Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Yesterday, Monday May 18 the Administration released the Reopening Advisory Board’s report, which details the Commonwealth's gradual four-phased approach for responsibly reopening businesses and activities, while continuing to fight COVID-19.
Starting Monday, May 18 – based on current public health data and trends – Massachusetts will begin Phase 1 of a cautious reopening, and workplaces that are permitted to open are required to follow new safety protocols and guidance. The full announcement can be found here.
Workplace Specific Information:
Find out when your business can reopen here
View guidance for specific industries here
Learn about the Reopening Mandatory Safety Standards for All Workplaces
Info & Resources:
Click here to access a communication form that:
1. outlines a process for reporting a non-compliant business; and
2. allows for the submission of questions and comments about the reopening plan
Click here for detailed guidance for various industries on the reopening plan as of May 18, 2020
Click here for information on protective supplies and sanitation in the workplace
The reopening process will be guided by science and real-time public health data. Each phase of the reopening will last a minimum of 3 weeks, with the possibility of extending the timeframe of any phase or reverting back to an earlier phase if the data indicates that a change is necessary to maintain public safety.
Key public health data metrics informing the reopening process include: COVID-19 positive test rate; COVID-19 mortality rate; COVID-19 hospitalization rate; health care system readiness; testing capacity; and contact tracing capabilities. The state will publish a weekly dashboard to show the public whether the data is moving in a positive direction.
Massachusetts continues to be one of the hardest hit states in the country. A slow, methodical and informed reopening is the right thing to do as we implement a reopening process that allows us the flexibility to monitor real-time public health data and to pull back if we need to in order to protect the public.
Remember, this plan is the roadmap, and as new information about the COVID-19 pandemic becomes available, the state may need to adjust course accordingly. The mass.gov/reopening will continue to serve as the centralized webpage for all this information.
11th Suffolk District
In addition, the Administration made the following announcements:
–New “Safer At Home” Advisory, which instructs residents to stay at home unless they are planning to visit newly opened businesses, as a way to continue limiting the spread of the virus. All residents must continue to wear a face covering in public when social distancing is not possible, and individuals should wash their hands frequently and be vigilant in monitoring for symptoms. Restrictions on gatherings of more than 10 people remain in effect.
–Massachusetts' K-12 school buildings will remain closed through the end of the 2019-20 school year, with remote teaching and learning in place. Schools will continue offering essential non-educational services to their communities, and organizations like Project Bread are working to keep school meal distribution sites open during the summer. Plans are being made for the summer learning programs and 2020-21 school year, and will be shared with the public in the weeks to come.
–Child care and summer recreation camps will reopen in a phased approach. The Departments of Early Education and Care (EEC) and Public Health are developing guidelines that balance families' need for child care with health and safety. The initial reopening plan will focus on families who have no safe alternative to group care by increasing emergency child care capacity. EEC will also partner with industries returning to work to develop options specific to their workplaces.
–Effective May 18, hospitals and community health centers who attest to meeting specific capacity criteria and public health and safety standards will be allowed to resume a limited set of in-person preventative, diagnostic and treatment services, and effective May 25, other health care providers who attest to meeting these standards may resume limited in-person services.
–The MBTA will continue to implement measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 across the system to keep employees and riders safer. To mitigate risk while providing appropriate levels of service, the MBTA will support the transit needs of essential workers and those returning to the workplace in Phase 1 while continuing with limited service to maximize employee and rider safety. Over time, the MBTA will ramp up to a modified version of full service by Phase 3.
The state will continue to update the public on developments related to COVID-19. Residents can visit mass.gov.covid19 for the latest information, call 2-1-1 with questions, and text “COVIDMA” to 888-777 to subscribe to text-alert updates.