Gov. Charlie Baker's plan to reopen Massachusetts, unveiled Monday, begins with a subtle change.
The state's stay-at-home advisory is changing to a "safer at home" advisory, which encourages residents to stay home unless they're engaged in one of the state's allowed activities. State government is also continuing to urge employers to let their employees work remotely to limit the number of people in an office and on public transportation.
"People need to understand that we're playing this game, and it's a real one, with the virus and the economy at the same time," Baker said Monday, using his hands to demonstrate weighing two sides of a scale. "And it's really important for people to step up and recognize and understand that this game is not over."
But what, exactly, is the safer-at-home advisory? Here's what it entails:
- People over the age of 65 and people who have underlying health conditions – who are at high risk for COVID-19 – should continue to stay home except for essential errands such as going to the grocery store and to attend to healthcare needs.
- All residents are advised to leave home only for healthcare, worship and permitted work, shopping, and outdoor activities.
- When going to the pharmacy ask if you can fill your prescriptions for 90 days if possible; for some medications this is not allowed. If you are at high-risk, try to use a mail-order service.
- Don’t participate in close contact activities such as pick-up sports games
- All residents are required to cover their face when they cannot maintain six feet of social distance in public.
- Parents should limit play dates for children.
- Refrain from visiting nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, or other residential care settings.
- All residents are advised to wash their hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soapy water.
- All residents are advised to be vigilant, monitor for symptoms and stay home if you feel sick.
- Use remote modes of communication like phone or video chat instead of visiting friends or family who are high risk for COVID-19.
State House News Service contributed to this report.