BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Governor Charlie Baker announced that non-essential businesses will remain closed until May 18 due to the COVID-19 outbreak Tuesday afternoon.

Governor Baker implemented an emergency order to close non-essential businesses 35 days ago and announced Tuesday afternoon that it will be extended for 20 days. The stay at home advisory will also remain in place and Baker is banning the gatherings of 10 or more people until May 18.

Businesses and organizations not on the list of essential services are encouraged to continue operations through remote means that do not require workers, customers, or the public to enter or appear at the brick-and-mortar premises closed by the order.

Residents are strongly urged to continue to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel and other unnecessary person to person contact during this time period. Residents who are considered at high risk when exposed to COVID-19 should limit social interactions with other people as much as possible.

Reopening Advisory Board

Governor Baker also announced the formation of the Reopening Advisory Board, which will be Co-Chaired by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. The board will produce a plan to the governor by May 18.

According to a news release sent to 22News, the board is in charge of advising the administration on strategies to reopen the economy in phases based on health and safety metrics. It will meet with key stakeholders and get input from a variety of people over the next three weeks to develop a report by May 18th.

The report will include DPH approved workplace safety standards, industry frameworks, and customer protocols and guidelines, including enforcement mechanisms and coordination with municipal leaders. Although the report is due on the 18th, guidance from health care experts and public health data will dictate the timeline of the re-opening process.

The 17-member Advisory Board is made up of the following people:

  • Aron Ain, CEO, Kronos Inc & Ultimate Software
  • Carlo Zaffanella, Vice President and General Manager, Maritime & Strategic Systems, General Dynamics Mission Systems
  • Corey Thomas, CEO, Rapid 7
  • Daniel Rivera, Mayor, City of Lawrence
  • Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Girish Navani, CEO and Co-Founder, eClinicalWorks
  • Joe Bahena, Senior Vice President, Joseph Abboud Manufacturing
  • Kathryn Burton, Chief of Staff, City of Boston
  • Laurie Leshin, Ph.D., President, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Linda Markham, President, Cape Air
  • Mark Keroack, President & CEO, Baystate Health
  • Monica Bharel, Ph.D., Commissioner, Department of Public Health
  • Nicole LaChapelle, Mayor, City of Easthampton
  • Pamela Everhart, Head of Regional Public Affairs and Community Relations, Fidelity Investments 
  • Stephanie Pollack, Transportation Secretary and CEO
  • Steve DiFillippo, CEO, Davios Restaurants
  • Wendy Hudson, Owner, Nantucket Book Partners

As of Monday, the Department of Public Health reported there are now 56,462 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, including 3,003 deaths.

Western Massachusetts COVID-19 cases by nursing facility

You can get more details about the COVID-19 cases in the Commonwealth here.

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