COVID-19 UPDATE: Governor Baker Announces New Restrictions Designed to Curb the Spike of COVID-19: Business Capacity, Gathering Limits, and Hospital Requirements Updated

Today, Governor Baker announced new statewide restrictions designed to curb the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts. These restrictions will go into effect starting Saturday, December 26 and be in place for at least 2 weeks. It is the goal of the Baker-Polito Administration to keep these measures temporary, but extensions may be required based on public health data. 

New Business Restrictions

The new statewide requirements include, but are not limited to:

  • Indoor and outdoor gathering limits for private property, public spaces and event venues have been reduced to 25 people outdoors and 10 people indoors.
  • Office limitations will be reduced to 25% of total capacity.
  • Capacities for restaurants, personal services, retail, libraries, lodging, theaters, performance venues, places of worship, museums, cultural facilities and others will be reduced to 25%.
  • Workers and staff will not count towards the occupancy count for restaurants, personal services, places of worship and retail businesses such as grocery stores.
  • All other sector-specific guidance remains in place.

For the most up-to-date guidance, requirements and information on the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 response, please visit: mass.gov/reopening.

Updated Hospital Guidance

In order to preserve bed capacity, today it was also announced that effective 12:01am on December 26, all hospitals must postpone or cancel all non-essential in-patient elective invasive procedures, unless postponement would lead to high-risk or significant clinical decline of an individuals health. Additionally, hospitals are advised not to schedule new in-patient non-essential elective procedures until further notice by the Department of Public Health. Ambulatory, outpatient treatment, and preventive procedures (such as mammograms or cancer screenings) are not impacted. In-patient and emergency services are also not affected by this order.

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