By Alan Stanton –
On Monday afternoon Governor Baker announced that new public health data indicates that COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the Bay State are on the rise.
The Governor announced that the number of cases since Labor Day has risen by 278% and hospitalizations are up by 145%.
So the Governor says that to “keep the economy and schools open for residents and to prevent the need to roll back to Phase I or Phase II of the reopening plan,” he is setting new measures “to disrupt rising trends,” he said.
Starting this Friday, November 6, at 12:01 a.m. there will be a new revised Stay At Home Advisory to ensure residents avoid unnecessary activities and that new Stay At Home Advisory instructs residents to stay home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. but people will be allowed to go to work, run critical errands to get groceries and address health needs.
Governor Baker has also announced that he has signed a new executive order that requires the early closure of certain businesses and activities each night at 9:30 p.m.
Those businesses and activities that would need to close each night at 9:30 p.m. are as foolows:
Indoor & outdoor events
Theaters/movie theaters (including drive-in movie theaters), and performance venues (indoor and outdoor)
Youth and adult amateur sports activities
Recreational boating and boating businesses
Outdoor recreational experiences
Casinos and horse tracks/simulcast facilities
Driving and flight schools
Zoos, botanical gardens, wildlife reserves, nature centers
Close contact personal services (such as hair and nail salons)
Gyms, Fitness Centers and Health Clubs
Indoor and outdoor pools
Museums/cultural & historical facilities/guided tours
Restaurants (in-person dining must cease at 9:30 PM, although takeout and delivery may continue for food and non-alcoholic beverages, but not alcohol).
Liquor stores and other retail establishments that sell alcohol must cease alcohol sales at 9:30 PM (but may continue to sell other products).
Adult-use marijuana sales must cease at 9:30 PM (not including medical marijuana).
The Governor has also revised the “Face Covering Order.” Previously you didn’t need to wear a face covering if you were six feet away from someone however now all persons are required to wear face-coverings in all public places, even where they are able to maintain 6 feet of distance from others.
The only exception is for residents who cannot wear a face-covering due to a medical or disabling condition.
Employers can under the new order, can now require employees to provide proof of a medical or disabling condition condition and also schools can require that students participating in in-person learning provide proof of a medical or disabling condition.
As for gatherings, the Governor has implemented a new “Gatherings Order” which aims to reduce the gathering size limit for gatherings at private residences to 10 people and outdoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 25 people. The limit on gatherings held in public spaces and at event venues will still remain the same. The new order also requires that all gatherings (regardless of size or location) must end and disperse by 9:30 p.m.
The new gatherings order also requires that organizers of gatherings report known positive COVID-19 cases to local health departments and requires organizers to cooperate with contact tracing.