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Posted on May 11, 2020
Governor Charlie Baker said today that Massachusetts will re-open its economy in four phases beginning on May 18 as long as COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations continue to trend in a positive direction.
The four phases – called Start, Cautious, Vigilant and the New Normal – are designed to methodically allow certain businesses, services, and activities to resume, while protecting public health and limiting a resurgence of new COVID-19 cases.
The Start phase will allow the re-opening of industries that are best able to limit face-to-face interaction and transmission risks. All businesses will face a range of new mandatory safety standards once they resume operations, and state officials will also lay out industry-specific requirements. The Governor and Lt. Governor announced today that employers will need to attest that they are in compliance with these new rules.
During the initial stage, every workplace must ensure that all employees, customers and vendors stay at least six feet apart as often as possible, wear masks, and perform regular cleaning and disinfecting.
The remaining three phases:
The Baker Administration said that decisions and timing will be “influenced by public health metrics for when the first phase of reopening begins, as well as when it is safe to move into concurrent phases.”
Businesses and activities that provided COVID-19 Essential Services as defined in Governor Baker’s March 23 order, will continue to operate.
“We’re pleased that Governor Baker has outlined a roadmap that will get the economy up and running again while protecting the health and safety of all Massachusetts residents,” said John Regan, President & CEO of Associated Industries of Massachusetts.
Separately, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and the COVID-19 Command Center, in consultation with the Reopening Advisory Board and based on feedback from industry, labor, and community coalitions, has developed Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission as employees and customers begin to return to workplaces during the first phase of reopening.
These Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards are applicable to all sectors and industries that will be open in phase one, and create new workplace requirements for social distancing, hygiene, staffing and operations, and cleaning. These standards are being released to give workplaces time to plan and prepare for reopening.
For social distancing:
For staffing and operations:
For cleaning and disinfecting: