BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Gov. Charlie Baker made a series of announcements about the Commonwealth's battle against coronavirus Wednesday afternoon, including that all day care centers in the state will be closed as of Monday, March 23.
Certain day care centers will remain open for the families of essential workers.
"All early education centers and family child care providers will be closed," Baker said. "As a result, we have issued emergency procedures to set forth a process for opening exempt emergency childcare programs. This will provide priority access for families of emergency personel, medical staff, and others critical to fighting the COVID-19 outbreak."
In addition, Baker said sales tax collections for small businesses have been postponed.
"For small businesses defined as those who paid less than $150,000 in 2019 sales and meals or room occupancy taxes, we will be postponing the payment of their respective sales, meals, or room occupancy taxes," Baker said. "Taxes due for March, April, and May, will instead be due on June 20."
The governor has also signed a bill to hasten unemployment insurance claims, waiving the one-week waiting period.
At the press conference, Massachusetts Health and Human Services Secretary MaryLou Sudders said the state's 211 number, set up to provide information about COVID-19, has received hundreds of calls since last Thursday. She urged residents to use the hotline's callback feature.
WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports