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Rep. Driscoll: Juneteenth and COVID-19 Trends

Dear Friends,

I write to share a brief legislative update, followed by an update on where we currently stand with COVID-19.

Today: History on Beacon Hill

I am proud to have co-sponsored and voted for the amendment offered by my colleague Representative Bud Williams of Springfield to recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday in Massachusetts. This action is long overdue, and it is my hope that by officially recognizing Juneteenth as a permanent holiday we will have the opportunity to honor those who suffered at the hands of slavery in America, celebrate the fight for freedom, and to rededicate ourselves to the work that remains to be done in ensuring fairness, equity, and justice for all.

COVID-19: Steady Progress

I am pleased to note that we are on a steady pace to eventually flat-line COVID-19. Thank you.

At this time two months ago, we stepped off the peak of Massachusetts’s COVID-19 surge and began our healthier trajectory of suppressing the Coronavirus. Today, the rate of new cases in Milton and Randolph as well as the entire Commonwealth is as low as it’s been and continues to steadily decline. All the key metrics being monitored by officials are trending in the ways we want and need them to, including a lowest in the nation transmission rate.

It is important to celebrate the progress we’ve made but it is perhaps more important than ever to not lose sight of the fact that we are still in the midst of a pandemic. Currently, there are still more than 900 people hospitalized in our state and tragically we are still losing dozens of people per day, so we must remain vigilant as the easing of restrictions continues.

Additionally, the news from several other states is alarming and further reminder to proceed with caution as things reopen.

Earlier today Dr. Marc Boom, CEO of Houston Methodist Hospital, appeared on Good Morning America and described the situation on the ground at his hospital where admissions in Houston, TX have tripled since Memorial Day.

Question: How do you explain the [Houston] surge?

Dr. Boom: “What’s happened… is that people just have completely let their guard down…somewhere around Memorial Day people said ‘hey it’s summer and I’m going to act like it’s summer and I’m going to act like this thing never was here’…and we are really paying the price for that now.”

Let’s keep our productive and healthy momentum in Massachusetts trending the right way!

I am proud of the collective action that we have all taken to contain and prevent further spread of COVID-19. I am thankful to everyone who has made sacrifices large and small to help flatten the curve. We have a challenging couple of years ahead of us economically and the importance of sustaining and building on our COVID-19 suppression efforts cannot be understated. Going backwards because of overconfidence would be detrimental on many, many levels.

Please keep wearing those face coverings and always be thinking about how you can keep yourself and others safe.

Be Well,

PS Here is an Op-ed of interest from two people I've been talking to alot via my work on the House of Reps COVID-19 Working Group. The Op-ed is about Massachusetts’s collaborative work to address COVID-19 for our Commonwealth and beyond.

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