As the cases continue to increase in Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Baker has extended the deadline for the state's stay-at-home advisory and closure of non-essential business till May 4th.
“This order also extends the 10 person limit on social gatherings until May 4 as well,” Baker said.
The order was put in effect on March 24th and the tentative deadline to lift the restrictions was April 7th. It asks all the citizens except for workers of essential businesses to stay at home and strictly observe social distancing with the six feet distance rule. They can step out of the house occasionally for evening walks, jogging or for any necessary trips to grocery stores or pharmacies.
"I want everybody to know that we appreciate the huge impact on our economy and on our daily lives that these decisions have and they have not been made lightly," Baker said.
Source: Boston Herald
The list of businesses that are considered essential by the state has also been updated and according to the governor, chiropractors, optometrist, employees providing disinfectant or sanitation services and some other jobs in the supply chain sector can function. However, they have to observe all the rules of social distancing or the authorities will take strict action against them.
The extension in the deadline of the lockdown came after Donald Trump also introduced similar measures in federal social distancing policies.
Governor Charlie Baker has requested all the locals to respect the guidance and “play their part” so that paramedics and other healthcare workers who are risking their lives feel less pressured, especially with the new surge expected in mid-April. He called social distancing “our single greatest weapon” against the pandemic.
Source: Boston University
"As most of you know, my weekly visits with my 91-year-old father are (now) phone calls. And as I said previously, neither one of us are very good at that. And I miss him," a visibly emotional Baker said, pausing, "but that's just the way it should be and it’s the way all of us need to be as purposeful as we can be in dealing with the contagious nature of this virus."
He was grateful to all the local business communities and citizens who showed cooperation and took the order seriously but said that the emergency imposed in the state might get difficult in the upcoming days so he expects them to show similar interests in the favor of Massachusetts.
"The state is filled with remarkable people and remarkable communities. Time and again we have watched them rise together to fight, to battle and to win," Baker said. "We are about to enter what will be perhaps the most difficult period associated with this particular virus and there's no doubt in my mind, the Lt. Governor's mind or anybody else's around here that you will all perform above and beyond."
According to researchers at the University of Washington, the coronavirus death toll can increase till 80 per day in Massachusetts and it might hit the state the hardest on April 14th.