State eases public crowd restrictions at stadiums, restaurants

FEBRUARY 27: Woman walk down Broadway at Ferry Street in Glendale Square on. February 27, 2021 in Everett, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Covid-19 cases, deaths dropping but risk remains high


Citing declining numbers of new daily cases and hospitalizations, Governor Charlie Baker has rolled back and loosened restrictions which includes allowing indoor performance venues like theaters and concert halls to run at greater capacities.

Also, capacity limits for restaurants have been marginally relaxed.

The adjusted rules and regulations of operation began Monday.

  • Indoor performance venues like concert halls, theaters, and other indoor performance spaces are allowed to reopen at 50 percent capacity, with a limit of 500 people
  • Indoor, higher-contact recreational activities like laser tag, roller skating, trampolines, and obstacle courses are allowed to reopen at 50 percent capacity
  • Capacity limits across all sectors have been raised to 50 percent, excluding employees
  • Restaurants do not have a percent capacity limit and are allowed to host musical performances. Measures including 6 feet of social distancing, 6-people-per-table limits, and 90-minute time limits still remain

Overnight summer camps will be allowed to operate this summer. The city of Somerville will not be going along with the governor’s changes. In Boston, Mayor Marty Walsh won’t allow live musical performances in restaurants until March 22.

As the new week began, Everett reported a lower number of infections, hospitalizations and deaths which is a carryover from the week before.

Caps remain on crowd size at the Encore casino and hotel. The expectation is that the casino’s smaller “convention” space will be able to operate again after March 22.

However, that will take a vote of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and the approval of the Department of Public Health.

On Sunday, the state reported 52 new deaths and 1,428 cases due to COVID-19. The latest data released by the Department of Public Health tallied the total number of cases at more than 550,000.

The Coronavirus death toll in Massachusetts was 15,796 Sunday.

The number of Coronavirus vaccinations administered in Massachusetts rose by 65,284 to 1,736,477, state officials reported Sunday.

The governor also wants to bring back K-12 students into their school buildings for in-person learning.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said that easing restrictions now could cause yet another dangerous bump in new infections and hospitalizations at a time when the nation appears to be rebounding a bit.

Deaths from COVID-19 nationally remain at the 2,000 a day level. The infection rate has eased somewhat. It is down from 200,000 a day to about 70,000 a day.

Many epidemiologist believe allowing more and larger indoor crowd interactions sends the wrong message.

The virus will come back again if we let our guard down, many believe.

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