Gov Baker Update on Coronavirus and Other Health Care Issues
Governor Charlie Baker will provide an update on the coronavirus in Massachusetts and other measures to support the health care system in the state. He will be joined by Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. In addition to presenting updates on the coronavirus, the governor will also discuss the recent shortage of staff. This is a good time to ask questions and learn about the latest developments in Massachusetts health care. Here are a few tips from the governor on the latest health care issues.
Governor Baker signed an executive order requiring vaccinations for state workers. The order does not mention schools, but state teachers’ unions are pushing for a statewide mandate. Baker’s executive order mirrors policies adopted by other state governments. For instance, the City of Boston requires its employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine. However, his new policy is stricter than those in other states. Washington is the only other state with such a mandate.
In a recent appearance on GBH’s “Boston Public Radio,” Baker discussed the benefits of a digital vaccine passport. The digital passport can be used by residents to prove they’ve had their vaccinations. This digital vaccine passport has accessibility features and is also under development in other states. Some Massachusetts businesses are already screening patrons for vaccination status, but Finlaw says that this practice isn’t required by law.
The Baker-Polito administration also announced a new call center for residents 75 years of age and a Vaccine Public Awareness Campaign. In addition to the new guidelines, the administration also announced that they are extending the 25% capacity limit for most businesses and gatherings. But there’s still more good news to come in the near future. Vaccines have long been considered a necessary component of the fight against the deadly illness.
A case challenging the authority of Gov. Charlie Baker to ban face masks will be heard in the state’s Supreme Judicial Court. The plaintiff in the case, Arianna Murrell, runs a tax preparation business in Lynn. While the state argues that the case is moot since the mask mandate has expired, attorneys for Murrell argue that the case is still relevant because Baker could reimpose the ban at any time.
The CDC and Department of Public Health recently updated their recommendations for COVID-19 mask use. They recommend that people exposed to the virus wear a face mask indoors and outdoors, particularly in places where they might be more vulnerable to exposure. The guidelines also recommend that people age 65 and older wear masks. The changes were made as a result of the outbreak and the CDC’s new guidance. Earlier this year, the state’s governor resisted requiring masks.
While many people opposed the mask mandate, the change in direction came as a welcome surprise for public health advocates. On Aug. 1, the state’s largest teachers union voted in favor of the measure. As a result, the state’s schools should follow the new guidelines. It will be interesting to see if the state will adopt a universal mask mandate in schools. If so, will Massachusetts’ health and education agencies follow suit?
The new guidelines are in line with the recommendations of several governors in the Northeast. New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Massachusetts have all eased mask requirements in schools. Meanwhile, the New York state governor, Kathy Hochul, announced that the state will drop its mask-mandate for businesses but not schools. Hochul also cited the need to analyze public health data. In her statement, Riley indirectly acknowledged the challenges faced by students with masks.
Rapid antigen tests
Massachusetts has seen record numbers of COVID-19 cases, and the governor’s office is looking to ease the burden on the health care system by providing more rapid antigen tests. The governor announced that the administration has purchased 26 million rapid antigen tests and will prioritize their use in child care centers and K-12 schools. The administration also plans to prioritize the purchase of the tests for programs that preserve the traditional in-person learning environment. Despite the tumultuous response to the recent outbreak, the governor’s office remains committed to a return to traditional in-person learning.
The state ordered 26 million COVID-19 rapid antigen tests through the iHealth company, which will be delivered to the state within three months. The initial shipments will be prioritized for child care centers and K-12 schools, but the state will prioritize them for early childhood development programs and health care facilities. The governor also ordered 500 members of the Massachusetts National Guard to help support the health system, and he said that more shipments are in the works.
The federal government and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that antigen tests are sufficient for detecting virality in most cases. However, if you are concerned about the possibility of contracting the disease, it is best to undergo a PCR test instead. Rapid tests are highly accurate and can ensure that your employees are safe. The latest update of the omicron-surge vaccine has made it easier than ever to get an accurate diagnosis of the infection.
As part of the new COVID-19 testing program, Massachusetts child care centers will soon start receiving free COVID-19 rapid test kits. These tests can be administered to children as young as two. If they test negative, they can stay in the child care setting. The new COVID testing program will not only protect the children from this potentially life-threatening disease, but also keep early childhood education programs in business.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has ordered hospitals facing critical staffing shortages to limit elective procedures and cut non-essential services by 30% or 50%. The state issued an emergency order for hospitals to lower staffing ratios to create more space in other areas. As of Thursday, 93% of hospital beds and 85% of ICU beds were occupied. This is despite a surge in patients. Hospitals across the state are struggling to meet demand.
Governor Charlie Baker is now considering activating the National Guard to help relieve the state’s hospital capacity constraints. He said he had to determine the details of how the deployment would work. Other states like Maine have activated their National Guard to relieve capacity constraints. While he’s not sure how the National Guard could be used in Massachusetts, he said it might be worth a try. This solution would provide much-needed relief.
The governor has called on the National Guard to help with the COVID testing shortages. Last month, the state activated up to 250 National Guard members to fill a school bus driver shortage. The help was extended to 13 school districts. The National Guard’s involvement is unprecedented in Massachusetts. In addition to driving schoolchildren, Massachusetts’ National Guard has been deployed to nursing homes to test for the COVID virus, a viral infection that has infected nearly 50,000 people worldwide.
Trump’s endorsement of Karyn Lake
Despite a solid campaign war chest and an open seat, Gov. Baker has decided to step down. Baker opted not to run for the governor’s job after Trump refused to endorse her. The move also frees up the administration to focus on the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement means a wide open race for governor in 2019.
The news of Lake’s campaign does not go unnoticed by Republicans. Lake, a former lobbyist and career politician, frequently trashes Salmon on social media. In one of her recent comments, she called Salmon “the embodiment of the swamp.”
Trump’s latest endorsement has put Karyn Lake ahead of former Secretary of State Matt Salmon. But Trump’s primary endorsements are less common now. According to CNN, the former president may delay his primary endorsements for a while. A former Trump campaign official said that the former president is more selective. As a result, Lake is likely to win. If Karyn Lake is endorsed by Trump, it will be a positive sign for her campaign.
In other races, a former news anchor, a conservative Republican, has endorsed Lake. Lake has also embraced Trump’s election conspiracy theories. It’s not surprising that the GOP has a tough defensive game in Arizona. In addition to being a competitive primary state, the governor, Doug Ducey, is term-limited. The President has clashed with Ducey on the 2020 election, and Trump is targeting other incumbent governors for political gain.
The other two candidates are Matt Salmon and Karrin Taylor Robson. While Salmon lacks the campaign cash and strategy, he shares her views. The latter candidate has a proven track record of achieving his goals and delivering results. The third candidate, Matt Salmon, has been a political heavyweight. Both men are well-known to the media. Neither candidate has a strong campaign strategy.