COVID Measures Extension

The legislature recently enacted S.2475, An Act relative to extending certain COVID-19 measures adopted during the state of emergency. The bill has been signed into law by the Governor. The measures extended in this bill include:

Sec. DescriptionNew DateOriginal COVID Measure
1Allows establishments licensed to sell beer and wine for on-premises consumption, to sell it for off-premises consumption. May 1, 2022Section 13 of chapter 53 of the acts of 2020, as amended by section 1 of chapter 118 of the acts of 2020
2Beer and wine, sold pursuant to the prior section, shall be sold at the same price for on-premises consumption and for off-premises consumption.-Section 13 of chapter 53 of the acts of 2020, as amended by section 1 of chapter 118 of the acts of 2020
3Allows public corporations to conduct annual or special meetings of the shareholders solely by means of remote communication.December 15, 2021Section 15 of chapter 53 of the acts of 2020
4Allows non-profit corporations to conduct annual or special meetings of members solely by means of remote communication. -Section 15 of chapter 53 of the acts of 2020
5Eases the formalities required for board meetings of non-profit corporations. December 15, 2021Section 16 of chapter 53 of the acts of 2020
6Allows for remote reverse mortgage counseling in lieu of in person counseling. December 15, 2021Section 2 of chapter 65 of the acts of 2020
7Allows a notary public to perform an acknowledgement, affirmation or other notarial act utilizing electronic video conferencing in real time.December 15, 2021Section 8 of chapter 71 of the acts of 2020
8Allows the select board of a town to vote, in consultation and with the approval of the town moderator, to adjust the number of voters necessary to constitute a quorum at a representative or open town meeting. December 15, 2021Section 7 of chapter 92 of the acts of 2020
9Allows the moderator in a town having a representative town meeting form of government to request the town meeting be held through remote participation, subject to approval of the select board. December 15, 2021Section 8 of chapter 92 of the acts of 2020
10Allows establishments licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for on premises consumption, to sell mixed drinks for off-premises consumption, subject to certain conditions. May 1, 2022Section 2 of chapter 118 of the acts of 2020
11Mixed drinks sold pursuant to the prior section, shall be sold at the same price for on-premises consumption and for off premises consumption.-Section 2 of chapter 118 of the acts of 2020
12Requires a landlord to provide an informational form regarding procedural rights along with a notice to quit for nonpayment of rent."the termination or nullification of the Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19 Order issued by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."Section 1 of chapter 257 of the acts of 2020
13Changes the contents of the notice to quit informational form after the expiration of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eviction order.January 1, 2023Section 1 of chapter 257 of the acts of 2020
14Extends the requirement that a landlord send an electronic copy of a notice to quit to the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.January 1, 2023Section 1 of chapter 257 of the acts of 2020
15Notice to Quit requirements are repealed on January 1, 2023. January 1, 2023-
16Extends eviction protections that require courts to grant a continuance if the eviction is based solely on nonpayment, the nonpayment was due to a COVID-19 related financial hardship and the defendant has a pending application
for rental assistance.
April 1, 2022Section 2 of chapter 257 of the acts of 2020
17Extends the Department of Housing and Community Development’s reporting requirements for the Governor’s COVID-19 eviction diversion initiative.January 1, 2023Section 3 of chapter 257 of the acts of 2020
18Requires the Governor to provide notice to the legislature not less than 45 days before the termination of the public health emergency declared by the governor on May 28, 2021. Requires the Commissioner of Public Health to provide notice to the legislature not less than 45 days before the termination of any order established pursuant to the public health emergency declared by the governor on May 28, 2021. --
19Allows a city or town to approve a request for expansion of outdoor table service, including in the description of a licensed premises to permit outdoor alcohol service.April 1, 2022Section 4 of the Governor’s COVID-19 Order No. 35; section 1 of the Governor’s COVID-19 Order No. 50.
20Allows a public body to have remote participation by all members in any meeting of the public body without a physical quorum of the body present at the specified meeting location.April 1, 2022Governor’s COVID-19 Order #1
21Allows Community Health Centers to utilize and erect space on, adjacent to or reasonably proximate to the clinic remises for COVID-19 testing and vaccine administration without submitting request for approval if they follow certain
guidelines.
April 1, 2022-
22Allows podiatrists, phlebotomists, otherwise unauthorized medical assistants and designated Massachusetts Military Division staff to administer emergency use authorized COVID-19 vaccines.April 1, 2022-
23Allows certain flexibility related to skilled nursing care for Assisted Living Residences.December 15, 2021-
24The Department of unemployment assistance shall continue to enforce the provisions of Department’s policy memorandum UIPP 2020.12 issued on October 8, 2020 as it applies to caregiver responsibilities and the adjudication of such claims."expiration of section 4102(b) of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Public Law 116-127"-
25Allows for a nursing student in their last semester of school or
an unlicensed graduate of nursing school to practice nursing in
certain settings.
April 1, 2022-
26Allows pharmacists and pharmacy interns licensed by the Board of Registration in Pharmacy and in good standing to administer medication for the treatment of opioid use disorder in opioid treatment programs and certified acute treatment
services.
"April 1, 2022 or 10 days following the date of publication in the Federal Register of a revocation of the National Emergency Concerning the 267 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak pursuant to Proclamation 9994, as continued in the Continuation of the National Emergency Concerning the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic, whichever is earlier"-
27Repeal Secs. 20, 21, 22, and 25April 1, 2022-
28Repeal Sec. 26"April 1, 2022 or 10 days following the date of publication in the Federal Register of a revocation of the National Emergency Concerning the 267 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak pursuant to Proclamation 9994, as continued in the Continuation of the National Emergency Concerning the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic, whichever is earlier"-
29Notice to Quit Sec. 13 Effective Date "upon the termination or nullification of the Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19 Order issued by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."-
30Notice to Quit Sec. 15 Effective Date SunsetJanuary 1, 2023-
31Sec. 27 Effective Date April 1, 2022-
32Substance Use Disorder Treatment Sunset Date "Section 28 shall take effect on April 1, 2022 or 10 days following the date of publication in the Federal Register of a revocation of the National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak pursuant to Proclamation 9994, as continued in the Continuation of the National Emergency Concerning the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic, whichever is earlier."-

There are several other COVID measures that have yet to be extended, including those related to: the RAFT and HomeBASE waiver; third party delivery service fees; public retiree work waivers; early voting; telehealth pay parity; out of network billing; collaborative drug therapy management; physician assistants; determination of need; and health care provider reciprocity.

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26 Comments

  1. I believe that allowing remote public meetings in place of in person public meetings for town and city functions makes it more likely that elected officials will disregard the will of the people. Since they are often prone to ignore public sentiment, for example, polls show that people who live in high crime areas want to maintain or increase police presence, and that the biggest supporters of defunding police are wealthier people who are less affected by crime….. I see current governmental initiatives as not representing the will of the voters. I do not think public officials should be insulated from the voice of their voters, in person, at public meetings.

    1. 100% Agree. School boards, politicians and all people who hold official positions should not be insulated from in person meetings. Way to easy to shut down dissent with these zoom meetings. They need to face the music of their actions.

    2. I have to disagree, Louise. In-person meetings can be too easily disrupted by one or two loudmouth protesters, who drown out the voices of the majority by their bad behavior. Virtual meetings are far more calm and orderly, and this civility encourages participation by the public and revitalizes the democratic process. If you don’t like your elected officials, vote them out at the ballot box, don’t be a sore loser and disrupt their meetings.

    3. Typically, the people most able to attend public meetings are not representative of the general public in the relevant district. The hope is that this is less true of online meetings, but it’s not clear that that is actually the case. If the goal is to make sure that feedback from the general public gets through, then the ideal solution would actually be to end all public meetings so that the relevant politicians can listen to their voters instead of disproportionately the people with the flexibile jobs and family life that allow them to attend. There may be other goals that make it worth keeping public meetings, but representing the public accurately is not something they are good at.

  2. For disabled people, remote participation is something that we have been advocating for years. with covid-19 restrictions, we have been able to participate at levels as never before. I just wish that every public meeting had a REQUIREMENT that remote participation be allowed.

    1. I heartily agree. I remember going to a state hearing on vaccine requirements just a few months before Covid hit. The audience was full of families of anti-vaxxers and their unvaccinated children, effectively preventing immunocompromised people and their families from attending at all.

  3. Maybe there is a way to combine remote and in person representation in public meetings so that all can have an opportunity to be heard.

    1. The issue is with allowing remote meetings without requiring an in-person quorum. Meetings should no longer be allowed to be 100% virtual.

  4. This an opportunity to improve as long as we do not allow the mechanisms of injustice to impeed. In 2021 there is no reason that any and all public meetings are not inperson and zoom accesible. Senior and and limited ability housing unitds should be equipped with a group access feed at all of these meetings as well. We have so many people without access to transportation or technology, that we can level the playing field and should take this action. Let’s begin to supplement access not limit it to either or.

  5. Hello Senator,
    Seeing as how Dr. Fauci in his own words taken from his his own FOIA’d private emails to the people he loves were, and it’s a direct quote mind you, “The typical mask you buy in the drug store is not really effective in keeping out virus, which is small enough to pass through material, I do not recommend that you wear a mask.” Furthermore, the University of Florida released a study just this past week, the analysis detected the following 11 dangerous pathogens on the masks:
    Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumonia) Mycobacterium tuberculosis (tuberculosis)
    Neisseria meningitidis (meningitis, sepsis)
    Acanthamoeba polyphaga (keratitis and granulomatous amebic encephalitis) Acinetobacter baumanni (pneumonia, blood stream infections, meningitis, UTIs—resistant to antibiotics)
    Escherichia coli (food poisoning) Borrelia burgdorferi (causes Lyme disease) Corynebacterium diphtheriae (diphtheria)
    Legionella pneumophila (Legionnaires’ disease) Staphylococcus pyogenes serotype M3 (severe infections—high morbidity rates)
    Staphylococcus aureus (meningitis, sepsis)
    Half of the masks were contaminated with one or more strains of pneumonia-causing bacteria. One-third were contaminated with one or more strains of meningitis-causing bacteria. One-third were contaminated with dangerous, antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens. In addition, less dangerous pathogens were identified, including pathogens that can cause fever, ulcers, acne, yeast infections, strep throat, periodontal disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and more.” [see: https://rationalground.com/dangerous-pathogens-found-on-childrens-face-masks/%5D
    That facemasks are ineffective to block transmission of COVID-19 and actually can cause health deterioration and premature death seems to me an obvious understatement.
    Can you help me with understanding the continuing theater? Manipulative guilt? What happened to HIPPA?
    I’M VACCINATED. What does ‘vaccinated’ mean?
    I’m ok with the willful ignorance of the uninformed to do self harm, that’s their own business, but they I shouldn’t be forced to do harm to myself.
    I choose to ‘follow the science,’ not the science fiction based solely on political theater.
    Thank you for your time, I await an explanation and I hope you’re having a great weekend. ?

  6. I do have issues with 9, 20. It was not until last week that I regained practical access to the internet. (Did from time to time get a chance to borrow a smartphone to get out quick urgent messages) Don’t get me started on the fiasco on registering for a vax without internet access. Our library was closed for over a year leaving me digitally disenfranchised. Yet, town hearings/ meetings are now held after the library closes in the evening, so the problem persists, even after the medical reason for virtual communication is not there. Is there a way of at least the meeting Chair being present in person in some type of arrangement allowing in-person public participation and simultaneous be virtual-ed. Last summer, I received a notice of hearing from an abut-tor for wetlands issues on his/her home addition. There was no practical way I could respond (should I have called Morgan & Morgan to get a Supreme Court ruling on this)?

    I am tired of Municipal and public hiding behind their technology.
    Now this problem can be rectified in the statehouse. Otherwise we are no better than a digital dictatorship, or should I say The Statehouse is a little North Korea in downtown Boston.

  7. If public participation in local government is going to remain remote, (hopefully, that remains an option for all with legitimate reason, and not to skirt accountability ) then have we considered enabling traditional locations of public gathering with connectivity tech for a mass of individuals to share their voices and spirit live with the remote members?

    1. Let me refine, re.: “legitimate,”no one should have to justify their attending remotely post- pandemic, but there may be a good reason for chosen representatives &c. to be physically present whenever possible.

  8. I’m very happy that we’re continuing with the availability of remote in addition to in-person. Having both will allow me to participate in-person when I can and virtually when I can not. I have seen a much higher participation in municipal meetings this last year because of the virtual meetings. I was able to participate in meetings that I could not have attended in person because of work schedule. I’m hoping that continuing virtual will mean that I will be able to continue attend. All meeting should have both to ensure maximum participation.

  9. I am curious to know which colleges and universities in greater Boston are requiring students to be fully vaccinated.

  10. Let’s try this again.
    Can you explain this, Senator?

    “COVID-Tracker App Installs Itself Without User Consent, Including On Parental-Locked Devices.
    JUNE 19, 2021
    “Massachusetts state officials recently announced the launch of the
    “voluntary” MassNotify app, which monitors the spread of COVID-19 in the state. The only problem is the app appears to be installing itself on residents’ and their kids’ smartphones, unbeknownst to users, and without their consent.
    The news creates a disturbing new dimension to privacy laws and even private property concerns as hundreds of users have reported their Android phones have had the app surreptitiously installed, without their prior knowledge.”
    https://thenationalpulse.com/breaking/massachusetts-massnotify-app-consent/

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