Baker extends statewide COVID-19 restrictions by at least 2 weeks

Massachusetts
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BOSTON (WPRI) — The reduced social gathering limit and industry restrictions on capacity in Massachusetts have been extended for at least two more weeks, Gov. Charlie Baker announced Thursday.

Baker said the restrictions that went into effect on Dec. 26 will be extended until at least Jan. 24.

Under the guidelines, most industries in the state are reduced to 25% capacity, including restaurants, close-contact services, offices, places of worship, and retail businesses.

Indoor gatherings remain limited to 10 people, and outdoor gatherings are capped at 25 people.

“Massachusetts is fighting its way through a second surge, cases are growing and hospitalizations continue to climb,” Baker said. “This trend, as we know, has been going on for weeks, driven in part by people letting their guard down in informal settings and over the holidays.”

The Mass. Department of Health reported 7,136 new coronavirus cases Thursday, and that an additional 71 people had died after contracting the virus.

The data shows 2,386 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, with 455 patients in the intensive care unit.

The governor also announced new advisement for hospitals in each region to meet daily and continue to collaborate to address the growing capacity restraints.

The new guidance also allows hospitals with severe capacity constraints to request a temporary exemption from the required nurse-to-patient staff ratios in the intensive care unit.

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