Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced that anyone five years or older must wear a mask in public due to rising positive Coronavirus test rates.
"Today we are taking several targeted measures to curb rising #COVID19MA cases + hospitalizations. Our goal is to disrupt this trend now, so the Commonwealth can keep our economy + schools open and prevent the need to roll back to Phase I or II," tweeted Baker.
Positive test cases are up by 278% and hospitalizations up by 145% since Labor Day, reported Baker.
Baker announced several new orders and advisories:
The revised mask order requires all persons to wear face-coverings in all public places, even where they are able to maintain 6 feet of distance from others. The revised order still allows for an exception for residents who cannot wear a face-covering due to a medical or disabling condition, but it allows employers to require employees to provide proof of such a condition. It also allows schools to require that students participating in in-person learning provide proof of such a medical or disabling condition.
The revised Stay At Home Advisory instructs residents to stay home between 10 pm and 5 am. The advisory allows for activities such as going to work, running critical errands to get groceries and address health needs, and taking a walk. Click here to read the revised Stay At Home Advisory: mass.gov/stayhome.
The following businesses must be closed from 9:30 pm and 5 am:
- 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)
- Indoor & outdoor events
- Theaters/movie theaters (including drive-in movie theaters), and performance venues (indoor and outdoor)
- Youth and adult amateur sports activities
- Golf facilities
- 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
Baker issued a new gatherings order that limits the size of 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 (e.g. wedding venues) remains the same. The new order also requires that all gatherings (regardless of size or location) must end and disperse by 9:30 pm.
The new gatherings order authorizes local health and police departments to issue fines for violating the gathering order up to $500 for each person above the limit at a particular gathering.