Baker-Polito Administration to Lift COVID Restrictions May 29, State to Meet Vaccination Goal by Beginning of June Commonwealth Will Adopt CDC Face Covering Guidance

BOSTON – Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that the Commonwealth is on track to meet the goal of vaccinating 4.1 million residents by the first week of June and all remaining COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted effective May 29.
 
The Commonwealth’s face covering order will also be rescinded on May 29. The Department of Public Health will issue a new face covering advisory consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated guidance. Face coverings will still be mandatory for all individuals on public and private transportation systems (including rideshares, livery, taxi, ferries, MBTA, Commuter Rail and transportation stations), in healthcare facilities and in other settings hosting vulnerable populations, such as congregate care settings.
 
Governor Charlie Baker will end the State of Emergency June 15.
 
The Administration also announced updates that will be effective May 18 to revise face covering requirements for youth and amateur sports and other guidance relating to childcare programs and K-12 schools. The Administration will release updated guidance for summer camps effective May 29.
 
The Administration is able to take these steps to reopen the Commonwealth’s economy because Massachusetts is on track to meet the goal set in December to fully vaccinate over 4 million individuals by the first week of June. The Commonwealth leads the nation in vaccinating residents, with 75% of adults receiving at least one dose. To date, over 4 million residents have received a first dose, with 3.2 million fully vaccinated.
 
New cases have dropped by 89% since January 8. COVID hospitalizations are down 88% since January 1 and the positive test rate is down by 88% from peaking at 8.7% on January 1 to 1% today.
 
Effective May 29
 
Effective May 29, all industries will be permitted to open. With the exception of remaining face-covering requirements for public and private transportation systems and facilities housing vulnerable populations, all industry restrictions will be lifted, and capacity will increase to 100% for all industries. The gathering limit will be rescinded.
 
All industries will be encouraged to follow CDC guidance for cleaning and hygiene protocols.
 
On May 18, 2020, the Administration published the reopening phases, which called for ending restrictions when vaccines became widely available. Today, there are over 975 locations for Massachusetts residents to access vaccines without delay.
 
Face Covering Guidance
 
In line with updated CDC face covering guidance, the Administration will rescind the current face covering order and issue a new face covering advisory effective May 29.
 
Non-vaccinated individuals are advised to continue wearing face masks and to continue distancing in most settings. The advisory will also recommend fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear a face covering or social distance indoors or outdoors except for in certain situations.
 
Face coverings will still be required for all individuals on public and private transportation (including rideshares, livery, taxi, ferries, MBTA, Commuter Rail and transportation stations), healthcare facilities and providers, congregate care settings and health and rehabilitative day services.
 
Face coverings will also remain required indoors for staff and students of K-12 schools and early education providers.
 
Link to mask guidance
 
Youth and Amateur Sports Face Covering Guidance
 
Effective May 18, the youth and amateur sports guidance will be updated to no longer require face coverings for youth athletes 18 and under while playing outdoor sports. Effective May 29, all youth and amateur sports restrictions will be lifted.
 
Link to youth sports guidance
 
K-12, Early Education and Summer Camp Guidance
 
Effective May 18, guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Department of Early Education and Care will be updated to no longer require masks for outdoor activities like recess and to allow for the sharing of objects in classrooms, in both K-12 and childcare settings. This guidance will remain in effect beyond May 29.
 
The Administration will release updated guidance for summer camps, effective May 29, which will include no longer requiring masks for outdoor activities.
 
Link to DESE guidance
Link to EEC guidance
 
State of Emergency Order
 
Governor Baker will end the State of Emergency​ June 15, and the Administration will work with legislative and municipal partners during this period in order to manage an orderly transition from emergency measures adopted by executive order and special legislation during the period of the State of Emergency.
 
 
Restaurant Revitalization Fund Webinar:

On Thursday May 6th we partnered with the SBA, The Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce and Discover Gloucester to hold a webinar on the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.  Please see the link below for the recording. 

The American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open. This program provides restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023. Dan Martiniello, Lender Relations Specialist of the SBA’s Massachusetts District Office has provided information regarding eligibility and application guidance for the Restaurant Revitalization program in his presentation. 

Link to recording: https://vimeo.com/546045124 

Program Guide: Restaurant Revitalization Funding Program: Program Guide as of April 20th, 2021 (sba.gov)

Important Message: 2021 Bluefin Blowout Tournament

Good day to all our Captains, crews, fans and sponsors:

As restrictions due to the Covid pandemic loosen up, it is apparent that we have to make a decision based upon current conditions facing the tournament.  Presently, we understand that NOAA regulations are very restrictive for a weekend tournament and there are changes proposed that would make the tournament very difficult to pull off. Staffing throughout Massachusetts and Cape Ann is precarious with not enough help available to support a first class event.  Our home away from home, the Cape Ann’s Marina Resort has minimized activities this summer at their location and they are faced with staffing problems as we are in the auto industry.  Most importantly, the easing up of restrictions just came too late for Cidalia, Kruti, Drew and our volunteers to perform at the level we expect, and I’m sure our competitors do as well.  This all said, we will not be holding the Bluefin Blowout in 2021.  We hope to support any and all other charity based tournaments that will occur in the Northeast this summer and into the fall. Thank you all for your support and communication.  The decision was not an easy one.

Warren Waugh

Bluefin Blowout Producer

Managing Partner

The Lyon-Waugh Auto Group

GloucesterCast 502 Livestream With Donna Ardizzoni, Michael Dekoster, Scottie Mac, Pat and Jim Dalpiaz and Joey C Taped 5/19/21

GloucesterCast 502 Livestream With Donna Ardizzoni, Michael Dekoster, Scottie Mac, Pat and Jim Dalpiaz and Joey C Taped 5/19/211

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Sawyer Free Library Launches New Resources for Job Seekers

Cape Ann Community

The Sawyer Free Library is pleased to announce the launch of their new Job Seekers Resource Program to assist job seekers throughout the Cape Ann community gain a competitive edge. Targeted to the needs of today’s job hunter – the new program supports people in discovering a new career path, gain new job skills, find job opportunities, and more. 

The program features expert-led virtual workshops, one-on-one resume sessions, and a new dedicated webpage, available in over 100 world languages, with extensive resources specially curated by Library staff.  All resources are free and accessible to those in the Gloucester community and beyond. 

“Our goal with this new Job Seekers program is to provide a combination of programs, informational resources and knowledge about local opportunities so that everyone in our community, regardless of income, age, education, or language, can acquire new skills and have the support they…

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