By Beth David, Editor
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said testing in Massachusetts has been ramped up, and so has contact tracing. This means that everyone who gets a positive test for COVID-19 is asked to give a list of contacts they may have exposed to the virus. Those people will then get a call to alert them and find out if they should quarantine themselves.
Gov. Baker implored residents to answer the call if it has an area code of 833 or 857 from the MA COVID Team.
The governor also announced a four-phase plan for re-opening businesses and published Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards that will apply across all sectors and industries once reopening begins.
The goal is to methodically allow certain businesses and activities to resume, while protecting public health and limiting the resurgence of the COVID-19 cases.
The governor released the safety standards on Monday, to give businesses time to prepare. Social distancing of six feet will still be in effect in the workplace; face coverings or masks for all employees; the business must provide hand washing capabilities throughout the workplace; ensure frequent hand washing and have adequate supplies; provide regular sanitization of high touch areas; provide training for employees in social distancing and hygiene protocols; employees with symptoms do not report to work; establish a plan for employees getting ill and return to work plan; establish and maintain cleaning protocols; disinfecting after a diagnosis, and all common surfaces at regular intervals.
The Reopening Advisory Board is also developing specific protocols and best practices that will detail how particular industries should operate upon reopening.
There is no timeline for the beginning of phase one, or details on what kinds of businesses will open first, except to say that businesses and activities with a lower risk of COVID-19 transmission will open in the earlier phases.
“Public health metrics will determine when the first phase of reopening begins, as well as when it is safe to move into later phases,” reads the statement. “If public health metrics worsen, the state may need to return to an earlier phase.”
The Reopening Advisory Board is due to submit its report on May 18.
For more information, visit https://www.mass.gov/COVID19
The Town of Fairhaven has released a 17 minute video with an update from each town department about COVID-19. It is available on the town’s YouTube channel through a link at https://www. fairhaventv.com
According to the state’s website, Massachusetts has 79,332 confirmed cases of COVID-19; 401,496 individuals have been tested; 5,141* confirmed deaths; 33 deaths reported on Tuesday, 5/12, and 870 new cases.
Across the country, there are 1,342,594 confirmed cases, with 18,106 new cases on Tuesday, 5/12; 80,820 deaths, with 1,064 deaths reported on Tuesday, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) website.
*Corrects error from previous versions, 5,141 (not 41,141) as of Tuesday, 5/12/20.
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