Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced new statewide restrictions on capacity for businesses and lowered limits for indoor and outdoor gatherings amid rising Covid-19 cases numbers.
Beginning on December 26, businesses in “most industries” will need to limit their capacity to 25%, Baker said, calling the decision to institute the new measures “enormously difficult.”
Additionally, indoor gatherings are now limited to 10 people and outdoor gatherings are limited to 25 people, Baker said.
The new restrictions will be in place for at least two weeks and do not affect K-12 schools, Baker said.
Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said the aim is to keep the new measures temporary and said the 25% capacity restriction applies to industries including restaurants and personal services, theaters and event venues, casinos, offices, places of worship, retail stores, libraries, fitness centers, museums, indoor recreation, driving and flight schools, indoor golf facilities, and lodging common areas.
The latest numbers: On Tuesday, Baker announced that the state had at least 3,760 new cases, with 1,991 people hospitalized and 410 people in the ICU, stating that the state’s hospitals “are now under significant pressure.”
The Massachusetts Department of Health also released updated guidance on Tuesday to hospitals, directing them to “postpone or cancel all nonessential inpatient elective invasive procedures in order to maintain and increase inpatient capacity” beginning on December 26, according to a statement from the governor’s office.