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As Covid-19 rates drop, state eases capacity restrictions on restaurants and other businesses

COVID-19 Update: February 4, 2021

Gov. Baker announced today that on Monday, the state will increase the capacity of restaurants and other public-facing businesses from the current 25% to 40%.

Baker said this is possible because Covid-19 hospitalization and test rates continue to drop since a peak in early January - hospitalization is down 33% since then.

However, he said the state will maintain its current gathering size limits - 10 people in a group indoors and 25 outside. He added that, at restaurants, tables are still limited to a total of six diners and that people can spend no more than 90 minutes dining inside.

The current limits were set as cases began to rise during last week's holiday season.

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said that, for restaurants, the 40% limit applies only to patrons; workers are excluded from any calculations.

"People are doin' a great job in stopping the spread," Baker said, adding people still need to stay vigilant, maintain their personal bubbles and the like.

With more people getting vaccinated, "we just need to keep it up for a few more months," he said.




Meanwhile the vaccine rollout seems stalled...can't we wait for a few weeks of downward trending numbers before we go buck wild like this?

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It has been three or four weeks of downward-trending numbers since the post-holidays travel/party/celebration spike emerged.
Notably, he's putting this in for Monday - after the Super Bowl. What remains to be seen is will they enforce restaurants/bars on that last day of the lower limit.

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than Mississippi and Alabama!

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The _only_ states we're doing better than are Mississippi and Alabama.

48th out of 50.

The vaccines are in this state but Charlie can't distribute them.

I am thinking back six years ago when the MBTA under pressure from Charlie kept running trains through two foot blizzards and burned out all the reserve motors. That disaster should have been a warning.

I suppose it's time for another task force.

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A Parable

When the storm began, the windows were open, and the floor got wet. Like sensible people, they closed the windows. After a little time, some began to say "look, the floor is almost dry. The storm must have passed. We should open the windows.”

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The number of positive cases per day in Massachusetts is still higher than the first peak last Spring. Why the fuck are they doing this?

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Comparing now and last spring for number of positive cases daily - isn't that of limited value when there wasn't much testing last spring?

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Ok, well let's look at the wastewater testing then. Obviously this is only for Eastern Mass, but the numbers there are comparable to last Spring's peak.

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After the first peak.

See the link you posted.

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Yes, see the link I posted. The numbers are still really bad, you pedantic asshole.

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during the last 2 weeks. State positivity rate of 4.32% and only 2.83% in Suffolk county.

Some people want to hide forever, regardless of the numbers.

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BUSINESS, that's why. It always comes back to that.

Health insurance is a business, hospitals are a business, even the COVID-19 vaccines are part of a business (a la, intellectual property rights are not being waived by the WHO to allow broader manufacturing availability).

Health is rarely ever about the person...but about the $$$.

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Because people aren't getting as sick as they were getting in the Spring, because the average 75-year old is not dying from Covid like they were in the Spring, because trial meds (like what Trump had) in the Spring are now approved, proven to work and are now regularly prescribed by the average doctor. Because people are now in the habit of wearing masks and not hanging out in groups. Are you even in the medical field or do you just like to jump to conclusions?

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One, I am not in favor of reopening more stuff quite yet but....

Healthcare knows much better how to treat this than in the spring so I assume the grim calculus here is that between people losing their jobs and/or businesses or a high level of non-fatal infections, they're opting on the jobs side. Even with the Biden $1.9T relief package being discussed, that's weeks away from on the ground impacts and so, so many businesses are teeterting.

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