August 13, 2020 | 3:00 PM
Governor Charlie Baker announced a new set of initiatives aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19 in Massachusetts. While Massachusetts has seen a decrease in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations since May, there has been a slight uptick in certain communities in recent days.
The Administration announced a set of initiatives, including:
- Stricter statewide rules for public and private gatherings (reduced the number of people allowed at an outdoor gathering from 100 to 50 and new face covering requirements if more than 10 people from different households will be mixing)
- Restaurant rules have been updated to state that alcoholic beverages may only be served for on-site consumption if accompanied by orders for food prepared on-site. The administration will be taking measures to ensure that bars masquerading as restaurants will be closed.
- Public safety officials, including state and local law enforcement, have the jurisdiction to enforce these orders and event hosts in violation of these orders will be subject to fines or cease and desist orders.
Due to the recent increase in positive cases, step two of phase III of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan has been postponed indefinitely.
They also announced that starting next week, additional reporting for town-by-town data will be published weekly to show the spread of COVID-19 at a community level (on the state website).
Additionally, previously announced free COVID-19 testing in 17 communities has been extended through September 12.