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

By JOSH RESNEK

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
Continue reading State eases public crowd restrictions at stadiums, restaurants

Encore ready to go when restrictions lift

FEBRUARY 11: Winter clouds hang over the Encore Boston Harbor resort. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

By JOSH RESNEK

The casino business everywhere remains chained to the pandemic with severe indoor crowd restrictions in play here in Massachusetts and throughout the nation.

In Las Vega, the epicenter of casino gaming in America, the state government has just allowed casinos to increase their indoor capacity numbers by ten percent from 25% to 35%.

Entertainment venues remain problematic.

Conventions, one of the staples of casinos and hotels remains out of business and will likely be that way for some months to come.

In fact, in Las Vegas, at the Wynn Resorts Encore hotel and casino, the convention area has been fit out as a vaccination center for Nevadans.

Encore Hotel in Las Vegas remains closed during the week and open on weekends.

Crowds, as they used to be on the Strip, are non-existent in the current pandemic environment.

Encore in Everett is in the same condition, with an abbreviated hotel opening schedule on the weekends only and severe crowd restrictions for inside gaming at the casino.

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EPS eyes March reopening some grades

FEBRUARY 6: Seniors 75 and older and others with specific health concerns where the first to get the Covid-19 vaccine at the former Pope John XIII school building over the weekend. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Vaccinations start at Pope John XIII


By JOSH RESNEK

Throughout the nation, a crescendo of interest in re-opening the public schools has taken on new energy and support.

In New York City and Chicago, the mayors of those two cities are taking seriously the outcry of parents and educators to get schools open again as soon as possible.

With the virus still running rampant across the nation and here in Massachusetts, reopening schools en masse for everyone is a daunting task.

In fact, Everett just began vaccinating its residents 75 and older at the former Pope John site.

More than 500 were vaccinated Saturday, according to officials.

In Everett, School Superintendent Priya Tahiliani is staying ahead of the curve about reopening the schools.

The Everett Public Schools are in fact tentatively scheduling the reopening of some of the lower grades partially in March, according to Tahiliani’s previous remarks at School Committee meetings.

What isn’t going to occur is a mass reopening with teachers and students inside classrooms while the virus is prevalent.

Continue reading EPS eyes March reopening some grades

School opening unlikely by late Feb.

By JOSH RESNEK

Unbelievably enough, public schools in Everett have been closed since last March.

If events and timing remain on track for the virus to abate and for vaccines enough to inoculate the public, it appears that schools will not reopen this year, dooming the public school community to another round of compromised graduations and grade promotions.

Superintendent Priya Tahiliani has been predicting that a hybrid plan for a partial reopening of the public schools while at the same time maintaining online, at-home education, may come to pass at the end of February.

However, the jury is out on whether or not this will happen, and if it will happen end of February.

The desire to reopen public schools across the nation is in full swing with the Biden Administration saying schools must be reopened as soon as practically possible.

Teachers’ unions all over the nation, here in Massachusetts, and in Everett, do not want to reopen the public schools before their safety can be guaranteed.

The vaccination of the teacher force is vitally important to the reopening of the schools as soon as possible.

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Encore resort to reopen 24/7

JANUARY 24: The sun rises over the Encore Boston Harbor. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

A big step in return to the new normal


By JOSH RESNEK

Income numbers generated by the casino at Encore are expected to rise now that the state has al- lowed casinos and restaurants and a few other indoor commercial operations to extend their hours over the 9:30 p.m. closing. Encore officials announced that the casino will be open 24/7 beginning Wednesday.

The hotel will reopen, housing guests Thursday thru Sunday, according to company officials.

COVID-19 health and safety measures will continue to be in place, including operating under a 25 percent capacity model, temperature scans at all entrances, mandatory face coverings for all employees and guests, and frequent cleaning and dis- infecting of all guest areas.

The 25 percent capacity restriction is a killer, according to industry analysts.

However, without robust numbers of vacationers returning to the Boston tourism scene anytime soon, Encore faces much leaner times than when it first opened in June 2019.

Visitors coming to Boston via air travel remain woefully down.

Logan Airport visitations and departures are at all-time low poverty levels for the airlines and for everyone involved.

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