Governor Enacts COVID-19 Data Law with Reporting Requirements for Senior Affordable Housing

On June 7, Governor Baker enacted a COVID-19 data law with new reporting requirements for public and affordable housing for seniors and persons with disabilities. The law requires these housing providers to report any known COVID-19 cases or deaths among residents or staff to the Department of Public Health (DPH) and local boards of health. The law also requires these housing providers to notify residents and each resident’s healthcare proxy by the following day each time there is a COVID-19 case or death or if 3 or more residents or staff present with respiratory symptoms within the previous 72 hours.  

In a letter to the Governor, CHAPA expressed concerns with the reporting requirements for public and affordable housing providers for seniors and persons with disabilities. CHAPA will be working with DPH and the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to try and address these concerns as the law is implemented.

The law also creates a new task force recommend ways to address health disparities during the pandemic. The group is charged with making recommendations to improve safety for populations facing greater risks from COVID-19, including essential workers, people living in group homes or congregate housing, incarcerated individuals, those with underlying medical conditions, and residents of cities and neighborhoods disproportionately affected by the coronavirus. Its recommendations will also address removing barriers to equitable health services and treatment, increasing access to medical supplies and COVID-19 testing, and providing informational materials in multiple languages to underserved populations.

As of June 8, the text of the law, Chapter 93 of the Acts of 2020, has not been posted on the Legislature's website. However, the Governor signed the language of H.4672 without making any changes.