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Your Tewksbury Today

OP/ED: David Robertson's COVID Update for Phase 3


Phase 3: Yet Another Committed Step Forward

Once again, thanks to our rugged Massachusetts commitment, our state is proving to the nation how to tackle a crisis with solidarity and understanding. Even with Florida, Texas, and Arizona rate's now so severe they have nearly runout of hospital capacity, Massachusetts is trending downward. So firstly, a kudos to everyone who is being safe and aware of their neighbors. Only 10% of medical facilities are still utilizing any form of surge capacity, the positive test rate is down over 90% from its high, and the hospitalized patient total is down nearly 80%. Our community stepped up, and is gaining ground in the war against the virus.

Our reward for our communal efforts is another step forward to life before the outbreak. Starting this past Monday, the Governor is allowing theaters, fitness and health clubs, museums, and certain indoor activities. As with previous phases, each industry will have to develop a decontamination and safety plan to keep you safe, and ensure that it meets the guidelines set for by the Center for Disease Control, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and local health boards. As always, any small businesses who are struggling with locating protective equipment or cleaning supplies may reach out, as my office has a compilation of sources with current inventories in stock.

In addition to the reopening of these industries, the Governor also revised the capacity limitation for gatherings. The Governor and his committee created a formula that keeps people safe with limiting 8 people per 1,000 square feet of space in an indoor closed space, and a maximum of 25% of capacity for an outdoor enclosed space such as a concert venue or bleachers. Truly outdoor spaces which are not enclosed are not limited, provided the social distancing required can be observed. With regards to youth sports, we have received many inquiries about various leagues. Coaches, organizers, and parents may reach out to us so we may explain each individual sports requested observances, and further develop safety plans to allow children to return to play with no contamination.

Lastly, many hospitals and other medical care providers are expanding in-person services to include previously suspended treatments. This includes day-services for those with cognitive or social struggles, mental health, and more. Under no circumstance should you avoid or delay medical procedures, instead as stated before please call your Primary Care Physician or respective specialist if you are feeling unwell for any reason. Hospitals across the state have been preparing and successfully running ways to keep you safe regardless of whatever health troubles you are fighting.

Again, thank you to everyone who is keeping themselves and all around them safe and healthy. You are the reason why we are one of only four states who are successfully countering this outbreak, and are the reason we can again say that Massachusetts once again leads this country.

Representative David Robertson
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