BOSTON (WWLP) – Governor Charlie Baker has ordered all non-essential businesses to close, effective noon Tuesday, March 24.

The governor also announced Monday that he and state health officials are issuing a stay at home advisory for the residents of Massachusetts.

Both will remain in effect until April 7.

LIST: Massachusetts essential businesses that will remain open

“We will always allow all grocery stores, pharmacies, and other types of businesses that provide essential goods and services to Massachusetts residents to continue to operate,” Baker said.

Baker said the stay at home advisory does not mean that people are mandated to stay home.

“I do not believe I can or should order U.S. citizens to be confined to their homes for days on end,” Baker said. “It doesn’t make sense from a public health point of view and it’s not realistic, especially if people need to get to work at essential businesses or go to places like grocery stores, pharmacies, or hospitals or health care providers.”

Instead, Baker said he is just urging people to stay home and avoid unnecessary activities.

Over the weekend, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported three more COVID-19 deaths, bringing the total deaths in the state to five.

As of 4:00 p.m. Sunday, 646 residents have tested positive for COVID-19. In total, 6,004 residents have been tested by the state public health laboratory.

22News will live stream the governor’s news conference right here on It is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.

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