Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Commonwealth Magazine: Change to community approach for reopening for COVID-19

From CommonWealth Magazine we share 2 articles of interest for Franklin:
"THE BAKER ADMINISTRATION on Tuesday went all-in on its community-by-community approach to COVID-19, allowing lower-risk municipalities to move forward with reopening plans while putting cities and towns considered high risk on hold.

Since community-by-community COVID-19 data were broken out in August, the Baker administration has used the information to target testing and other resources where they are needed most. Now the governor is giving communities considered lower risk the green light to reopen businesses more quickly than communities considered high risk.

The shift in approach was accompanied by a change in nomenclature. The governor initially broke communities down based on their positive cases per 100,000 people over the previous two weeks. Those communities with more than 8 cases per 100,000 were considered high-risk, those with between 4 and 8 cases moderate risk, and those lower than 4 cases per 100,000 or fewer than 5 cases overall were considered low-risk. On a color-coded map, the four groupings were red for high risk, yellow for moderate risk, and green and gray for low risk.

On Tuesday, the governor and his top aides lumped all the yellow, green, and gray communities in the same low-risk category. "
Continue reading the article online
"GOV. CHARLIE BAKER will allow more indoor performance and entertainment spaces to open on Monday, but only in communities deemed low-risk for transmission of COVID-19. His decision to continue with the state’s phased reopening comes as some epidemiologists are worried about signs of a potential new coronavirus spike.

Baker, at a State House press conference on Tuesday, said he believes the biggest risk comes from people gathering informally. With cooler weather coming, his goal is to allow people to gather indoors in as low-risk way as possible. “The unsupervised, the unorganized, the familiar being familiar is really where the greatest risk is,” Baker said. “If people are going to go inside, I’d much rather they go inside in an organized, supervised way with rules than in an unorganized, unsupervised ways with no rules.”

The new rules, which go into effect Monday, will let indoor performance venues open at 50 percent of capacity, with a maximum of 250 people, excluding performers. Large venues such as arenas, stadiums, and exhibition halls are not covered by the new rules; they will not be allowed to reopen until the final phase of the state’s reopening plan, which is predicated on having a vaccine or effective treatment for COVID-19.

Outdoor performance venues will be allowed to increase to 50 percent of capacity, also with a maximum of 250 people, up from 25 percent and 50 people now."
Continue reading the article online

Gov Baker's press conf: 

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