Having taken the weekend to consider the latest federal guidance that dramatically loosened coronavirus restrictions for vaccinated people, Gov. Charlie Baker plans to give an update on the reopening process for Massachusetts late Monday morning.
Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, who led the administration's economic reopening task force, will join the governor for the 11 a.m. press conference from the State House's Gardner Auditorium. Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders, who has led the state's COVID-19 Command Center, will also attend.
Baker declared a state of emergency on March 10, 2020 to deal with the coronavirus that was just beginning to surge across the planet and his administration's restrictions, guidelines and executive orders have shaded nearly all aspects of life in the Bay State since then.
The governor had previously announced a plan to remove all business restrictions by Aug. 1 with the next interim step to come May 29, though other states have recently moved up their own reopening timelines as vaccination efforts progress, case counts decline and the federal government signals that life can return mostly to normal after vaccination. Baker said last week that Massachusetts would soon have four million fully vaccinated residents.
Over the weekend, the Department of Public Health reported 1,151 new cases of COVID-19 (657 on Saturday and 494 on Sunday), bringing the state's case count to 656,838 people. DPH also announced 10 recent COVID-19 deaths, raising the death toll to 17,752 people. The state's average positive test rate declined to an even 1 percent and the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 fell by 39 patients to 337 people, DPH said.
The agency also reported 115,346 new doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered between the two days and the number of fully vaccinated people here now stands at 3,202,166.