The Grapevine

Massachusetts Coronavirus Outbreak Update: New Deaths, Cases Reported Amid Reopening Plans

Massachusetts will be one of the many states that will be reopening soon despite reports of new COVID-19 deaths and cases. On the bright side, the state is experiencing a downward trend, although it remains to be seen if this can be maintained once several establishments are allowed to resume operations at a certain capacity.

Officials bared the latest numbers, reporting 1,024 new positive cases that raised the figures to 87,052. These were a result of the 8,373 new COVID-19 tests administered reported on Monday. Health officials have tweaked their reporting, adding key metrics that should help understand the rising number of cases better. There are plans to add them to daily reports, something that could factor in with the reopening plans of the state, Mass Live.com reported.

“Moving into the next phase of the pandemic, the re-opening phase, this format provides a more standardized way to compare both daily counts of tests and cases,” Department of Public Health spokesperson Ann Scales said.

The new numbers were revealed as Governor Charlie Baker was unveiling reopening plans for the economy of Massachusetts. It all starts with resuming select operations and activities at hospitals, construction, manufacturing and places of worship. There will be four phases of the planned reopening.

Aside from those mentioned, retailers will also be allowed to resume work. That includes hair salons who can now take appointments and some offices resuming but at a certain capacity. Phase One will roll out in three stages, the first one of which is scheduled for Monday, May 25, and others on June 1. Beaches will also be reopening on May 25. Phase Two remains unclear, although officials mentioned that an allowance of at least three weeks is to be observed.

Restaurants will remain closed, meaning these businesses will have to wait until June at the earliest to resume. Baker also reminded everyone to still follow the COVID-19 guidelines to keep themselves protected from the strain. This includes observing social distancing at all times. Most are still advised to stay at home and avoid unnecessary travel.

“If we don’t keep up the fight and don’t do the things that we all know we have to do and know we can do, we run the risk of creating a second spike for all,” Gov. Charlie Baker said.

But as expected, not all were happy with Baker's reopening plan. There were people like Jon Hurst, the president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, who tweeted that the announcement left him "incredibly disappointed."

“Many small businesses are at the end of their economic lifelines,” Hurst said in an email to Boston.com.

Coronavirus COVID-19 New York, USA A worker uses a forklift to move a body outside of the Brooklyn Hospital on March 31, 2020 in New York, United States. Due to a surge in deaths caused by the Coronavirus, hospitals are using refrigerator trucks as make shift morgues. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

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