COVID-19 Weekly Roundup: Tenth Installment
While Phase 3 of Massachusetts’ reopening process carries on, the increasing number of cases and clusters of outbreaks threaten the stability of the phase at the current time. Little in the way of developments was released by the Baker–Polito Administration last week, but there was a fair share of warnings to the public regarding the increased spread due to sizeable unrestricted gatherings. To keep you and your team safe, it’s important to keep up to date on the newest COVID-19 regulations in Massachusetts and enforce protective measures to prevent spread in your business.
Governor Baker Warns of Possible Rollback on Reopening
The Commonwealth has been experiencing a slow but steady increase of COVID-19 cases, according to Mass.gov’s COVID-19 dashboard, and the positive test rate (percentage of overall tests deemed positive for COVID-19) has slightly risen to 2%. With “superspreader” events cause clusters of COVID-19 cases to arise in summer hotspots, Governor Baker warns of decreasing the inside gathering limit of 25 and the outside gathering limit of 100.
In an attempt to reduce the spread, the state has launched the #MaskUpMA initiative to stress the importance of continuing to wear masks. Also, as mentioned in our previous installment, the travel regulations requiring travelers from high-risk states to quarantine for 14 days remain in effect. Those who disobey quarantine without a negative COVID-19 test face a $500 fine for each day found in violation.
Massachusetts’ School Year Delayed by Ten Days
Last week, the state’s educator unions reached an agreement with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to delay the beginning of the school year by ten days and reduce the overall school year to 170 days, according to the Massachusetts Teachers Association. The finalized COVID-19 plan for school districts is due by August 10th. According to WPRI, schools are submitting an array of plans ranging from a partial in-person curriculum to continued mandatory or opt-in online learning.
Expansion of Targeted Free COVID-19 Testing Sites Announced
The “Stop the Spread” initiative, described in our seventh installment, is expanding its free COVID-19 testing sites to even more communities in Massachusetts. The expansion includes the following cities:
|· Agawam||· Revere|
|· Brockton||· Springfield|
|· Methuen||· Taunton|
|· Randolph||· Worcester|
This brings the number of communities involved in the initiative up to sixteen. The program continues to be available to residents outside these cities and includes testing of asymptomatic individuals. The locations of these testing centers are available at Mass.gov’s dedicated Stop the Spread page. As of now, the free testing is available until August 14th.
The newest COVID-19 regulations in Massachusetts are currently aimed more so at preventing the spread of the virus rather than easing restrictions on businesses. Given the unfortunate rise in cases, there is a high probability of a rollback of the phased reopening. It’s important you enforce COVID-19 safety measures in your business and discourage large gatherings in an attempt to slow the spread. Doing so will increase the health and safety of the public and possibly prevent a rollback. To learn how best to conduct business during COVID-19, contact us at Vision Advertising for a consultation.