Virus questions haunt summer

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Hasan Bush, of Casablanca Barber Shop, trims Paulo Olivera’s hair on Monday. (Photos by Jim Mahoney )

Locals still wear masks as some claim crisis is over but deaths continue to rise


Memorial Day weekend has come and gone.

The traditional starting point for the American summer of 2020 has begun with big question marks about how it is going to turn out with the virus still making millions of us tentative about what we can do while many millions of others believe going out and enjoying themselves is far more important than being kept safe from the viral storm swirling among us.

With most Everett residents venturing outside now wearing masks and practicing social distancing, it is difficult to reconcile this when viewing video of tens of thousands of people frolicking on the beach without masks and or social distancing in places like Daytona Beach, Florida.

Is this OK or is it not?

Are the frolickers casting their fate to the wind and the sun going to become infected or are they not? Are they going to return home and infect their loved ones, and then their loved ones go out and infect others?

The experts all agree – yes, this is going to happen.

The president does not agree.

He says we need to get open and to go back to work and that everything is just fine.

Continue reading Virus questions haunt summer

Hurdles exist before Encore can open

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Don’t bet on Encore Boston Harbor Resort opening soon. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Casino will be last Wynn property to welcome back guests, gamblers


The Encore Boston Harbor Casino and Hotel in Everett will not be opening any time soon, according to officials of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and Wynn Resorts officials.

In fact, the MGC guesses Encore will be the last casino to open as Massachusetts is at the epicenter of the Coronavirus.

Wynn properties in Las Vegas are reported to be opening on May 26, but on a vastly reduced scale to begin with.

Many health measures and social distancing policies strictly enforced will be the norm for the next several months, according to Las Vegas gaming officials.

There is great question among industry analysts who are wondering whether or not Las Vegas will remain conducive to families coming for a stay in the age of the virus. Macau, where Wynn Resorts derives as much as 75% of its total revenues, is now open. It has been operating for the past several weeks.

However, in a company wide phone call shared with employees late last week, Wynn officials admitted that attendance in Macau had been sparse with as few as 25-50 gamblers using the grand casino there with the hotel space almost completely empty.

All of the bettors were required by Chinese officials to undergo two weeks quarantine before being allowed to bet inside the casino.

Also, there have been a number of news agencies covering the casino business reporting that billionaire owner of the Sands in Las Vegas, Dorchester native Sheldon Adelson, may be posturing for the purchase of Wynn Resorts entirely. Continue reading Hurdles exist before Encore can open

Phase 1 reopening begins

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Traffic on Broadway is picking up as the state slowly reopens businesses. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Baker, Polito set timetable for state’s gradual revival


Where Massachusetts goes, Everett is sure to follow.

May 25 marks the official beginning of relaxation of restrictions shutting down the economy and causing the mass social distancing of Massachusetts residents in every aspect of our lives.

“It is the beginning of the road back to where we all want to be,” Lt. Governor Karyn Polito told the Leader Herald.

Polito is in charge of the phased reopening of the state, and by default, is in charge of the cities and towns as they come back to economic life after a long fight against the Coronavirus.

Manufacturing, construction and houses of worship have gotten the OK to open with obvious restrictions.

Houses of worship are restricted to 40% of capacity and parishioners must be seated at six foot intervals.

Left out of the mix for now are restaurants and bars and every sort of large gathering where hundreds of people are traditionally gathered together shoulder to shoulder in almost every instance.

Working at home is recommended for those with office jobs. Office spaces will have a 25% maximum capacity during this Phase 1 action.

This will effect the reopening of Everett City Hall and of the School Department. Safety features and new health and sanitation rules must be in place before a reopening of those two venues can occur. Continue reading Phase 1 reopening begins

Baker-Polito announce reopening plan

A doctor prepares to take a nasal swab at the CHA Malden Care Center now open for Everett residents. (Photo by Jim Mahoney)

Special to the Leader

The Baker-Polito Administration announced a four- phase approach to reopening the Massachusetts economy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and published Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards that will apply across all sectors and industries once reopening begins.

The goal of the phased reopening, based on public health guidance, is to methodically allow certain businesses, services, and activities to resume, while protecting public health and limiting a resurgence of new COVID-19 cases.

Phase 1 will be “Start:” limited industries resume operations with severe restrictions.

Phase 2 will be “Cautious:” additional industries resume operations with restrictions and capacity limits.

Phase 3 will be “Vigilant:” additional industries resume operations with guidance.

Phase 4 will be the “New Normal:” development of vaccine and/or therapy enables resumption of new normal.

Businesses and activities that provided “COVID-19 Essential Services,” per Governor Baker’s March 23 order, will continue to operate.

Certain businesses and activities with a lower risk of COVID-19 transmission will open in earlier phases. Decisions and timing will be influenced by public health metrics for when the first phase of reopening begins, as well as when it is safe to move into concurrent phases.

Additionally, the Department of PublicHealth(DPH) and the COVID-19 Command Center, in consultation with the Reopening Advisory Board and based on feedback from industry, labor, and community coalitions, has developed Mandatory Work-place Safety Standards to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission as employees and customers begin to return to workplaces during the first phase of reopening. These Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards are applicable to all sectors and industries that will be open in phase one, and create new workplace requirements for social distancing, hygiene, staffing and operations, and cleaning.

Continue reading Baker-Polito announce reopening plan