Springfield COVID-19 | WAMC

Springfield COVID-19

School bus
Pat Bradley/WAMC

 

    Public school buildings in Massachusetts will remain closed at least until fall. But what then? School officials are looking at a number of daunting challenges to reopening amid the pandemic. 

Woman points to a map with red dots
WAMC

       The largest city in western Massachusetts is planning to personalize the grim statistics from the coronavirus pandemic. 

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Plans for reopening businesses and public buildings in the largest city in western Massachusetts are taking shape. 

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has released a roadmap for the phased reopening of the Massachusetts economy starting today. Officials in the state’s third-largest city are getting ready to put regulations in place to implement the reopening plan. 

PVWC

A relief fund set up by a nonprofit organization is helping hundreds of undocumented immigrants in western Massachusetts who are not eligible for federal stimulus checks or unemployment benefits.

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       In an order issued in late April, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reiterated that farmers’ markets are considered an essential business, and just like grocery stores, should be permitted to open with precautions.

A framework has been announced for reopening the Massachusetts economy.

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As unemployment numbers have surged over the past few weeks, so has demand for social services including emergency food assistance.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, red ink is mounting for cities and towns.

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     When a mandatory face covering directive takes effect in Massachusetts on Wednesday, the emphasis in Springfield will be on education, not enforcement.

A thermal image thermometer in use.
WAMC

            With the surge in coronavirus hospitalizations apparently reaching a plateau in Massachusetts, planning has started for what comes next –the gradual lifting of restrictions that shut down large parts of the state’s economy and social life. 

     The coronavirus shutdowns and restrictions in Massachusetts will continue until at least mid-May.  

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Signs indicate that western Massachusetts may be past the peak of COVID-19 cases, but experts say the true extent of the infection can’t be known without more widespread testing.  

  In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Massachusetts is seeing an alarming new trend.  People with serious medical conditions including heart problems and cancer are staying away from hospitals.

Congressman Richard Neal speaks on House Floor
CSPAN

Congress has approved another round of coronavirus relief funding.

a row of small shops on a deserted pedestrian way
WAMC

   As Congress works to replenish a financial aid program for small businesses, an assistance program in the largest city in western Massachusetts has been swamped by requests for help. 

a high capacity automatic handgun
Springfield Police Dept

        One thing that has not shut down during the pandemic is crime in the largest city in western Massachusetts. 

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While Gov. Charlie Baker said Massachusetts is seeing a surge in coronavirus infections and federal health officials have characterized Boston as a worrisome hotspot in the pandemic, there are signs the worst might be over in western Massachusetts. 

Dakin Humane Society

Several years ago, the Dakin Humane Society in western Massachusetts created a program to provide temporary shelter for pets belonging to people who were experiencing a crisis that forced them to leave their homes.

    With schools closed in Massachusetts because of the pandemic, the Springfield School Department is distributing 10,000 laptops to students to use at home.  

Focus Springfield

        A virtual town hall, originating in the largest city in western Massachusetts, discussed resources and responses in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.  

a row of small shops on a deserted pedestrian way
WAMC

  The largest city in western Massachusetts is offering a financial lifeline to small businesses suffering from the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

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     The mayor of the largest city in western Massachusetts is demanding more protective face masks for public safety personnel.   WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

Community Foundation of Western Mass.

      A fund set up just a few weeks ago to help nonprofits in Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties in western Massachusetts has grown to $3 million.

  Federal dollars have started flowing to the largest city in western Massachusetts to help with the recovery from the pandemic.  

A hospital room and bed
WAMC

        Health care leaders in western Massachusetts are continuing to prepare for a surge in coronavirus patients.

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   Residents in the largest city in western Massachusetts are being asked to wear face masks outside the home as preparations continue for a surge in coronavirus cases.

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  To slow the spread of the coronavirus, new steps are being taken to keep people apart in the outdoors in Massachusetts.

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   The city of Springfield, Massachusetts has put up large tents that will be used if the coronavirus spreads to the city’s homeless population.

people sitting around a conference table
WAMC

The legislative branch of the largest city in western Massachusetts is prepared to meet remotely during the coronavirus pandemic and comply with open meeting requirements.