity to wash your hands

It’s the best safety precaution you can exercise to prevent the spread of the virus Also, cover your mouth when you cough or use a tissue or your inner elbow Try to avoid coughing into your hands If you must use your hands, please make sure to go to the restroom to wash your hands before resuming your business Furthermore, if you are sick, please refrain from going to work, school, or any events

Stay home and avoid close contact with others If you feel you need medical attention, call ahead before going to your doctor’s office Follow your doctor’s advice as to what to do and where to seek treatment Heed the advice from your doctor before proceeding, as this will serve as another safety precaution Thank you for watching and hope you stay healthy

Thank you

Source: Youtube

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