Governor Baker provides COVID-19 and education update

Coronavirus Local Impact

BOSTON (WWLP) – The state is moving right along with it’s vaccine distribution plan.

The state’s positive test rate is just under 2%, which is the lowest that it’s been since October.

Vaccines are now being administered to residents 65 years and older. Because the Governor prioritized older individuals in the vaccine rollout, he said the Commonwealth is also seeing a significant drop in hospitalizations. Right now, only 888 people are hospitalized for COVID and 229 remain in the ICU.

“We’re clearly making significant progress statewide as we continue to vaccine eligible priority groups in phases one and two,” said Baker.

According to the Department of Public Health, more than 1.7 million doses have been administered in Massachusetts and at least 1.4 million residents have already receive their first doses.

Governor Baker did say that the Commonwealth’s vaccine rollout plan has been ‘bumpy.’ He’s hoping that as the feds produce more vaccine doses and as other vaccines get approved, our supply issues will improve.

Governor Baker joined Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, and Secretary of Education James Peyser and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey Riley to discuss coronavirus and education. 

According to NBC Boston, Riley has discussed working with state health and medical experts to bring students back to in-person learning five days a week by this April, focusing on elementary schools first.

Officials provided a live update to the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic at around 2:00 p.m. from State House in Boston.

Last Thursday, Governor Baker opened up Phase 2, Group 2 eligibility to receive the COVID vaccine. Group 3 are next on the eligibility status and includes the following:

  • Early education/daycare, K-12, transit, grocery, utility, food and agriculture, restaurant and cafe workers;
  • Employees across the food, beverages, agriculture, consumer goods, retail, and foodservice sectors;
  • Meatpackers;
  • Sanitation, public works and public health workers;
  • Vaccine development workers;
  • Food pantry workers and volunteers;
  • Transit/transportation: Uber/Lyft/ride share services/pharmacy delivery drivers, airline workers, workers in the passenger ground transportation industry (e.g. paratransit for people with disabilities, food delivery, non-urgent medical transport), Massport workers other than police;
  • Convenience store workers (under grocery workers);
  • Water and wastewater utility staff
  • Court system workers (judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, clerks), other than court officers who are listed under first responders
  • Medical supply chain workers
    • Workers at manufacturers (including biotechnology companies and those companies that have shifted production to medical supplies), materials and parts suppliers, technicians, logistics and warehouse operators, printers, packagers, distributors of medical products and equipment (including third party logistics providers, and those who test and repair), personal protective equipment (PPE), isolation barriers, medical gases, pharmaceuticals (including materials used in radioactive drugs), dietary supplements, commercial health products, blood and blood products, vaccines, testing materials, laboratory supplies, cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting or sterilization supplies (including dispensers), sanitary goods, personal care products, pest control products, and tissue and paper towel products.
  • Funeral directors and funeral workers
  • Shipping port and terminal workers

The general public is expected to be eligible to receive the vaccine in April.

On Monday, Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported 26 newly confirmed deaths and 1,150 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts.

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