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Baker Pauses Reopening, Ups Enforcement of COVID-19 Mandates

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com
BOSTON, Mass. -- Citing what he termed a “new phase” in the commonwealth’s battle against COVID-19, Gov. Charlie Baker Friday announced a new set of initiatives designed to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
 
That means delaying the next phase of Baker’s plan to reopen the state’s economy and increasing efforts to enforce the social distancing and face-covering mandates currently in place.
 
“Due to that slight uptick in positive cases, we are indefinitely postponing step 2 of Phase 3 in our reopening process,” Baker said Friday afternoon. “Five weeks ago, we laid out new economic sectors that could reopen in Phase 3. This uptick in cases and reports of people not adhering to the guidance we have put forth here in Massachusetts means we cannot move forward at this time or any time soon in the near future.”
 
Baker cited an increase in the commonwealth’s seven-day average of positive test rates, which currently stands at 2.1 percent, up from the state’s low of 1.7 percent back on July 14, a rise of nearly 24 percent in that time frame.
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