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Massachusetts Officially Rolled Back To Phase 3, Step 1 Of COVID Reopening Plan

BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts has officially stepped back to Phase 3, Step 1 of the state's COVID reopening plan.

Baker announced the changes last week as a result of surging coronavirus cases in the state. The step back went into effect at midnight on Sunday.

"The days of most people doing most of the right things are probably not enough," Baker said last week. "Significantly more people are suffering from severe COVID related illnesses… and this sharp increase is putting a strain on our healthcare system and our frontline health care workers."

As a result, the following changes are now in place:

  • Outdoor gatherings at event venues will be limited to no more than 50 people
  • Hosts of private outdoor gatherings of greater than 25 people will be required to provide advance notice of the gathering to their local board of health
  • Indoor theaters and performance venues and higher contact indoor recreation businesses will close
  • Outdoor theaters and performance venues will be limited to 25% capacity, and no more than 50 people
  • In all communities, capacity will be reduced from 50% to 40% for the following sectors:
    • Arcades/Indoor and Outdoor Recreational Businesses
    • Driving and Flight Schools
    • Gyms/Health Clubs
    • Libraries
    • Museums
    • Retail
    • Offices
    • Places of Worship
    • Lodging (common areas)
    • Golf facilities
    • Movie Theaters (Maximum 50 people per theater)
  • New guidelines were created for restaurants and venues with seated dining, including a six-patron limit on tables, a 90-minute time limit, a stricter mask regulation
  • Food court seating will close in malls
  • Gym patrons must wear masks at all times in the gym
  • In offices, employees must wear masks at their place of work when not in their own workspace and alone
  • Employers are encouraged to close or limit the use of break rooms

As of Saturday, the total number of confirmed cases in the state is now 274,897 while the total number of deaths is 11,057.

There are 1,670 people currently hospitalized for a coronavirus-related illness Saturday, an increase of 65 since Friday. There are 334 patients currently in intensive care.

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