Massachusetts Goes Under Lockdown Due to Coronavirus

  • AUTHOR: isbah
  • POSTED ON: March 31, 2020

All the states in America are taking measures to make sure they limit the spread of coronavirus as the numbers have surpassed 100 000. The latest region that has imposed a complete lockdown on non-essential businesses in Massachusetts.

The government of the state has issued new orders that limit the gathering of more than 10 people and operations of businesses that do not provide essential services like first responders.

Source: wcvb

Charlie Baker, Massachusetts Governor is forcing people to stay inside their houses and has banned all sports and games in the state. He says that sports like football or basketball would promote the spread of the virus so people should maintain the six-feet rule and let the state control the affairs for the time being. He also noted that citizens over the age of 70 should stay inside because they are more susceptible to the virus.

“There’s been a lot of talk about a government mandating people take shelter in their homes. I do not believe I can or should order U.S. citizens to be confined to their homes for days on end,” Baker said on March 23rd. “It doesn’t make sense from a public health point of view, and it’s not realistic.”

Source: 24news

During the full closure, you would be allowed to go out to get your groceries, buy your prescribed medicines and visit laundry shops. However, restaurants, bars, pubs and any other establishment that offers food delivery or take out services should make their customers stand at a distance of six-feet or they would face consequences.

“We will always allow all grocery stores, pharmacies and other types of businesses that provide essential goods and services to Massachusetts residents to continue to operate,” Baker said on Monday. “We will not stop anyone from accessing these essential businesses.”

The restrictions were placed last week on Tuesday and will last till April 7th when the entire country will reassess the situation to see how long will lockdowns last. Right now, we are not sure if the government under Baker is planning to extend the deadline of the limitations but as we approach April 7th, there might be some changes introduced later in this week.

The stores that will continue to operate during this period are supermarkets, pharmacies and restaurants that offer delivery and takeout services. Institutions, where many foreign students are stuck right now, will also continue to keep their cafeterias open as campus residents are not allowed to leave the premises of their forms. Liquor stores all around the state can also function if the owners are willing to keep the business running.

Source: dw

As we mentioned earlier, the Department of Public Health operating in Massachusetts has made it clear that restaurants have to make sure their employees and customers observe social distancing. If anyone is found breaching the law, strict actions would be taken against them

One question that remains essential during this time is what will happen to elders who live alone. They also need necessary things like groceries and medicines but the state has asked them to stay at home specifically. To solve this problem, Baker says that citizens who have friends or family over the age of 70 years should go out and take care of their needs.

Also, if you have neighbours who are unable to step out of their homes due to any problems, you should be kind enough to deliver groceries and other stuff to their houses.

However, if older citizens do not have anyone who can assist them during the lockdown, they will be provided with special hours to take care of their necessities. The grocery stores all around the state are being asked to fix time limitations when people over 70 years old can come for the shopping and are able to to avoid contact with the masses.

BigY, Shaws, Star Market and Whole Food have taken notice of this and have set up special hours for seniors citizens.
As of now, the public transportation in the state has not closed because employees who help with bus terminals, train stations and airports are considered essential workers so all public transit is still functional.

Source: Boston Herald

However, Baker said that this does mean that you should be using these services to go meet your friends. It has been done to make things easier for people who want to go grocery shopping and get medicines so they do not have to take unnecessary long tours and risk the spread of the virus.

The MBTA is taking measures like back-door boarding on buses and above-ground trolleys so that the passengers and drivers maintain social distance. The services of public transit have been made free in Massachusetts as reported by Boston Globe so minimum wage workers can use them to collect essentials.

If you violate any rules of the lockdown given by executive order or DPHs guidance, authorities would make sure you face criminal penalties. First offence might result in a warning but if you continue to break the rules, you can face a fine up to $300 or $500 with prison time, depending on the extent of the offence.

Many citizens were concerned about the religious services so the state has decided that churches, temples, mosques and other places of worship can continue to operate but they would not be allowed to have more than 10 people in the enclosed space at a time. Same rules also apply to funerals, weddings, fundraisers, protests and other recreational activities. Following the orders, many religious institutions have moved to the services of online application and are connecting via virtual means to continue praying.

Services that are strictly closed and will face penalties if they are found operating are salons, game stores, casinos, major retailers, vendors and parks. They have to follow these orders until April 7th until the government comes up with a new strategy to deal with the virus.

These measures came after 646 people in the Bay State tested positive for coronavirus. Five people have died so far in the region according to the state Department of Health.

Updated March 31, 2020
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