Massachusetts Coronavirus Cases
As of July 7, Massachusetts reported 110,338 confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Of these, 8,213 have resulted in death. Middlesex County has the majority of cases with 24,243 reported. Suffolk County is second with 20,048, and Essex County, with 16,318, is third.
Source: State of Massachusetts
Gyms in Massachusetts to Reopen After Coronavirus Shutdown
Masked fitness fans were welcomed back to gyms across the state with “open arms” after months of coronavirus lockdown.
“We’ve been working toward this day for nearly four months now. It is so important to stay physically active and healthy,” said Mark Harrington, president of Healthworks, which reopened several fitness centers Monday.
As part of Gov. Charlie Baker’s Phase 3 of coronavirus reopening, clients can return to gyms in all parts of the state except
Boston this week. Many Bay Staters said they were eager to trade their at-home workouts to get back into the weight room. Gyms in the city are set to open on July 13.
“It’s been really hard. I’ve just been doing exercise bands, but I can’t really do much without the equipment. I’m an equipment person,” said Brie Roulier, who visited Natick’s Planet Fitness Monday. Inside cardio rooms, many pieces of equipment are off-limits to help visitors social distance. Weightlifting stations are at least 6 feet apart, and areas where people might be sweating and breathing heavily are spaced 14 feet apart.
Gym owners are adjusting many of the ways they do business to protect staff and visitors and limit occupancy to the state’s mandated 40% capacity. At Healthworks, members are asked to book reservations before they visit the fitness centers. Between reservations, the staff closes the facilities to use hospital-grade, electrostatic spray packs to sanitize all equipment.
But preventing the spread of the coronavirus in fitness centers will largely be on members themselves. All visitors must wear masks and sanitize their hands.
Roulier, who works in the intensive care unit at UMass Memorial-Marlborough Hospital, said she’s prepared to protect herself and others.
“I’m wearing my mask, wiping everything down, and hand-sanitizing,” she said.
“I think it really comes down to common courtesy, and members know that we’re all in this together, and what I’m doing could directly affect you. We need to respect each others’ space and respect each others’ health,” said Planet Fitness franchisee Bill Whelan.
As Massachusetts continues to see coronavirus case numbers decline, and takes this step back toward stabilizing the local economy, other parts of the country are experiencing the opposite. Florida just closed fitness centers once again as virus cases are surging in the sunshine state.
Local gym owners like Whelan are prepared to close their facilities if a staff member or visitor becomes ill, but he said that his Rhode Island gyms have operated for the last month without a single positive case of COVID-19.
"We do need to recognize and understand that this is still very much with us, and for anybody who thinks this is over, ask them to take a look at the data coming out of the South and Southwest, which had a very positive set of statistics week over week and now they're really starting to struggle."
Governor Charlie Baker.
Massachusetts Family Honors Coronavirus Victims With Flags On Their Front Yard
A Massachusetts family is honoring coronavirus victims by planting a U.S. flag in their front yard for every single Bay Stater who has died as a result of the pandemic.
The Labbe Family in Grafton, Massachusetts, has planted a miniature flag in their front yard for every person in the state that died from the coronavirus. The family, already known in the town for their large Christmas display, now has people coming to see their flags display.
“It’s about paying it forward in life,” said Mike Labbe, the patriarch of the family. “Ninety-five percent of these people didn’t get to say goodbye to their mothers, their fathers, their brothers, their sisters, their children. And if they can pull up here and see that and it gives them a little bit of stress relief, or comfort, it’s worth every ounce of effort.”
The family, which now has over 8,000 flags planted in their yard, says they never expected to get to that figure.
“Never in a million years did I ever think we’d get to this number,” said Mike Labbe. “We obviously prayed to be in the hundreds, not thousands. Unfortunately, sadly, it’s still growing.”
Despite being affected financially by the coronavirus pandemic, the Labbe family has refused to accept donations for this endeavor.
“We are hoping it doesn’t go too much more but we may have to,” said Melissa, one of the Labbe children.
As of June 29, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has recorded 108,768 coronavirus cases and 8,095 coronavirus related deaths in the state.
Last week, as part of its coronavirus response, the Baker-Polito administration unveiled a $275 million economic recovery package aimed at promoting equity across the state in the face of the pandemic.
“By funding more affordable housing, implementing critical zoning reform, stabilizing neighborhoods, and supporting minority-owned businesses with record levels of funding, these proposed changes will bring critical relief and promote equity across Massachusetts amidst the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Charlie Baker.
- 29,671 initial unemployment insurance claims were recorded in Massachusetts during the week that ended on June 20.
- As of April 2020, Massachusetts has an unemployment rate of 15.1%
- Approximately 3% of people under the age of 65 in Massachusetts have no health insurance.
- 10% of the state’s population fall under the poverty line. .
Massachusetts Moves To Step 2 Of Phase 2 In Its Reopening Plan
Massachusetts is set to commence the Step 2 of Phase 2 of its reopening plan, which will allow additional businesses to resume activities.
During a press conference last week, Governor Charlie Baker announced that the second step of Phase 2 of the Massachusetts reopening plan will begin on Monday, June 22, allowing a number of close contact businesses to resume operations with specific guidelines.
“We are making the progress we’re making because of the actions that people here in Massachusetts are taking every day,” said Governor Baker.
During Step Two of Phase 2, restaurants in the state will be allowed to resume indoor services with tables spaced at least six feet apart and parties per table limited to six people, while offices, though still being urged to work from home as much as possible, will now be allowed to expand their operating capacity from 25% to 50%. Retail dressing rooms can also open fitting rooms, but by appointment only.
In addition to this, close contact personal services like nail and tanning salons, massage parlors, electrolysis studios, tattoo parlors, skin care services and personal training will be allowed to resume operations, with customers and workers required to wear face coverings and work stations spaced at least six feet apart. Personal training will also be limited to one customer, or two if they are from the same household, allowed in a facility at a time.
Governor Baker also said that state officials will be monitoring coronavirus data in Massachusetts for at least two weeks before allowing Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan to begin, setting a possible commencement date for July 6.
As of June 20, state health officials have recorded 106,936 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Massachusetts.