CURRENT STATE: Phase III, Step 2 

March 18, 2021 Baker-Polito Administration Announces Transition to 

Phase IV of Reopening Plan

 

Massachusetts will advance to Step 1 of Phase IV on March 22; Replaces Travel Order with Travel Advisory

 

Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that Massachusetts will advance to Step 1 of Phase IV of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan on Monday, March 22. The Administration continues to take steps to reopen the Commonwealth's economy with public health metrics continuing to trend in a positive direction. This includes drops in average daily COVID cases and hospitalizations. Massachusetts also continues to be a national leader in vaccination rates. The Administration also replaced the Massachusetts Travel Order originally issued in July 2020 with a Travel Advisory, effective March 22. 

 

In addition, the Administration also announced nearly $31 million in awards to 710 additional small businesses in the tenth round of COVID-19 relief grants administered by the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC). 

 

Phase IV, Step 1 and Gathering Changes: 

On March 1, Massachusetts loosened capacity restrictions for several industries and advanced to Step 2 of Phase III of the reopening plan. Since then, hospitalizations dropped by 20% and deaths dropped by 24%. The seven day average of new cases in long-term care facilities dropped by 53%. The positive test rate remains below 2% and has been for several weeks now. The seven day average of new cases is also down over this time by 7%. 

 

Effective Monday, March 22, all communities in Massachusetts will move into Step 1 of Phase IV of the state’s reopening plan. This will open a range of previously closed business sectors under tight capacity restrictions that are expected to be adjusted over time if favorable trends in the public health data continue. Effective on the planned advancement to Step 1 of Phase IV, the following large capacity sports and entertainment venues will be permitted to operate at a strict 12% capacity limit after submitting a plan to the Department of Public Health (DPH):

 

  • Indoor and outdoor stadiums

 

  • Arenas

 

  • Ballparks

 

Also effective on March 22, gathering limits for event venues and in public settings will increase to 100 people indoors and 150 people outdoors. Outdoor gatherings at private residences and in private backyards will remain at a maximum of 25 people, with indoor house gatherings remaining at 10 people.

 

Additionally, dance floors will be permitted at weddings and other events only, and overnight summer camps will be allowed to operate this coming summer. Exhibition and convention halls may also begin to operate, following gatherings limits and event protocols. Other Phase IV sectors must continue to remain closed.

 

Travel Order:  

Effective Monday, March 22, the Massachusetts Travel Order will be replaced with a Travel Advisory. 

 

The new travel advisory will urge all persons entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, are advised to quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival if they have been out of the state for 24 hours or more. 

 

The advisory does not apply to anyone in the following categories:

 

  • Anyone who is returning to Massachusetts after an absence of fewer than 24 hours. 

 

  • Travelers who have a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72 hours prior to their arrival in Massachusetts. 

 

  • Workers who enter Massachusetts to perform critical infrastructure functions (as specified by the Federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) while they are commuting to or from or while at work.

 

  • Travelers who are fully vaccinated (i.e. who have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines OR who have received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 14 days or more ago and who do not have symptoms). 

 

Travelers are additionally encouraged to consult and follow the CDC’s guidelines and requirements for travel. 

 

 

COVID-19 Business Relief Grants: 

Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced approximately $31 million in awards for 710 additional businesses in the tenth round of COVID relief grants administered by the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC). As in prior rounds, each grant recipient meets sector or demographic priorities set for the grant programs administered by MGCC. 

With the addition of this round of grants, the Administration has awarded over $633 million in direct financial support to 14,056 businesses across the Commonwealth. 

Grants for this round were awarded to 327 minority-owned, and 293 women-owned, businesses; 240 recipients are located in Gateway Cities, and 245 businesses awarded grants have not received any prior aid.

Additionally, MGCC will soon be announcing the availability of funding to support small business technical assistance and community development financial institutions. 

Baker-Polito Administration Announces Transition to 

Phase IV of Reopening Plan

 

Massachusetts will advance to Step 1 of Phase IV on March 22; Replaces Travel Order with Travel Advisory

 

Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that Massachusetts will advance to Step 1 of Phase IV of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan on Monday, March 22. The Administration continues to take steps to reopen the Commonwealth's economy with public health metrics continuing to trend in a positive direction. This includes drops in average daily COVID cases and hospitalizations. Massachusetts also continues to be a national leader in vaccination rates. The Administration also replaced the Massachusetts Travel Order originally issued in July 2020 with a Travel Advisory, effective March 22. 

 

In addition, the Administration also announced nearly $31 million in awards to 710 additional small businesses in the tenth round of COVID-19 relief grants administered by the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC). 

 

Phase IV, Step 1 and Gathering Changes: 

On March 1, Massachusetts loosened capacity restrictions for several industries and advanced to Step 2 of Phase III of the reopening plan. Since then, hospitalizations dropped by 20% and deaths dropped by 24%. The seven day average of new cases in long-term care facilities dropped by 53%. The positive test rate remains below 2% and has been for several weeks now. The seven day average of new cases is also down over this time by 7%. 

 

Effective Monday, March 22, all communities in Massachusetts will move into Step 1 of Phase IV of the state’s reopening plan. This will open a range of previously closed business sectors under tight capacity restrictions that are expected to be adjusted over time if favorable trends in the public health data continue. Effective on the planned advancement to Step 1 of Phase IV, the following large capacity sports and entertainment venues will be permitted to operate at a strict 12% capacity limit after submitting a plan to the Department of Public Health (DPH):

 

  • Indoor and outdoor stadiums

 

  • Arenas

 

  • Ballparks

 

Also effective on March 22, gathering limits for event venues and in public settings will increase to 100 people indoors and 150 people outdoors. Outdoor gatherings at private residences and in private backyards will remain at a maximum of 25 people, with indoor house gatherings remaining at 10 people.

 

Additionally, dance floors will be permitted at weddings and other events only, and overnight summer camps will be allowed to operate this coming summer. Exhibition and convention halls may also begin to operate, following gatherings limits and event protocols. Other Phase IV sectors must continue to remain closed.

 

Travel Order:  

Effective Monday, March 22, the Massachusetts Travel Order will be replaced with a Travel Advisory. 

 

The new travel advisory will urge all persons entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, are advised to quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival if they have been out of the state for 24 hours or more. 

 

The advisory does not apply to anyone in the following categories:

 

  • Anyone who is returning to Massachusetts after an absence of fewer than 24 hours. 

 

  • Travelers who have a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72 hours prior to their arrival in Massachusetts. 

 

  • Workers who enter Massachusetts to perform critical infrastructure functions (as specified by the Federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) while they are commuting to or from or while at work.

 

  • Travelers who are fully vaccinated (i.e. who have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines OR who have received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 14 days or more ago and who do not have symptoms). 

 

Travelers are additionally encouraged to consult and follow the CDC’s guidelines and requirements for travel. 

 

 

COVID-19 Business Relief Grants: 

Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced approximately $31 million in awards for 710 additional businesses in the tenth round of COVID relief grants administered by the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC). As in prior rounds, each grant recipient meets sector or demographic priorities set for the grant programs administered by MGCC. 

With the addition of this round of grants, the Administration has awarded over $633 million in direct financial support to 14,056 businesses across the Commonwealth. 

Grants for this round were awarded to 327 minority-owned, and 293 women-owned, businesses; 240 recipients are located in Gateway Cities, and 245 businesses awarded grants have not received any prior aid.

Additionally, MGCC will soon be announcing the availability of funding to support small business technical assistance and community development financial institutions. 

Baker-Polito Adminstration Video Updates

Watch video updates for COVID-19. Visit>

Safe, affordable and accessible COVID-19 testing is available for the Cape Cod community by appointment only at drive-through facilities located in Falmouth, Hyannis, Harwich Port, Wellfleet and Provincetown.

  • To book an appointment for the Falmouth location, call Barnstable County at 508-563-3200.

  • To book an appointment in Hyannis with Cape Cod Healthcare, call 508-534-7103.

  • To book an appointment for the Lower/Outer Cape, call (508) 905-2888.

For further details, please visit the Barnstable County Testing Information

We've launched the COVID-19 Helpline: (774) 330-3001. Callers can speak with trained Medical Reserve Corps volunteers Mon. through Frid., 8 am – 4:30 pm, who can answer questions regarding COVID-19 testing sites, vaccine rollout information, + more.

Residents can now receive 24 hours advance notice when a Barnstable County COVID-19 vaccine clinic will be opening for registration. Sign up for email notifications at http://www.barnstablecountyhealth.org   

For all vaccine rollout updates, latest Barnstable County Regional Vaccine Clinics and more, please visit www.barnstablecountyhealth.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cape Cod COVID-19 Response Task Force and MassSupport Network partnered to present Season of Change, Coping During COVID.  The event focused on understanding the psychological impact of the challenges faced during this time and offered helpful coping and self-care practices.   

Navigating the Massachusetts COVID-19 Vaccine Registration System

 

As many of you know, the site can be confusing, tricky to navigate and downright frustrating. Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment created a video to help residents through the process and emailed it out to 40K subscribers yesterday.

Please see the email at
https://conta.cc/2O319tW

 

 

Cape Cod Regional Vaccine Consortium FAQs

Find answers to questions about the Cape Cod Regional Vaccine Consortium HERE.

 

Did you miss this Virtual Town Hall Event: Seasons of Change?