(WWLP) – Governor Charlie Baker issued a stay at home advisory for residents of Massachusetts Monday.
He also closed all non-essential businesses and ordered that any type of gatherings must be limited to 10 people or less.
22News is Working For You with a list of frequently asked questions regarding the advisory.
How long is the stay-at-home advisory in effect?
The stay-at-home advisory is in effect from March 24 to April 7.
Who is the stay-at-home advisory for?
The stay-at-home advisory is for all residents of Massachusetts.
Those who are 70 and older or have underlying health conditions, are even more strongly advised to stay home unless necessary.
Why has there been a stay-at-home advisory issued?
The stay-at-home advisory has been issued in order to limit person-to-person contact and prevent the potential spread of coronavirus.
Can I leave my house?
Yes. The stay at home advisory does not mandate residents to stay in their homes. Instead, residents are asked to only leave their home to address essential needs, go to work if they’re an essential employee, and to get some fresh air and exercise.
“However, you must practice social distancing while outside and avoid touching surfaces frequently touched by others,” the advisory states.
Residents are also asked to eliminate close contact activities such as pick-up sports games.
What essential businesses can I leave my house to go to?
In Massachusetts, essential businesses include:
- Hospitals and health care facilities
- Law enforcement, public safety agencies
- Gas stations
- Grocery stores
- Pharmacies (recommended to fill prescriptions for 90 days if possible or use mail-order service.)
- Package stores
- Restaurants (takeout and delivery only)
- Farmers markets
- Farm stands
- Pet stores
- Animal vets
- Convenience stores
- Auto supplies stores
- Auto repair shops
- Hardware and home improvement stores
- Home appliance stores
- Medical marijuana facilities (recreational dispensaries must close)
- Blood banks, methadone clinics
- Laundromats and laundry services
- News media
- Places of worship
Am I an essential employee?
If you work in the following industries, you are considered an essential employee: Health care, public health, human services, law enforcement, public safety, first responders, food and agriculture, energy, waste and wastewater, transportation and logistics, public works, communications and information technology, critical manufacturing, hazardous materials, financial services, chemical, defense industrial base, and other community-based essential functions and government operations.
For examples of workers in each category, click here.
Can I go to appointments?
According to the public health advisory, residents must reschedule non-essential medical care, such as eye exams, teeth cleaning, and elective procedures.
If possible, health care visits should be done remotely.
Can I have friends and family over my house?
Residents are encouraged to use remote modes of communication such as phone calls, video chats, and social media instead of visiting family and friends.
Remember, Governor Baker has ordered that all gatherings must be limited to ten people. This order will be enforced by local law enforcement.
Can I go to the recreational marijuana dispensary, hair salon, spa, nail salon, tattoo parlor or barber shop?
No, these businesses are ordered closed.
Can I pick up meals at my child’s school?
Yes. Schools that provide free food services to students will continue on a pickup and take-home basis.
Can my kids play outside?
Children, like adults, can go outside for fresh air and exercise.
Parents are asked not to arrange play dates for children during this time.
What if I don’t feel safe at home?
If you or a family/household member does not feel safe at home, please call 1-800-799-7233 for live support. If you are unable to speak safely, you can log onto thehotline.org to chat online, or text LOVEIS to 22522. You may also call your local police department.