The following joint statement was issued Wednesday, Dec. 23, from Stephen Acosta, representing Friedman's office. It is from from Sen. Jo Comerford and Friedman, Senate chair and vice chair of the Joint Committee on Covid-19 and Emergency Preparedness and Management.
“We stand firmly behind Senate President Karen Spilka’s call for an aggressive approach to mitigating the impact and spread of the new Covid-19 Omicron variant across Massachusetts, and wholeheartedly support her recommendations to meet the acute challenges of this time.
We have listened to the experts and it is clear that the administration must do more now. This includes supporting our hospitals by significantly reducing the time it takes to license doctors, nurses and hospital personnel coming from other states to increase our workforce.
It includes significantly increasing outreach efforts in all communities with low vaccination rates. This means empowering and resourcing trusted community voices to provide language-appropriate messaging and direct connections to residents and families to address questions and combat vaccine misinformation.
We know these kinds of efforts increase vaccination rates. It is also essential that there be a consistent, thorough, and evidence-based process for all school systems to follow that keeps our children, teachers, and staff safe and in school. We also encourage the administration to make rapid testing easily available and affordable throughout the Commonwealth. And finally, we must join together to ensure residents have stable and safe housing, which we know is a critical component in stopping the spread of Covid-19.”
This news announcement, which includes opinion, was published Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021.