BOSTON, Massachusetts — With states across the country beginning to reopen businesses, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker is facing mounting pressure to follow suit, even as coronavirus deaths in the state reach another grim milestone.
On Monday an additional 669 cases of COVID-19 were reported, giving the state a total of 78,462. Massachusetts' death toll is 5,108.
Baker recently allowed golf courses to open after an outcry and gun shops began selling again after owners sued. Now, with virus deaths topping 5,000 on Monday, state leaders and health experts are urging restraint amid growing angst among businesses owners and residents over when and how the economic restrictions will be lifted.
The governor has said the goal is to allow some businesses to reopen in a “limited fashion” starting May 18. He announced a four-phased plan to reopen the state's economy, but said, "it will be gradual and facts on the ground will determine if we actually hit that goal."
Baker is using four key statistics to keep track of public health trends: how many coronavirus tests are coming back positive, what percentage of all infected people are in the hospital, the total number of people hospitalized, and the number of people in intensive care units.
There are signs that the virus’ spread is slowing in the hard-hit state. But Baker has cautioned that those sprigs of hope could be lost if residents don’t remain vigilant.
“We still have a lot of work to do when it comes to getting to the point where we feel like we have our hands and our arms around this virus,” Baker recently told reporters.
At NEWS CENTER Maine, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus
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