COVID-19 Weekly Roundup: Twelfth Installment
With active COVID-19 cases slowly on the rise in Massachusetts, the Baker–Polito Administration continues to roll out new regulations in an attempt to decrease the spread. While there weren’t many additions, the announcements released last week aimed to build upon the state’s gradually increasing restrictions since the start of Phase 3. The following COVID-19 updates in Massachusetts can potentially impact businesses, especially those in moderate- to high-risk communities, so it’s important to continue to keep up to speed on the news.
Enhanced Community-Level Data to be Used for Targeted Response
On August 11th, the Baker–Polito Administration released data about the community-level spread of COVID-19. The statistics can be seen in Massachusetts’ map outlining the spread of cases per community. Governor Baker claimed this data will be used to allocate resources and provide community-specific strategies. The COVID Enforcement and Intervention Team – as mentioned in our previous installment – will have the authority to shut down parks, playgrounds, and some businesses that are considered to be contributing to the spread of COVID-19 in moderate- and high-risk communities.
Districts Begin to Release School Reopening Measures
Comprehensive school reopening plans for in-person, remote, and hybrid learning were due to Massachusetts’ Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on Friday, August 14th. While some school districts’ final decisions are still pending, more than thirty districts said they plan to teach online-only classes to start the year. A majority of the reporting districts favor a hybrid approach, as can be seen on NBC Boston’s district-reopening map. That said, the state’s largest school district, Boston, has yet to release its plan, though Mayor Marty Walsh claims an announcement is coming soon.
Hawaii Added to Massachusetts’ Quarantine List
In a travel order update effective on Friday, August 13th, Hawaii is no longer deemed a lower-risk state. Travelers from Hawaii who do not meet the exemptions listed on Mass.gov Guidance for Travelers must abide by the restrictions imposed upon high-risk states, including filling out a Massachusetts Travel Form and quarantining for 14 days or obtaining a negative COVID-19 test result up to 72 hours before arrival. The current lower-risk states now include:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
Failure to follow the travel instructions will result in a $500 fine for each day found in violation, as mentioned in our tenth installment.
These COVID-19 updates in Massachusetts have a likelihood of impacting business operations. In particular, if your business is in a community with a high percentage of positive cases, it’s important you prepare for another shutdown or consider pivot strategies to continue your operations remotely. We here at Vision Advertising have been helping our clients rethink their strategies since the start of this pandemic. If you would like the same assistance, be sure to contact us today for a consultation.