Gov. Baker Indefinitely Postpones Step 2 Of Phase 3

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced at a press conference Friday that he is indefinitely postponing Phase 3 Step 2 of his reopening plan. This comes as the Commonwealth sees a slight uptick in positive coronavirus cases.

"Five weeks ago, we laid out new economic sectors that could open in Phase 3. This uptick in cases and reports of people not adhering to the guidance we have put forth here in Massachusetts means we cannot move forward at this time or anytime soon in the near future," Gov. Baker said.

The governor has also updated the number of people allowed at outdoor gatherings. Starting on Tuesday, Aug. 11, outdoor gatherings will be limited to 50 people. The previous limit was 100 people. The limit on indoor gatherings remains at 25 people.

"There have been many reports of pool parties, birthday parties, holiday parties, Fourth of July parties; all of which have been documented in great detail by our contact tracing teams that have demonstrated that parties that have been held in people's homes, in their backyards have contributed significantly to community-spread and new COVID clusters," Gov. Baker said. "These parties are too big, too crowded, and people are simply not being responsible about face coverings, social distancing, or any of the major metrics that we have put in place to help people manage the spread of this virus."

Gov. Baker also announced a targeted cross-agency COVID Enforcement and Intervention Team "that will be responsible for ramping up enforcement statewide and coordinating local intervention efforts at the local level in higher risk COVID-19 communities," according to a press release.

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