Baker Threatens to Cut Gathering Size, Restrict Businesses If Uptick Worsens
The Berkshire Eagle reports that Gov. Charlie Baker threatened Tuesday that he may cut the allowable gathering size below its current limit or revive restrictions on businesses if a slight jump in new COVID-19 cases accelerates into more substantial spread.
The governor did not outline a clear set of criteria that would prompt new orders from his administration, but after hinting last week that he was reviewing state guidance on how many people could safely gather at a single event, Baker said his administration is "not taking any options off the table."
Virtually all of the significant metrics public health experts track continue to fare much better than they did during the mid-April peak outbreak in Massachusetts. The average positive test rate, though, has increased from 1.7 percent in mid-July to 2.2 percent in recent days, a level last observed in June.
Medical experts have grown increasingly concerned about the direction of trends in the state, cautioning publicly that Massachusetts may not be able to sustain the current pace of returning to public activity while keeping the highly infectious virus at bay.