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Mass. Police, Firefighters Will Receive 200,000 Respirator Masks

Gov. Charlie Baker teared up at the end of his daily briefing Wednesday, pausing for 10 seconds while talking about how his best friend's mother died of COVID-19 and the "brutal" psychological impact on families who cannot hold funerals or memorial services to say goodbye. (Sam Doran/State House News Service)
Gov. Charlie Baker teared up at the end of his daily briefing Wednesday, pausing for 10 seconds while talking about how his best friend's mother died of COVID-19 and the "brutal" psychological impact on families who cannot hold funerals or memorial services to say goodbye. (Sam Doran/State House News Service)

Gov. Charlie Baker announced Friday that 200,000 respirator masks were being delivered to all police officers and firefighters across the state as part of a program to secure and deliver personal protective equipment to at-risk populations.

The governor also announced at his daily press briefing that the state would be making additional $100 monthly payments per child to the 4,500 foster families throughout the state caring for vulnerable children who are experiencing increased food, utility and cleaning costs as a result of the closure of schools and day cares.

The payments will be given for the months of April, May and June, and benefit more than 6,700 children in the foster care system. Baker said the amounts represent a 10 percent to 12 percent increase in state support for foster families.

Baker's briefing on Friday was the first since the White House outlined a three-phase process for states to reopen their economies.

While Baker said the state was in "pretty good shape" so far in terms of hospitals being able to handle the influx of patients, he said the state was still seeing upticks in the number of positive cases and hospitalizations and therefore not in position yet to begin thinking about reopening businesses.

"There's no doubt we will recover and we will see brighter days," he assured.

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