Governor Baker on Wednesday issued an executive order requiring all early education centers and child-care providers to close effective Monday, March 23, except for those determined to be critical to maintaining services. The shutdown runs through April 6.

As reported on iberkshires.com, child-care providers forced to close will continue to receive subsidy payments to ensure they will be able to re-open and parents will not lose their vouchers.

The governor also signed legislation to allow new unemployment claims to be paid more quickly by waiving the one-week waiting period for benefits. Administrative tax relief measures are also being put in place for small local businesses.

In addition, an order from the Department of Environmental Protection and Attorney General's Office deals with a temporary suspension of bottle-return requirements, partly to limit any contamination that potentially could occur from staff handling used beverage containers. You should either hold off on turning them in or recycle them with your household recycling.