Relief Fund Announced As Infections, COVID-19 Deaths Rise


BOSTON (State House News Service) — As the number of COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts climbed to nearly 14,000, Gov. Charlie Baker and First Lady Lauren Baker on Monday announced the creation of the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund which is being launched with $13 million in funding available to local foundations and community organizations.

With an initial seed of $1.8 million from the One8 Foundation, additional donations from philanthropists, pro bono administration by Eastern Bank and help from the Boston Foundation and the Foundation for Business Equity, the relief fund aims to quickly distribute money to people and places most in need.

"The goal here is simple, which is to create a statewide fund that can support many of the local foundations and community assets that have been serving communities and people here in Massachusetts for years and years and years to help those who are going to have the hardest time working through and dealing with all of the economic consequences and public health consequences that's associated with this particular virus," the governor said.

The priority, according to the fund's FAQ page, is "high quality Massachusetts nonprofits that serve those disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, with an emphasis on essential worker resources (including healthcare workers), individuals with disabilities, immigrants, food insecurity, and homelessness."

During his press conference Monday, the governor said the number of confirmed cases in Massachusetts had climbed to 13,837 -- an increase of 1,337 cases from Sunday. He also said there were 4,492 new tests conducted between midday Sunday and midday Monday, bringing the state's total to 76,429.

While he was speaking, the Department of Public Health also reported 29 new COVID-19 deaths, raising the Massachusetts death toll to 260.

By Colin A. Young, State House News Service

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