COVID-19 Update for 4/21/20 and Updates on Applying for Unemployment
Below is a message from the Somerville, MA Community Alert System. Sign up to receive these updates by email, text, or phone.
Dear Community Members,
Here is a COVID-19 update for Tuesday, April 21.
Please also be sure to check somervillema.gov/coronavirus for information and resources that are updated frequently.
- Case Counts: As of 8:30 a.m. today, April 21, a total of 381 Somerville residents have tested positive for COVID-19, 135 of them have since recovered, and sadly there have now been six deaths.
- Massachusetts schools closed for the rest of the school year: Today Gov. Charlie Baker announced that schools will remain closed through the end of the school year and that non-emergency childcare centers will remain closed until at least June 29.
- Self-employed/freelancer Pandemic Unemployment Assistance application is now available. See below for details.
- State moratorium on evictions and foreclosures: Yesterday Gov. Baker signed a law putting a moratorium on residential and commercial evictions and foreclosures for the next four months or until 45 days after the Massachusetts state of emergency is lifted.
- URGENT! Some residents need to take action NOW to receive their full Economic Impact Payment: If you did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 and have children/dependents, you need to use the non-filer tool on the IRS website by noon, tomorrow, April 22, to update information about dependents. Doing this will ensure you get your full Economic Impact Payment in the coming weeks. If you do not enter this information by the deadline you will still receive your $1,200 payment, but the additional $500 per eligible child amount would be delayed until you file your 2020 taxes next year.
- Trash delay this week: Just a reminder that because of the Patriots’ Day holiday on Monday, trash and recycling collection is on a one-day delay all week.
- And now, something normal and non-COVID related: Public hearing on amendments to the Somerville Zoning Ordinance: The Somerville City Council’s Land Use Committee and the Somerville Planning Board will hold a joint public hearing on Thursday, April 23, at 6 p.m., to receive public comments on several proposed amendments to the Somerville Zoning Ordinance. You can participate in the meeting online or by calling 213-929-4212 and using access code 424-580-194.
Today’s Assistance Tip: Self-Employed/Freelancer Unemployment Assistance Application Available
The application for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which covers workers not normally eligible for unemployment like freelancers, gig workers, artists, and the self-employed is now up on the State’s website. You should apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance retroactive to your first week of total or partial unemployment.
Today’s Public Health Tip: Ways to Deal With COVID-19-Related Stress
As we continue through this uncertain time, it’s normal to feel stress or anxiety about what is happening. Here are some things you can do to support yourself or that you can encourage others to do to help manage stress:
- Avoid excessive exposure to media coverage of COVID-19.
- Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Try to do some other activities that you enjoy.
- Connect with others via phone, letters, or virtually. Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member.
- Try to maintain a sense of hope and positive thinking.
- Most importantly: don't neglect your feelings.
For more information and regular COVID-19 updates, visit www.somervillema.gov/Coronavirus and sign up for City alerts at www.somervillema.gov/Alerts. We urge you to sign up for every alert method you are able to receive: phone call, text, email. Also, follow FB.com/SomervilleCity and @SomervilleCity.