Mass. AG launches website to help first responders, healthcare personnel during pandemic
Front-line workers can find information on PPE, priority testing, alternative housing, discounts and donations, self-care and childcare on the website
MassLive.com, Springfield, Mass.
BOSTON — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey launched a new website Wednesday providing resources to those on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic and allowing the public to help health care workers and first responders.
Healey’s office collaborated with the design and software companies HubSpot and IDEO to develop the site, called FrontlineMA.org. The goal of the service is to centralize information relating to the state’s COVID-19 response.
Frontline workers can find resources on the site about personal protective equipment guidance, priority testing, alternative housing options, free and discounted meals, self-care and emergency child care.
Members of the public are also asked to help health care workers and first responders by sending them messages of support, buying them meals and donating PPE.
“Our medical providers and first responders are working nonstop to save lives, so we wanted to make it easier for them to access information about the services and support they need to take care of themselves,” Healey said in a statement.
The new website also features a “Hero Wall” that show messages and photographs from the public expressing their appreciation for health care employees and first responders. Frontline workers are able to share their experiences as well.
The attorney general’s office will continue to update the site with information about the outbreak as it develops.
“As workers navigate through this unprecedented moment in history, a vetted and trusted site that recognizes how this crisis is impacting workers in multiple ways is critical," Tim Foley, executive vice president of the 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East union, said in a statement.
Representatives from the Massachusetts Medical Society, the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Nurses Association and other organizations for frontline workers also thanked Healey.
“In this time of uncertainty and change, know that your firefighters, EMTs and paramedics will respond no matter what the need," Rich MacKinnon Jr., president of the PFFM, said in the statement.
The coronavirus pandemic has led Gov. Charlie Baker to order all non-essential businesses to close through May, while the public has been urged to stay at home to stave off transmission of the viral respiratory infection.
Some resources have been made available by the state to employees deemed essential, including first responders and hospital workers, who have had to keep going to work during the crisis.
The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care released a list last month of the daycares exempt from closing amidst the outbreak. Their services are available to those who have no other option during the pandemic. Priority will be given to frontline workers.
The union representing licensed nurses and caregivers in Massachusetts also reached an agreement with the state over the weekend making it so that staffers on the frontlines of the crisis in group homes and hospitals will see a pay increase of up to $10 per hour.
The hazard pay deal for health care workers does not include non-union employees, though.
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