Gov. Baker said today he will announce a decision about whether to extend or amend the current state of emergency "later on this week."
At his daily State House press conference, Baker said statewide numbers for Covid-19 hospitalization seem to have plateaued in recent days. But Baker has said he needs to see a downward trend in the numbers before he's willing to make significant changes in the state of emergency, which shut "non-essential" businesses.
Baker said that, going forward, he wants to dampen some of the enthusiasm for antibody testing because while it's useful to know who has been exposed to the virus, many of the antibody tests have proven wildly inaccurate - and that what's really critical is to ramp up testing for people who may actually have the virus when they're tested.
"For me, the big thing is to ramp up what I call 'traditional' testing" - because with the latest studies showing that up to 40% of people infected with the virus not showing any symptoms, knowing who is infected today - and doing something about them, such as trying to track down their recent contacts to get them tested and staying at home - is vital to controlling the virus, he said. He said the state needs to do even more of the 8,000 to 10,000 virus tests now conducted each day.
And that is why, he continued, it's important for people to keep wearing face masks in public places - not to protect themselves, but to protect others should they be unknowingly infected.
In response to a question about whether he is feeling pressure to re-open, Baker did not reply yes or no, but said different states are at different points in the pandemic and that while it might make sense for rural states with low rates of infection or hospitalization to talk about re-opening, that's the wrong answer in Massachusetts - which is still at its peak levels of hospitalization.