COVID-19 Updates: Massachusetts implements new precautions

Officials hope to promote social distancing.

Brianna Silva, Managing Editor

Amid the rapid growth of the COVID-19 virus, Massachusetts has taken precautions to prevent it from spreading through large events and gatherings. According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, as of Sunday, March 15, there are 45 confirmed and probable cases of the virus among Bostonians and 164 cases within the state.

Less than a week after Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency, Mayor Marty Walsh declared a public health emergency in Boston on Sunday.  This comes alongside a wave of South Boston bars and restaurants closing

Gov. Baker announced soon after a new set of restrictions for the state. Here are the latest strategies:

1. Telehealth: All insurances companies are ordered to pay for telehealth visits and patients won’t need prior authorization for the treatment of COVID-19.

2. Assisted living: All assisted living homes will ban visitors. The only exception is end of life care.

3. Hospitals: All hospitals will screen visitors and may deny entry to those who have symptoms. Effective Wed. all hospitals and ambulatory care will cancel elective procedures such as dental work, mammograms and colonoscopies.

4. No large gatherings: Public spaces are limited to no more than 25 people. This includes churches, fitness centers, museums, concerts and much more. However, this doesn’t apply to supermarkets and pharmacies.

5. No dining out: Restaurants will remain open only if they have takeout and delivery options to prevent having diners in close proximity.

6. Further restrictions: Local governments can further advance these restrictions.

On April 7, the limit on 25 people may be lifted and MA schools (K-12) are expected to open.

Email Brianna Silva at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @brisilvv.

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