COVID-19: Resources and MAPC’s Response

COVID-19 Work and Resources

COVID-19: Resources and MAPC’s Response

MAPC is committed to helping local officials and other allies and stakeholders address their needs, and we are encouraging a statewide, coordinated response to this virus. MAPC stands ready to assist your community and the region during this time. This is a challenging, unprecedented situation for all of us, but we can make it easier by supporting each other, sharing resources, and continuing to collaborate.

For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 in Massachusetts, visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's COVID-19 Resources page.

MAPC is sharing new resources, news, and important information on social distancing on social media. Follow and share on our Twitter and Facebook.

Vaccine Resources

About the COVID-19 Vaccine

Everyone age 18 or older who received Pfizer or Moderna at least 6 months ago or Johnson & Johnson at least 2 months ago can get any booster.

People ages 5-17 can get the Pfizer vaccine. People age 18 or older can get any vaccine.

New: Communications Resources

The resources below include advice, materials, and resources for communicating about the COVID-19 vaccine for children.

Strategies for Communicating to Parents About Pediatric Vaccinations
The National Academy of Sciences and Medicine releases this set of strategies and related materials for communicating with parents about the importance of vaccinating their children against COVID-19. The strategies can help communicators work with parents who are hesitant to get their children vaccinated.

PHCC Toolkit: Children and COVID-19 Vaccination

A set of materials developed from the Public Health Communications Collaborative (PHCC). The group works to coordinate and amplify public health messaging on COVID-19 and increase Americans’ confidence in guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local public health officials. Included in the toolkit are topline messages, resources to answer tough questions on children and vaccines, sample posts, and graphics for public use.

AAP COVID-19 Vaccine Campaign Toolkit
A set of articles, sample social media posts, videos, and social media graphics from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Video: Children's COVID-19 Vaccine with Dr. Egan and Dr. Boxer of MGH Revere The City of Revere's Town Hall on COVID-19 vaccinations for children.

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Free to Use: Local Artists' COVID-19 Resources

Free-to-use graphics, videos, and more! MAPC hired nine artists and artist groups to create materials encouraging people to wear masks, social distance, and get vaccinated. Various materials are available in eight languages.

These materials are available for public use. Municipalities, health agencies, community groups, and members of the public can freely use them to encourage vaccinations in their communities.

Click here to view and download.

COVID-19 Work Overview

Reopening & Recovery

We're giving input to the Governor's Reopening Task Force, helping cities and towns support their small businesses and respond to unemployment, and supporting shared streets initiatives.

Municipal Collaboration

MAPC is providing resources to and facilitating conversations among municipal leaders from throughout the state and connecting them to the administration.

Funding

  • MAPC and MassDevelopment are providing funding to partner with taxi and livery services to meet the needs of vulnerable populations.
  • We distributed almost $800,000 of urgent financial aid to local health departments.

Research & Publications

Supporting Healthcare Providers

MAPC is supporting hospitals, community health centers, nursing homes, EMS, and public health departments through its work as the sponsoring organization for the Region 3 HMCC. We're also helping to establish, staff, and equip isolation and recovery centers.

Reopening and Recovery

ARPA Investment Priorities

As we advocate for an equitable recovery, MAPC encourages the state and our municipalities to spend American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars thoughtfully and expeditiously, in ways that address structural inequity, align with existing goals, strengthen existing programs, and pilot innovative ideas.

Visit our ARPA webpage for more information on our priorities for ARPA investments, resources on municipal ARPA spending, and information on EDA recovery programs.

Shared Streets

As we begin to reopen and public health guidelines continue to encourage physical distancing, how can municipalities repurpose street space to accommodate increased demand for walking, biking, and outdoor retail?

MAPC is helping our municipalities answer that question. We're eager to support our cities and towns in thinking through ways to repurpose street space to allow for safe walking and biking, more efficient bus service, and expanded outdoor dining and retail options. Here are some ways we can be of help:

  • Regional visioning and planning
  • Collective procurement of materials
  • Coordination and sharing best practices
  • Technical assistance at the local level

Contact Transportation Director Eric Bourassa at ebourassa@mapc.org with questions or ideas.

Comments on MBTA's "Forging Ahead" Proposal

In the fall of 2020, MAPC submitted comments to the the MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board and MassDOT Board of Directors on the MBTA's "Forging Ahead" plan.

As our region and Commonwealth continue to reopen amid an uptick in cases, safe transit service must remain a viable option to avoid worsening congestion and to maintain a reliable, COVID-safe way of getting around for essential workers and others who do not drive.

Governor's Reopening Task Force

In May of 2020, MAPC Deputy Director Rebecca Davis and Government Affairs Director Lizzi Weyant presented recommendations to the Governor’s Reopening Advisory Board, alongside Salem Mayor Kimberley Driscoll and Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone. These recommendations were made on behalf of a working grouping of MAPC region mayors and managers.

Small Business and Unemployment Response

  • January 21, 2020: Baker-Polito Administration Awards Another $37 Million in Grants to 638 Businesses (Press release)
  • Building a New Future Together: We've published a guide to how municipal governments can help their small businesses reopen, recover, and thrive.
  • Small Business Response Plans: MAPC is working with Salem, Arlington, Medford, and the Newton-Needham Chamber of Commerce on response plans for assisting small businesses.
  • Unemployment Response Plans: MAPC is working with Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Revere, and Somerville on a rapid response plan to identify the needs of unemployed individuals and determine immediate and long-term employment options.

Municipal Collaboration

MAPC is providing resources to and facilitating conversations among municipal leaders from across the state. We are sharing best practices, resources, templates, and information on how to keep residents safe, healthy, and informed while keeping city and town governments running.

MAPC has served as a conduit of information and communication channel between state and local officials in Greater Boston. We have hosted weekly calls between mayors and managers and Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. We have run webinars on topics such as homelessness, food security, and small business preservation. And every Sunday, we host a call with scientists, physicians, and epidemiologists so local officials can learn more about the science behind the pandemic and key trendlines that will affect local decision-making.

If you are a mayor, city or town manager, or their designee and you wish to join this group, please contact Lizzi Weyant, MAPC Director of Government Affairs at eweyant@mapc.org and we will immediately place you in the group, add you to the video call group, and direct you to resources.

Funding Distribution

Creative COVID-19 Communications Grants

MAPC is seeking artists, designers, and creatives to create works of art that can be used to promote the COVID-19 vaccine and other COVID-19 related public health messaging---with a focus on culturally resonant works that engage ethnic, cultural, and BIPOC communities.

The application deadline is February 26, 2021. Click here to learn more.

Emergency Funding for Local Health Departments
Transportation Grants

Publications

The COVID-19 Layoff Housing Gap

We analyze the latest Massachusetts unemployment numbers by sector, to understand who's getting laid off and how much assistance they'll need to stay in their homes.

Community and Regional Reponse Plan: Significant Labor Force Disruptions and Unemployment

An action framework for economic security and an evaluation of COVID-related unemployment.

Building a New Future Together

Recommendations for how municipalities can facilitate small business reopening and recovery, and how the Commonwealth can help them through consistent guidelines and requirements.

Engagement in Virtual Meetings

Hosting engaging public meetings over virtual platforms can be tricky. This guide includes tips and tricks for virtual engagement, including what to do before, during, and after your meeting.

Healthcare Support, Supplies, and Isolation & Recovery Centers

MAPC worked with Chelsea and Revere to stand up an isolation facility for ill residents who could not safely remain at home. And we distributed almost $800,000 of urgent financial aid from the state Department of Public Health to cash-strapped local health departments.

Check out a video on the Revere isolation facility below:

Support for Local Healthcare Providers

MAPC is providing support to local hospitals, community health centers, nursing homes, EMS, and local public health departments through its work as the sponsoring organization for the Region 3 Health and Medical Coordinating Coalition (HMCC).

For more information on the work of the Region 3 HMCC, please contact Beth Robert, Region 3 HMCC Program Manager at erobert@mapc.org.

Resources

MAPC is currently compiling lists of various national, state, regional, and local resources for our communities. As we learn more about additional programs, we will be sure to include them in this list.

Webinars

MAPC is hosting occasional webinars to keep our municipal stakeholders and wider audience aware of opportunities, resources, and information related to the COVID-19 response.

We'll be focusing on topics that will be useful to our audience and hope to provide clear, relevant, and timely information. The webinars will complement and respond to the conversations that we're having everyday with people responding to the COVID crisis.

Engagement Resources

Hybrid Engagement Resources

In the summer of 2021, MAPC launched "Exploring Together: Navigating Hybrid Engagement," a workshop series focused on shared practices and tools for hosting meetings that bridge remote and in-person participation. We explore meeting facilitation and design, technology needs, and current state law and policy debates that will impact municipal meeting policies.

Shared Practices for Engagement Virtual Meetings

Hosting engaging public meetings over virtual platforms can be tricky. Since the COVID-19 emergency necessitated working from home, MAPC has been working with staff and partners to understand how to host engaging virtual meetings. This document assembles some recommendations and shared practices that the Community Engagement, Communications, and Digital Services teams at MAPC have identified and adopted. In this guide, we’ll cover what to do before, during, and after your meeting, review Zoom-specific tips and tricks, discuss how to respond to meeting disruptions (ZoomBombing), and discuss how to deal with some specific technology challenges.

Virtual Meeting Support

The Community Engagement Division is eager to support communities in hosting engaging and inclusive virtual public meetings. DLTA funds are available for the following:

  • Identifying strategies for hosting a successful virtual Town Meeting (now an option for Representative Town Meeting)
  • Offering support for other virtual public meetings (e.g. board and commission meetings)
  • Helping communities address concerns from residents who are unfamiliar with how to use technology to participate in virtual meetings

For more information, please contact Emily Torres-Cullinane, Assistant Director of Strategic Initiatives, at etorres@mapc.org.

Small Business and Unemployment Resources

Small Business Resources

Resources for small businesses, including financial assistance programs and information from the state and national governments.

Unemployment Resources

Resources for unemployment, including an overview of unemployment benefits, state and federal programs, and additional information that might be helpful for those out of work.

External Resources

The MA COVID Team and local boards of health are working together on a contact tracing program to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Massachusetts. Contact tracing is an important tool in reducing the spread of the virus. Through the Community Tracing Collaborative, everyone who has tested positive will get a call from the Board of Health or the MA COVID Team, making sure they have the support they need to quarantine and get better, and to find out who they have recent been in contact with.

The MA COVID Team or Board of Health will talk to those contacts, encouraging them to get tested and to stay at home to not spread the virus further. Together with massive testing and hospital care follow up, contact tracing is absolutely essential to stop the virus and get our communities moving again.

The COVID team has assembled a toolkit of materials to spread the word about the importance of contact tracing. Please use the tools below to spread the word about this important initiative through newsletters, flyers and social media. Thank you for your help!

Flyers

Click images to download files.

English

Chinese

Haitian

Portuguese

Spanish

Vietnamese

Need Assistance?

MAPC is fully open for business on a virtual basis, and we are ready to help cities and towns that are struggling with emergency management or coordinating a municipal response to COVID-19. Reach out if your municipality is struggling with staff capacity: we can provide expertise and ease the pressure on small or overwhelmed municipal governments.

If you need assistance with:

Municipal governance; maintenance of operations; or remote governance issues

Contact Mark Fine, Director of Municipal Collaboration, at mfine@mapc.org.

Public safety and security; emergency management

Contact Amy Reilly, Assistant Director of Municipal Collaboration, at areilly@mapc.org.

Public health issues; direct response to COVID-19

Contact Barry Keppard, Director of Public Health, at bkeppard@mapc.org.

Land use planning; environmental or transportation issues

Contact Mark Racicot, Director of Land Use Planning at mracicot@mapc.org.

Statements from MAPC on COVID-19