Video by Patty Stocker
Governor Charlie Baker, on Dec. 8, announced that due to COVID-19 cases rising, all of the communities in the commonwealth would roll back to Phase 3 Step 1 in the reopening plan for the state. Previously only high risk communities were regulated to Phase 3 Step 1. Westford Health Director Jeff Stephens spoke with WestfordCAT’s Patty Stocker on Dec. 9 regarding the updates to the COVID-19 shutdown and to learn more about the state’s new guidelines.
Some of the changes include a reduction from 50 percent capacity to 40 percent capacity at indoor venues including restaurants, businesses, places of worship, gyms, and others. The closure of certain Step 2 businesses, including indoor music performances. Mask regulation are tightened in offices, gyms, and restaurants.
“Restaurants have new protocols that they additionally need to follow,” Stephens said. “That is wearing masks at all times except when eating or drinking. And that is different than how it currently is. The current regulation lets you take your mask or face covering off while you’re at your table. Now you’re going to be required to wear it the entire time you’re at your table unless you are physically eating or drinking.”
The roll back to Phase 3 Step 1 begins at 12:01 a.m. Dec. 13.
Stephens also details the three options of revised quarantine and isolation regulations as well as the state’s three phase plan for a COVID-19 vaccine rollout which could begin as early as this month.