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Massachusetts COVID public health emergency, vaccine mandate to end on May 11

CBS Boston 3/15/2023 Staff

BOSTON – Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey announced on Wednesday that the state's COVID-19 public health emergency will end on May 11. The state's vaccine requirement for Executive Branch employees will also end at that time.

The date of the public emergency ending aligns with the federal declaration also expiring on May 11.

Healey said she also plans to file legislation that would extend some flexibilities, largely around staffing for the health care industry and EMS.

"Thanks to the hard work of our health care providers and communities, we've made important progress in the fight against COVID-19," Healey said in a statement. "We know that we have the tools to manage this virus – vaccines, masking, testing, getting treatments and staying home when sick – and we've reached the point where we can update our guidance to reflect where we are now. I'd also like to acknowledge the leadership of Governor Baker and his administration, who saved countless lives by putting these important measures in place in a time of immense crisis."

In total, the vaccine order cost about 1,000 workers their jobs.

Massachusetts State Police Association president Patrick McNamara applauded Healey's decision. The union said the vaccine mandate led to 20 troopers being fired or suspended without pay.

"This has been a long journey for our membership. We have been seeking the same treatment as other Commonwealth employees and for our leaders in government to hear our voice," McNamara said. "Today, the Healey-Driscoll Administration did just that with the announcement to rescind Executive Order 595. Our Association and our Executive Board are excited to get our members back to do what they do best, protecting the Commonwealth."

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