As the impact of coronavirus quickly spreads across Massachusetts, MPHA is working to ensure that equity is at the center of the state’s response. To that end, we have convened an Emergency Task Force on Coronavirus & Equity to rapidly develop policy recommendations. The Task Force is co-chaired by Sandro Galea, MD, Dean of the Boston University School of Public Health and Cheryl Bartlett, RN, CEO of the Greater New Bedford Community Health Center and former Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
The COVID-19 outbreak is not impacting Massachusetts residents equally. Communities that are already facing marginalization are being hardest hit by the virus and its economic repercussions, starkly exposing inequities across Massachusetts and the nation. The people most impacted include low-wage workers, people of color, immigrants, non-English speakers, people who are housing insecure or experiencing homelessness, people with disabilities, people who are food insecure, people who are incarcerated, and older adults.
The Task Force is recommending dramatic and immediate action to mitigate these impacts, including the following:
- Pass Emergency Paid Sick Time
- Ensure Everyone Has Access to Safe Quarantine
- Enact a Moratorium on Evictions, Foreclosures & Termination of Public Benefits
- Ensure Immigrants Have Safe Access to Testing & Treatment
The Task Force recognizes that these recommendations are not comprehensive and do not address all populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. As the Task Force continues its work, we will issue further recommendations and will lift up the leadership of other coalitions leading the way on related issues.
For more information about the Task Force, contact Jeneczka Roman, MPHA Policy Specialist, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fact Sheet on the Initial Recommendations (Issued 3/20/20)