From the Office of Karen Spilka

As of Local Town Pages press time of 3/16/20
Issue Date: 
April, 2020
Article Body: 

As you are undoubtedly aware, Governor Baker announced a number of emergency measures this evening. I have been in touch with the Governor and the Administration about a number of the issues he addressed, and I would like to thank everyone who has contacted my office to let me know the questions and concerns residents have in their communities. It has helped my discussions with state and local leaders immensely.
I am particularly glad to see that the Governor took strong action around school closings, social distancing and telemedicine, which I have persistently pushed for this week. The measures we are taking now are in the best interest of preserving public health & our healthcare system. But we know they will have an impact on our residents, communities & businesses. That’s why the Massachusetts State Senate ( is working now to tee up legislation to help with these impacts.
The bills and guidance that Governor Baker outlined March 15th include the following:
Elementary and Secondary Schools will suspend educational operations from March 17 until April 6. Full order available at
Gatherings & Restaurants: Governor Baker issued an emergency order limiting gatherings to 25 individuals and prohibiting on-premises consumption of food or drink at bars and restaurants, beginning on March 17 and effective until April 6. Full order available at
Health Care: The Department of Public Health issued guidance today that includes the following:
• All commercial insurers, self-insured plans, and the Group Insurance Commission are required to cover medically necessary telehealth services related to COVID-19 testing and treatment. Full order available at
• Insurers must do this without requiring co-pays and coinsurance for testing and treatment.
• Additionally, insurers cannot require prior authorization for these services.
• All assisted living residences are to ban visitors to protect the health of residents and staff. This is in addition to the federal guidance issued on Friday that bans visitors to nursing homes and rest homes.
• All hospitals operated by the Department of Public Health or the Department of Mental Health are to screen all visitors and restrict visitation if individuals show any indication of illness.
• Hospitals must cancel non-essential elective procedures.
• Authorizes licensed pharmacies to create and sell hand sanitizer over the counter.
Registry of Motor Vehicles: The Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) will extend the renewal timeline of certain credentials to reduce the need for customers to physically visit an RMV service center for in-person transactions. Full order available at
• Effective this week, the RMV will implement a 60-day extension to the current expiration date for Class D, Class DMs, ID cards, and Learner’s Permits within the RMV system.
• This extension does not apply to vehicle registrations. Most vehicle registrations can be renewed online at Mass.Gov/RMV.
• This deadline extension will not apply to customers with Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs) or those whose end of stay in the United States is the same as the expiration date on their driver’s license, ID card, or Learner’s Permit.
• Customers eligible for this extension should wait to visit an RMV Service Center or AAA office (if a member of AAA) to renew until after the State of Emergency has been terminated.
For additional information on these and other executive actions and guidance, please visit The Office of the Governor Website at
Please continue to check the Coronavirus Updates page on my website for the latest information.
I ask you to please contact my office if you need assistance in any way during this time. You can always reach out by calling (617) 722-1500 or emailing [email protected].