CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)


Resources & Updates

WELCOME TO THE MASON COVID-19 RESOURCE PAGE.

The coronavirus pandemic is evolving constantly and quickly. The massive amount of information available is difficult to navigate, to organize, and to comprehend. It’s also difficult to know what information is current, and what is trustworthy. Like many other firms, the leadership team at Mason is working to remain abreast of current and relevant information. That information is, in turn, being used for business decisions internally, and we’re making every effort to organize it for our clients in the form of a resource center.

Now that businesses across the country are preparing to reopen, questions like how can I reopen while being careful of liability issuesWhat is a safe office space? etc., are on everyone’s mind. While we cannot provide legal advice and while we’re not a primary source of information provided by organizations and bodies outside of our firm, we hope that the information found here is helpful.

With such an extensive amount of information available, it is important to check the dates of all publications to help verify relevance. Of course, contact us at any time if you need assistance. We’re here to help.

COVID-19 TIMELINE


12/31/2019:

  • The World Health Organization is alerted to several dozen cases of pneumonia among an isolated group of individuals in Wuhan City, China. The cause of the sickness is unknown at this time.

1/7/2020:

The World Health Organization (WHO) announces that it has identified a novel coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2, which causes the disease which would later become known as COVID-19. The virus is a part of the coronavirus family, which includes other recent deadly respiratory illnesses such as MERS and SARS; and the common cold. Symptoms include fever, shortness of breath, unproductive cough, respiratory distress/failure, and pneumonia.

1/11/2020:

China announces the world’s first known death of a novel coronavirus patient. The patient was 61 years old and was from Wuhan, China.

1/17/2020:

The WHO reports the first known case of novel coronavirus infection outside of mainland China (in Thailand). Over the next two days, new cases would appear in Japan and South Korea.

1/21/2020:

The United States announces its first case of infection by the new coronavirus, a man in his 30’s in the state of Washington.

1/23/2020:

China places the then-epicenter of the outbreak, Wuhan, and its 11 million residents, under quarantine lockdown. All flights and trains departing from the city are canceled. Buses, subways, and ferries are suspended.

1/30/2020: 

The WHO declares the outbreak a public health emergency. By this time, 9,000 people in 19 countries around the globe are infected.

1/31/2020:

The White House announces a travel ban that prevents foreign nationals from entering the U.S. if they had traveled to China in the previous 14 days.

2/1/2020:

Princess Cruises announces the presence of a passenger who tested positive for the coronavirus. The individual sailed aboard the Diamond Princess from Yokohama, Japan, on Jan. 20 and disembarked in Hong Kong on Jan. 25.

2/2/2020:

A 44-year-old woman from Wuhan dies of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus while in the Philippines. It is the first reported death outside of mainland China.

2/4/2020:

The Diamond Princess cruise ship is quarantined in Yokohama. There are roughly 3,700 people including passengers and crew on board.

2/7/2020:

Dr Li Wenliang, a seemingly young and healthy Chinese doctor died in Wuhan. Li had issued a warning about the coronavirus outbreak before it was officially recognized. He had been reprimanded by Chinese authorities for speaking out.

2/8/2020:

The U.S. embassy in China announces the first death of a U.S. citizen, who passed away from the disease in Wuhan, China.

2/9/2020:

The death toll in mainland China quickly rises to 811, which surpasses the death toll from the SARS outbreak in 2003. Confirmed cases in mainland China have risen to over 31,000.

2/11/2020:

The disease caused by the new coronavirus is named COVID-19 as announced by the WHO. New Hampshire carries on with its First in the Nation Presidential Primary Election, as impact in the US is not yet being felt in a disruptive sense.

2/14/2020:

Over 1,500 individuals have now died of COVID-19. While only three of those are outside of mainland China, the virtuality of SARS-CoV-2 is becoming clear as infections rise worldwide (including the first case in Africa). An 80-year-old Chineese tourist dies in France, marking the first death outside of Asia.

2/20/2020:

South Korea reports its first coronavirus death and announces its number of confirmed cases to number 104. The reported death was the ninth confirmed death outside mainland China due to COVID-19.

2/24/2020:

U.S. Markets begin to tumble on coronavirus fears as the Dow Jones Industrial Average closes at 27,960.80; a four-day drop totaling over 1,030 points. The country of Italy emerges as a hot-spot for the virus. Its number of confirmed cases skyrockets and six deaths are quickly announced.

2/26/2020:

California announces a new case of COVID-19 with no clear source or known cause. South America’s first case is announced in Brazil, marking the fifth continent in the world to be impacted by the virus.

2/29/2020: 

The United States announces its first COVID-19 patient death; a man in his 50’s from Washington State. President Donald Trump announces increased travel restrictions due to emergent hot-spots of the virus. The new restrictions now include travel to Italy, Iran, and South Korea.

3/6/2020:

President Trump signs a historic $8.3 billion emergency spending package to combat the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, which includes a crucial provision to provide $669 billion to small businesses under the Paycheck Protection Program. Individuals and households are also set to receive stimulus funds under the plan. The number of global cases have now hit 100,000. It is also announced that that 21 people aboard the Grand Princess, a cruise ship being held off the coast of California, tested positive for the coronavirus.

3/8/2020:

Italy issues a lockdown of over 16 million people in the country’s northern Lombardy region. Its confirmed cases surpass 5,800 with over 230 deaths. Meanwhile, the United States’ confirmed number of cases tops 500.

3/10/2020:

Italy extends its lockdown to include the remainder of the country.

3/11/2020:

The World Health Organization declares that the coronavirus outbreak is characterized as a pandemic. A pandemic is defined as a worldwide spread of a new disease for which most people do not have immunity. The National Basketball Association immediately suspends its season as one of its players tests positive for COVID-19. American actor Tom Hanks and his wife test positive and begin to isolate in Australia. American travel restrictions are broadened to include 26 countries in Europe.

3/12/2020: 

The impact on large public gatherings becomes strikingly evident as sports throughout America and the world are halted. Major League Baseball suspends training camps, and the National Hockey League suspends its season indefinitely. March Madness, the popular postseason college basketball tournament, is canceled.

3/13/2020: 

The epicenter of the pandemic shifts to Europe, as Italy’s death toll tops 1,000 with over 15,000 confirmed cases. A national state of emergency is declared by President Trump and although the virus continues to mysteriously spare young children, schools across the United States announce plans to close amidst coronavirus concerns. Outbound cruises are suspended for some cruise lines, including Princess Cruises, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean at the request of President Trump.

3/14/2020: 

New Hampshire schools begin to announce temporary closures amid COVID-19 concerns. In Northern New Hampshire, schools planned to resume after a one week closure, and a week of remote learning on 3/27/2020.

3/15/2020:

Italy experiences its hardest-hit day yet with 368 deaths, bringing its total to over 1800. Meanwhile, the number of confirmed cases in the United States reaches 3,000, with 61 confirmed deaths. New York and California join Washington as among those with the most cases. The Centers for Disease Control recommends, among other things, that gatherings of 50 or more individuals are canceled or postponed.

3/16/2020:

U.S. Markets continue to feel the impact of the pandemic, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted by over 3,000 points. Germany seals its borders with France, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Denmark to curb the virus’ spread. Canada announces its own plans to seal its borders to non-citizens to curb the spread of the virus. San Fransisco becomes the first city in the U.S. to restrict residents from leaving their homes except for “essential needs”. President Trump generally advises the American public to avoid gatherings of 10 or more people, and Jennifer Haller becomes the first person to receive an experimental COVID-19 vaccine at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle. Ohio called off its primary election.

3/17/2020:

The popular Kentucky Derby horse race was postponed until September, along with several other major sporting events, including soccer’s 2020 European Championships. Maryland postponed the state’s primary election. West Virginia, which was the last state in the U.S. without a confirmed coronavirus case, recorded its first. Confirmed cases across America rise to over 5,800 with deaths eclipsing 100.

3/18/2020:

Canada and the U.S. mutually agree to close their borders to all “non-essential traffic.” Trading is suspended on Wall Street for the fourth time in just over two weeks. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closes with another loss, just over 1,300 points. Belgium announces plans to lock down the country. They become the fourth nation in Europe put their country on lockdown, following Spain, Italy, and France. Italy announces another deadly day with 475. New refugee admissions are suspended in the U.S. until April 6 due to the coronavirus pandemic. President Trump signes a coronavirus aid bill into law called the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The bill is aimed at providing free coronavirus testing and ensuring paid emergency leave for those infected or caring for a family member with the illness. The bill also provides additional Medicaid funding, food assistance, and unemployment benefits.

3/19/2020:

China reports no new domestic cases for the first time since the start of the epidemic. Italy overtakes China registering a new total of 3,405 fatalities. China’s total number of deaths reported stood at 3,242. The State of Connecticut delays its presidential primary election to June. The U.S. State Department modifies the global travel advisory to Level 4: Do Not Travel, announcing a strong warning to Americans against traveling internationally and for those abroad to consider an immediate return, which would trigger congested conditions and long waits at international airports. China exonerates Dr. Li Wenliang, the doctor who was reprimanded for his warning about the outbreak and died of the disease.

3/20/2020:

US markets post their worst weekly performance since the 2008 financial crisis. Indiana postpones its primary election. Non-essential travel to Mexico is halted, and immigrants without proper documentation begin to be turned away. New York is declared as the new epicenter within the U.S., as it announces 5,151 coronavirus cases and 29 deaths.

3/21/2020:

Coronavirus cases in New York State quickly rise to over 10,000. Meanwhile, Italy’s death toll jumped overnight, with 793 new fatalities. Total confirmed cases skyrocket to 53,578 with 4,825 total deaths. New and more stringent restrictions on residents in Italy’s northern region are imposed, including temperature checks at supermarkets and pharmacies.

3/22/2020:

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker issues a stay-at-home advisory and ordered all non-essential businesses to close. New York  State’s number of confirmed cases grew to more than 20,000. Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican., becomes the first U.S. senator to test positive for coronavirus. Louisianna and Ohio issue stay at home orders. The National Guard are activated to assist Washington, California and New York. Canada announces it won’t send athletes to the Olympic Games in Tokyo if they are to be held. 23 prisoners in a Columbian prison die and another 83 are injured in a riot and attempted escape linked to coronavirus fears.

3/23/2020:

The World Health Organization announces that more than 300,000 cases are known and reported, coming from almost every country in the world. Johns Hopkins University pegged those numbers at more than 350,000. United States stocks plunge once again after an emergency fiscal stimulus package was rejected twice by lawmakers, and a new round of cash injection from the Federal Reserve failed to stem market declines. Washington, West Virginia, Alaska, and Hawaii join other states in issuing stay-at-home orders. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom issues a national lockdown, with strict new measures intended to limit the population’s movement. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the lockdown will be enforced by police and would last for three weeks.

3/24/2020:

The State of New Hampshire and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts each declare the closure of non-essential businesses at least until April 7th. Tokyo announces that the summer Olympics will not be held, and instead postponed until possibly 2021. Prime Minister Modi of India orders a three-week lockdown for all 1.3 billion people in the country. Curfews are imposed and domestic travel is halted. Train and bus services are suspended in most Indian states. France announces the start of a two-month state of emergency. Coronavirus cases top 50,000 in the U.S., and deaths increase to 637. News that a $2 trillion stimulus bill nearing approval spurred a Wall Street rebound, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average surging by more than 2,000 points for its biggest daily points gain ever. The Great Wall of China reopens after a two-month closure.

3/25/2020:

The WHO warns that the new global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic could soon be the United States, as the country records 54,810 coronavirus cases. That number includes 781 deaths. The news comes as the U.S. Senate passes the historic $2 trillion stimulus bill aimed at easing the economic stress created by the pandemic. Prince Charles, 71, tests positive for coronavirus. Spain’s case count of COVID-19 surpasses China.

3/26/2020:

The State of New Hampshire and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts each declare that insurance agencies are “essential businesses” and are allowed to remain open despite the closure of all non-essential businesses throughout the state. The US surpasses China in terms of COVID-19 cases, with 82,474. New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu announces that schools would continue with remote learning through May 4th, 2020. New Zealand and Russia take action to stem the spread, as New Zealand enters lockdown, and Russia grounds all flights except those meant to repatriate Russian citizens.

3/27/2020:

Worldwide cases of COVID-19 surpass half a million. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests positive for the virus. New York’s coronavirus death toll surpasses 500 with confirmed cases rising to 44,635; a 20 percent increase over a 24 hour period. President Trump signs the $2 trillion economic stimulus bill. Italy records its deadliest day of the coronavirus pandemic after the country reported 919 new deaths in the prior 24 hours. The country also surpasses China in the number of confirmed coronavirus infections, with 86,498 cases.

3/28/2020:

As testing for the virus continues to ramp up as a strategy to “flatten the curve”, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorizes the emergency use of a new, rapid coronavirus test to give patients results in less than 15 minutes. Strategy begins to shift toward prevention of spread from individuals who are asymptomatic to uninfected individuals. Meanwhile, an infant  younger than a year old who tested positive for coronavirus died in Illinois.

3/29/2020:

Social distancing guidelines are extended by the Trump Administration through April 29th.

3/30/2020:

Several states issue stay-at-home orders, including Arizona and Virginia. The Tokyo Summer Olympics are officially postponed until 2021. A Navy hospital ship, the USNS Comfort, arrives at New York City to relieve stress on local hospitals.

3/31/2020: 

US prisons enter lockdown on the order of the Beaurau of Prisons. The State of Maine issues a stay-at-home order.

4/1/2020:

Tennis joins the ranks of other sports to be cancelled, as it called off its Wimbledon Tournament. The states of Mississippi, Georgia, Florida and Pennsylvania enter into their stay-at-home order.

4/2/2020:

United States unemployment numbers are released, showing that a staggering 6.6 million Americans filed for benefits in the prior week. Spain’s death toll tops 100,000. Work from home guidelines in Russia are extended until the end of April. It is announced that the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee would be postponed from July to the week of August 17. Sobering numbers from Johns Hopkins University report coronavirus cases worldwide surpass 1 million, with more than 51,000 deaths.

4/3/2020:

Paycheck Protection Program begins to accept applications and prepares to fund loans to small businesses throughout the United States. The U.S. Supreme Court suspends oral arguments. The White House and the CDC recommend that all Americans wear cloth face coverings in public to prevent the spread of the virus. The face-covering order is intended to stem the spread of the virus from carriers, as studies begin to show more occurrences of asymptomatic infection and community transmission.

4/4/2020:

The Coral Princess cruise ship, which had been stranded at sea with at least 12 people with coronavirus aboard, arrives at Miami, Florida. The ship has a total of 1,020 passengers and 878 crew. Total coronavirus cases in the United States climb to more than 300,000, and the number of deaths nationwide exceeds 8,000.

4/5/2020:

With over 4,300 deaths in the U.K., Queen Elizabeth delivers a rare televised address to the nation’s people regarding the impact of the pandemic. Deaths in New York State approach 4,100, as the number of confirmed cases in the state reach 122,031. Meanwhile, Austria announces its plan to reopen.

4/6/2020:

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is transferred to intensive care at a London hospital after his condition worsened following his infection with COVID-19. The death toll related to the virus in the U.S. surges beyond 10,000. China reports its first day absent of a death linked to COVID-19.

4/7/2020: 

Japan orders a month-long state of emergency as cases sharply increase. New York and Great Brittan record new daily highs – New York sees its “largest single-day increase” in deaths, with the state’s fatalities rising by 731 in the prior 24 hours. By this time, the state has over 138,800 confirmed cases and 5,489 deaths. The U.K. recorded its highest daily death toll since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak with 786 news deaths recorded in a single day. The country had 55,242 confirmed cases and more than 6,000 total fatalities.

4/9/2020:

A discussion draft of a bill that would establish a federal backstop for pandemic insurance industry losses in excess of $250 million is being circulated on Capitol Hill. Confirmed coronavirus cases in New York state reach 151,598, more than any country in the world excepting the United States. Pennsylvania begins to emerge as a coronavirus hotspot after a surge in new cases brought its reported total of 18,228 cases statewide and 338 deaths. The eastern seaboard of the U.S. begins to hit the radar of experts who suspect that commuter rails and interstate travel are to blame. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is transferred from intensive care but remains hospitalized. The no-sail order for cruise ships is extended indefinitely.

4/10/2020:

Global coronavirus deaths eclipse 100,000, according to Johns Hopkins University now heavily-trafficked COVID-19 dashboard. Apple and Google announce a rare and controversial partnership to try to use smartphone technology to trace the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The WHO begins to weigh-in on early reopening, warning that new infections and a resurgence of the virus would surely arise.

4/11/2020:

Iran begins reopening its country. Wyoming becomes the final state in the U.S. to receive a major disaster declaration, and such declarations are now in effect for every state in the nation. Coronavirus deaths in the U.S. hit the 20,000 mark, with over 500,000 confirmed cases nationwide. Half of all deaths are concentrated in three states: New York, with 8,627; New Jersey with 2,183; and Michigan, with 1,392.

4/12/2020:

After great improvement, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves the London hospital where he was receiving treatment for COVID-19 to continue his recovery at home.

4/13/2020:

Governor of several states in the northeastern U.S. form a consortium discuss easing lockdowns in the country’s hardest-hit section. Similar work begins on the west coast of the U.S. It is announced by the U.S. treasury that Americans would begin receiving their stimulus payments. All 50 states in the country have now reported at least one death linked to COVID-19, with Wyoming being the last of the 50.

4/14/2020:

President Trump announces a halt to halt funding for the World Health Organization, accusing it of “severely mismanaging and covering up” the coronavirus crisis.

4/15/2020:

Coronavirus cases worldwide surpass 2 million, according to Johns Hopkins University statistics.

4/16/2020:

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu orders the closure of all schools and universities in the State for the remainder of the academic year. President Trump announces a shift in strategy in that he would turn control over to State Governments to manage their response, and thus the economic impact of the virus. The SBA’s small business loan program is officially out of cash: The Small Business Administration said in a statement that it had run out of money for the Paycheck Protection Program as controversy swirled around larger businesses, sports teams, and universities receiving funds in large amounts; and well ahead of receipt by a great many small businesses. Jobless claims in the U.S. were announced to have risen by 5 million in the prior week.

4/17/2020:

New York State’s death toll rises beyond 12,000, and now included “probable” fatalities in its daily tallies. The State of Hawaii closes all beaches while the States of Florida and South Carolina reopen some of theirs.

4/19/2020:

Europe announces its death toll has surpassed 100,000.

4/20/2020:

The Navajo Nation reports 1,197 positive coronavirus cases, a per capita infection rate 10 ranking third-highest in the U.S. behind New York and New Jersey. Chinese officials speak out against President Trump’s remarks regarding suspicions that the coronavirus outbreak originated from a laboratory in the city of Wuhan. Travel restrictions to Canada and Mexico are extended for another 30 days. Oil prices submerge into negative-territory as global demand comes to a relative halt. Immigration into the U.S. is temporarily suspended by President Trump in order to “protect jobs” for Americans. Warnings of a worsened winter outbreak are delivered by the US Centers for Disease Control.

4/21/2020:

Citing a lack of authoritative guidance, Gov. Charlie Baker announced that schools in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will remain closed for through the end of the academic year. Protests begin in the United States against stay-at-home orders in North Carolina and Missouri. Additional financial relief is passed by the U.S. Senate totaling $500 billion, including more money to fund the now-broke Paycheck Protection Program. News emerges that two virus-related deaths in Silicon Valley predate the first-known U.S. death in Washington State.

4/22/2020:

Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, whose city continues to be ravaged economically by the pandemic, makes news by offering to reopen and act as a test-case for reopening. Tyson Foods suspends operations in an Iowa plant due to a COVID-19 outbreak, sparking concerns over the nation’s food supply chain. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt files suit against the Chinese government, accusing it of lying about the danger posed by the virus when it first emerged in late 2019.

4/23/2020:

The US House passes the $500 billion interim coronavirus bill that includes additional money for the small-business loan program, as well as for hospitals and testing, and many feel that the legislation will become law by the end of the week. Meanwhile, the coronavirus death toll in New York City surpasses 15,000. It is announced that since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, more than 26 million American people have requested unemployment benefits.

4/24/2020:

President Trump signs the interim coronavirus spending bill that includes additional money for the small-business loan program, as well as more funding for hospitals and testing. The Food and Drug Administration cautions against prescription and use of hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial, for COVID-19 patients outside of hospital settings or clinical trials. COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. top 50,000.

4/25/2020:

For a fifth consecutive day, China reports no new COVID-19 deaths; and that there are no remaining coronavirus cases in the hospitals in Wuhan, the city where the global pandemic began. Restrictions in India and Pakistan are eased for some businesses.

4/27/2020:

Iran announces plans to ease restrictions in some parts of the country. As one of the worst-hit countries in the Middle East, Iran had more than 91,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and an estimated 5,800 deaths. The total number of global coronavirus cases tops 3 million, according to Johns Hopkins University. The CDC in the US expanded its list of recognized COVID-19 symptoms to include chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, anosmia, and loss of taste. JetBlue Airways becomes the first U.S. airline to announce that all passengers will have to wear a face-covering while on flights.

4/28/2020:

The U.S. announces that cases of COVID-19 have surpassed one million, and deaths total more than 57,000. Outbreaks within long-term care facilities in many U.S. states trend upward significantly. Meanwhile, daily fatalities in New York City show a significant decline.

4/29/2020: 

Many states in the U.S. begin to unveil plans to reopen and to ease restrictions on businesses such as barbershops and beauticians. Los Angeles announces that it will provide free COVID-19 testing to “anyone” regardless of symptoms.

4/30/2020:

30 million Americans (18% of the American workforce) have filed for unemployment benefits since the start of the crisis. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization announces that it is “urgently” investigating a potential link between the coronavirus and Kawasaki syndrome, an illness of unknown cause that primarily affects children under 5. A Navy hospital ship, the USNS Comfort, departed New York City, one month after it was sent to relieve stress on local hospitals. The Comfort treated just 182 people as a surge in cases in the city fell short of the worst-case projections. California Gov. Gavin Newsom orders beaches south of Los Angeles closed after pictures emerged of thousands flocking to the coast and defying social distancing orders.

5/1/2020:

The CEO of Gilead Sciences, the maker of an experimental drug for treating COVID-19, says the company is moving very quickly with the FDA on possible emergency authorization to get the drug, remdesivir, to patients. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces that all schools and colleges in the state will remain closed for the remainder of the academic year. India mandates that all public and private sector employees use a government-backed Bluetooth tracing app, and maintain social distancing as the country’s capital New Delhi begins easing some lockdown measures in lower-risk areas.

5/2/2020:

Europe’s Eurostar high-speed international rail service announces that passengers may be refused service if not wearing face masks.

5/3/2020:

Italy records its lowest daily death toll since March 10th, with 174 new coronavirus fatalities. The daily number of new cases also declined to 1,389 from 1,900 the day before. Italy’s total death toll since the outbreak came to light on Feb. 21 stands at 28,884, the second-highest in the world after the United States.

5/4/2020:

Swiss drugmaker Roche obtains emergency approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for an antibody test to determine whether people have ever been infected with the coronavirus.

5/5/2020:

Plans are announced by President Trump to wind down the White House coronavirus task force.

5/6/2020:

President Trump announces that the coronavirus task force would remain intact “indefinitely”. A man held at a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center dies of coronavirus-related illness. He becomes the first-known coronavirus death among detainees in federal immigration detention.

5/7/2020:

The Pentagon circulates a memo stating that a COVID-19 diagnosis “permanently” disqualifies recruits from joining the military. Department store chain Neiman Marcus files for bankruptcy protection, the second major retailer after J.Crew to do so within a week as the industry suffers massive financial losses and store closures.

5/8/2020:

France announces plans to lift lockdown restrictions. The monthly employment report released by the Department of Labor shows that the U.S. economy lost an unprecedented 20.5 million jobs in the month of April. It additionally reported that unemployment had skyrocketed to a rate of 14.7 percent. President Trump announces that he would be tested for coronavirus antibodies after he was believed to have been in close contact with multiple people who tested positive for the virus. Amtrak announced that its line servicing trips between Boston and Washington, D.C., will resume on June 1. However, all passengers will be required to wear face coverings on board trains and when in stations.

5/9/2020:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announces emergency authorization for use of an antigen test, developed by Quidel Corp. of San Diego. The test can provide expedient results.

5/10/2020:

The world’s coronavirus infections surpass yet another sobering milestone, reaching 4 million. Deaths in the U.S. surpass 80,000. China reports 14 new cases of COVID-19, 12 of which were domestic infections and two from abroad. Meanwhile, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces plans to ease COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.

5/11/2020:

Shulan, China goes into lockdown after a cluster of 13 cases is reported over the prior few days. Wuhan, the original epicenter of the pandemic, also registered its first cluster of cases since lockdown was lifted in April, sparking concern of a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in the country. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announces a four-phase approach to reopening the state’s economy beginning on or around May 18. All nonessential businesses had been closed since March 23. New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu announces “Stay at Home 2.0”, which is its phased approach to reopening the State’s economy. It maintains that while beauticians and other non-essential businesses may open, it will not allow non-residents of the State of New Hampshire into its campgrounds unless they are members.

5/20/2020: 

While the CDC is still discouraging gatherings of 10 people or more in the United States, Midland County in Michigan experiences two critical dam failures displacing thousands of residents who are forced to stay with friends, family, and emergency shelters. It serves as a reminder of how critical it is to prepare in areas prone to natural disasters.

5/21/2020:

All fifty states are in the process of reopening in a variety of ways. Some are nearly fully open, while others are engaging in a multi-phase approach. Meanwhile, scientists continue to speculate that the U.S. will see another wave of the virus in two-to-three months.

5/22/2020:

The CDC issues new information regarding the transmission of the virus, which suggests that it does not spread as easily via surfaces as once thought. The United States adds 25,000+ more COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 1.775 million cases. It has tallied 94,729 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

5/27/2020:

As restrictions continue to ease in nearly all states in the U.S. its death toll eclipses 100K (100,442). Meanwhile, Disney announces it will begin a phased reopen of its Disney World park in Florida in July (with restrictions).

TBD.

INSURANCE INDUSTRY UPDATES


REOPENING YOUR BUSINESS


LEGISLATIVE/GOVERNMENT UPDATES


INSURANCE CARRIER RESPONSES


CYBERTHREATS & SCAMS


ABOUT MASON'S RESPONSE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC


We hope this note finds you and your family healthy and safe. With each passing day, the situation regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to evolve; and we continue to learn more about its spread and impact. The health and safety of our communities, including our staff and clients, is our top priority. It’s with that in mind that we’re sharing the actions we’re taking to do our part in mitigating the spread of the virus.

WE’RE OPEN FOR BUSINESS

We’ve spent years digitizing our agency and keeping pace with technology, and we’re pleased to say that 100% of our staff are equipped and able to work remotely in response to emergencies such as this. To do our part, and to promote social distancing strategies recommended by the CDC, we have made the decision to close both our Whitman, MA and North Conway, NH locations to the public. The vast majority of our employees will work from home with full access to their systems and office phones. We have a small number of staff members on hand at both locations. There will be a way for clients to leave documents in our entryway if they wish to do so, and those documents will be picked up at intervals during office hours. We’re proud to say that Mason & Mason is operating with minimal business interruption and will continue to do so to the best of our ability.

VIRTUAL COLLABORATION

In keeping with recommendations from the CDC to practice social distancing to help contain the virus, we have also asked our employees to:

-Conduct all meetings via phone, video conferencing and other virtual engagement tools

-Avoid attendance at any events that bring together large groups

-Limit all non-essential business travel

We are committed to closely and continually monitoring developments and are prepared to act quickly to take additional safety precautions as needed, or as requested by our local, state and federal governments. Should this be necessary, we’ll post information here and do all that we can to share those updates on our Facebook and LinkedIn pages.

STAY HEALTHY AND WELL

We thank you for your understanding and your continued business. As always, we appreciate the trust you’ve placed in us to handle your insurance needs.

FAQ

Inquiries on coverage for losses related to COVID-19 are complicated and many times create more questions than answers.  If you believe you’ve suffered a loss, file a claim; if denied, you’ve at least preserved your rights to argue for coverage.  This is a fluid, case-by-case situation and there may be arguments for coverage that haven’t yet emerged or we’re not yet aware of.  Insurers, and ultimately the courts, will decide coverage.  There is also growing momentum for federal legislation that could provide a pandemic risk insurance program similar to TRIA that was created following 9/11.

Yes! Insurers across the country have already agreed to do the right thing and defer payments upon request. Some are even putting a moratorium on cancelations of insurance for a certain period of time. All of our personal lines insurance carriers have advised of their response, and most are even proactively giving premium dollars back to clients. To answer any of your questions and to ensure your payment needs are met, talk to your account manager today.

Absolutely. Many insurance carriers are showing willingness to adjust policies based on the financial realities being created by COVID-19. Get in touch with your account manager and discuss your projected revenue/payroll figures. They’ll submit a request to your carrier to adjust the policy, track its progress, and notify you of the carrier’s response.

Mason & Mason is committed to the health and safety of its employees and clients. We followed developments early and made expedient adjustments to minimize business interruptions. For years, Mason & Mason has worked to digitize its agency which made it easier to quickly pivot to a remotely-deployed workforce. Check out information regarding our response here. 

We are here to help! Your account manager and insurance team here at Mason & Mason are still available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. Even though our offices are closed to the public and we can’t be there to greet you at the door, we’re reachable. Your phone calls and emails will continue to reach our staff and you won’t notice any difference in our ability to serve you. Whatever your insurance needs, don’t hesitate to reach out.

There are a number of ways to make your payments electronically. For example, most carriers will allow payments via their website. We are also registered on bill.com, which is a site you can use to transmit funds to us in lieu of a wire transfer (which typically has to be done in person at a banking branch). Contact our office if you need any help!

Although we’re not open to the public, faxes are still arriving at our offices and being handled. For many years we’ve received our faxes through an electronic relay to our administrative team. Additionally, our staff is able to send faxes via their own computers even though they’re working from home. Fax technology shouldn’t skip a beat during this crisis.

Unfortunately, notarization is one thing that will suffer across the country as an effect of social distancing. Notarial acts are an in-person tradition meant to verify identities, and it’s just something we can’t do at this time. Remote notary services have popped up around the country but the process is new, and quite clunky (requires video recording of the act, perpetual storage of the video, etc.). Contact one of your local banks where notaries are typically available, or reach out to the company or municipality who is asking for you to have your document notarized and seek alternatives.

Mason & Mason is not conducting trips to the registry at this time for its customers, and the Registry has made significant adjustments to its procedures and deadlines as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Visit https://www.mass.gov/orgs/massachusetts-registry-of-motor-vehicles for more information and to learn how changes impact your needs.

We use eSignature software solution called DocuSign, which allows you to execute signatures quickly and easily from your desktop, tablet or mobile device. Our staff will work with you to ensure your signatures are executed despite the lack of an in-person option.