Camps, child care centres could start reopening on Monday - InfoNews

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Camps, child care centres could start reopening on Monday

Chris Dotoli, right, hands an order to a customer, Wednesday, June 3, 2020, outside Kelly's Roast Beef in Revere, Mass. Kelly's is open for outside delivery of food in accordance with the state's coronavirus guidelines. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
June 03, 2020 - 3:34 PM

BOSTON - The next phase in getting Massachusetts back in business, including reopening child care centres, could start as soon as Monday if downward trends in the coronavirus pandemic continue, Gov. Charlie Baker said.

The official announcement on Phase 2 of the reopening plan will come Saturday, Baker said at a news conference Wednesday.

Child care centres, which currently are open only to children of emergency workers, will need to screen staffers and youngsters for symptoms of illness before allowing them in each day.

Centres must use only one entrance, stagger drop-off schedules and try to avert close contact between children.

At summer camps, attendees will have to stay in their groups, counsellors won’t be able to move among groups, and field trips will be banned for now.

Retails stores that open their floors in Phase 2 must limit occupancy, require workers and customers to wear face masks, and — for groceries and pharmacies — create special hours for customers older 60, who are at higher risk of serious illness from the coronavirus.

There are also concerns about the virus spreading at recent police-misconduct protests, Baker said, noting many participants wore masks.

“Anytime there’s big gatherings in close quarters, the potential for spread is real,” Baker said. “It’ll be a few weeks before we really know what the impact of that is.”

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VIRUS BY THE NUMBERS

About 80% of Massachusetts residents with confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, are out of isolation and are considered recovered, according to state health officials.

An additional 13% are still in isolation.

Massachusetts officials on Wednesday reported the total number of confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts has topped 101,000.

There were 68 new deaths reported Wednesday, bringing the total number of confirmed and probable deaths in the state since the start of the pandemic to 7,152.

Other numbers released Wednesday indicated continued progress.

There were about 1,700 people hospitalized with COVID-19, down from about 2,500 two weeks ago. The number of people in intensive care units stood at 393, down from 675 two weeks ago.

The number of probable and confirmed COVID-19 deaths at long-term care homes rose to 4,447, or about 62% of all deaths.

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NURSING HOME VISITORS

Massachusetts residents with family members in nursing homes and some other long-term care homes can start to visit their loved ones again starting Wednesday.

Visits have been limited since mid-March to help protect a particularly vulnerable population. Still, more than 60% of the state's coronavirus-related deaths have been in nursing home residents, according to data.

Under the guidelines, visits must be scheduled and take place in designated outdoor areas, with the exception of end-of-life situations.

Nursing home residents are allowed only two visitors at a time, and everyone must wear a mask and stay at least 6 feet apart. Residents with confirmed or possible cases of the disease cannot have visitors, although those who have recovered can.

Visitors will have their temperature taken and be screened for symptoms.

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TAX REVENUES

Taxe collections in Massachusetts tanked again in May, with revenues plunging 15.6% below predictions for the month and 13% below what the state collected during the same month last year.

For the fiscal year-to-date, revenue collections totalled $24.78 billion. That’s about $1.73 billion or 6.5% less than the same fiscal year-to-date period in 2019.

All but essential businesses were closed for much of May as the state battled the spread of the coronavirus. The April deadline for some major tax payment categories was also extended until July.

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FAIR CANCELED

A Massachusetts agricultural fair first held in 1848 has been cancelled.

The 2020 Franklin County Fair in Greenfield scheduled for Sept. 10-13 was cancelled Tuesday following a unanimous vote by the Franklin County Agricultural Society’s board of directors, The Recorder of Greenfield reported.

Society president Mike Nelson called it a “difficult and heartbreaking” decision on the fair’s Facebook page.

“This step is one we hate to take, but absolutely must,” Nelson wrote.

The fair is also facing a loss of sponsorship, the possibility of significantly decreased attendance and the cost of an erosion repair project at the fairgrounds.

News from © The Associated Press, 2020
The Associated Press

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