Gov. Charlie Baker has extended Massachusetts’ stay-at-home advisory and non-essential business closure order for two weeks until May 18.
Meanwhile, the Governor has launched a Reopening Advisory Board that will provide guidance on how to reopen the economy in phases, based on health and safety metrics, and produce a plan to the Governor by May 18. The administration stresses that public health data and guidance from health care experts will dictate the timeline of the re-opening process.
The university’s previously announced policy that “only onsite personnel should report to campus, unless contacted by a supervisor,” remains, in accordance with the Governor’s extended order. The order also extends the prohibition on gatherings of more than 10 people until May 18.
Per the Governor’s order, all businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 essential services” must close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers and the public; the order will be extended until May 18. Businesses and organizations not on the list of essential services are encouraged to continue operations through remote means that do not require workers, customers, or the public to enter or appear at the brick-and-mortar premises closed by the order.
The order also includes scientific researchers in higher education completing in-process research to ensure health and safety and to prevent the loss of essential data.
The stay at home advisory issued by the Department of Public Health outlining self-isolation and social distancing protocols will also remain in effect until further notice. Massachusetts residents are advised to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel and other unnecessary activities during this period. Residents over 70 years of age or with underlying health conditions, who are considered at high risk when exposed to COVID-19, should limit social interactions with other people as much as possible.
In relation to the Governor’s order, the university has also implemented and continues to maintain minimum on-site research and personnel plans for laboratory research continuity.