Governor Charlie Baker’s new COVID-19 guidelines and its implications on UMass

Guidelines include a stay-at-home advisory and restrictions on business’ operating hours

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(Charlie Baker / Flickr)

Ethan Brayall-Brown, Writer

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced a new stay-at-home advisory along with other measures to fight back against COVID-19 cases. These measures go into effect on Nov. 6.

This comes amidst a surge of COVID-19 cases. As of Nov. 4, there were 1,629 new cases, making a total of 103,066 COVID-19 cases in the Commonwealth.

Baker declared a stay-at-home advisory from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. People are only allowed to leave their homes for work, groceries, medical care and other emergencies.

He also is requiring businesses be closed by 9:30 p.m. every night. Restaurants must have take-out only after 9:30 p.m.

Face coverings and masks will be required in public areas. If someone has a medical exemption, they must show proof. Failure to do so will result in a fine.

The number of people at gatherings will also become limited. Indoor private gatherings have been reduced from 25 to 10 people, and outside from 50 to 25 people.

SGA Senator and freshman Abby Velozo believes this could have impact on the UMass community. 

I think UMass is going to switch up like they did last semester last second,” said Velozo.

UMass Executive Director of Environmental Health and Safety Jeff Hescock, sent an email to students explaining how these new guidelines will impact the campus community.

Students cannot have gatherings in their hall from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. and can only do the same activities at those times listed by Baker. Gatherings inside must stay to 10 people and outside to 25 people.

Masks must be worn at all times on campus, inside or outside, whether or not social distancing can be maintained.

All dining locations now have to close at 9:30 p.m. Meals will be served in grab-and-go style from 9:30 p.m. until the dining facilities close.

Chances of this impacting the Spring 2021 semester are possible, but students can remain optimistic. Hescock ended his email with this:

As the fall semester nears its end and we prepare for a spring semester with increased on-campus activity, it is important to remember that the actions we take now impact our ability to open more fully in the future. Through our asymptomatic testing program, cooperation with contact tracing, avoidance of parties and gatherings, and commitment to wearing face coverings, we have been successful in mitigating the spread of the virus in our community. By following this new guidance from the governor, we can continue to take active steps toward further repopulating the campus. Please keep up these proactive and responsible efforts.”

 

Email Ethan at [email protected]

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