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Trump Approves Major Disaster Declaration In Massachusetts For Coronavirus

BOSTON (CBS) -- President Donald Trump approved a disaster declaration for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and ordered federal assistance to help with recovery in areas impacted by COVID-19.

The declaration, announced on Saturday, makes "Federal funding available for Crisis Counseling for affected individuals in all areas in the State of Commonwealth of Massachusetts" along with "tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations for emergency protective measures," the White House said.

A statement from Gov. Charlie Baker's office said the declaration will help local governments, state agencies, and some nonprofits to be reimbursed for 75% of the emergency response costs. Funding could also help individuals and families who are seeking crisis counseling online or through the phone.

Baker filed for federal disaster assistance Thursday. "This request for a major disaster declaration, if approved would provide for the Commonwealth additional federal assistance beyond what was included in the emergency declaration I announced on March 13," Baker said. "The major disaster declaration would give support and flexibility to our communities as they respond to the COVID-19 outbreak."

The state could use federal resources to help people who have lost jobs but don't qualify for unemployment benefits.

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