On Monday, May 18th, the Baker-Polito Administration released its Reopening Plan, and announced that Phase 1 of the plan will begin, in part, on May 18th.
Businesses that have operated during the closure because they offer “essential services” will continue to do so throughout the phased reopening. However, they will be required to meet new Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards by Monday, May 25th. Click here to access the Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards.
Each of the 4 phases will last a minimum of three weeks but could last longer before moving to the next phase if public health data trends are negative, specific industries, regions, and/or the entire state may need to return to an earlier phase.
The state will partner with industries to draft Sector Specific Protocols in advance of future phases (example: restaurant specific protocols will be drafted in advance of Phase 2)
Click here for ALL REOPENING DOCUMENTS
Click here for a complete INDUSTRY LISTING BY OPENING PHASE
The FULL REPORT ON REOPENING MASSACHUSETTS can be found here.
Mandatory Self-Certification for Reopening Businesses
In order to reopen, a business must develop a written COVID-19 Control Plan outlining how its workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19. Required Materials are located on www.mass.gov/reopening, and include:
· COVID-19 control plan: Businesses may complete a template to fulfill this requirement. This plan does not need to be submitted to a state agency for approval, but must be retained on the premises of the business and be provided in the event of an inspection.
· Compliance attestation poster: Businesses are required to sign a poster, attesting that they have completed a COVID-19 control plan, and post it in an area within the business premises that is visible to employees and visitors. Click here to download the poster.
· Other posters: Businesses are required to post signs and posters describing the rules for maintaining social distancing, hygiene protocols, cleaning, and disinfecting. These include an Employer Poster and a Worker Poster.
Phase 1: First Portion, 18 May 2020
Upon implementing new COVID-19 safety standards and completing a self-attestation checklist, the following sectors are permitted to reopen on Monday May 18th 2020:
· Places of Worship
· Hospitals and community health centers who attest to meeting specific capacity criteria and public health/safety standards will be allowed to resume a limited set of in-person preventative, diagnostic and treatment services
Each business or Place of Worship will be required to meet the Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards referenced above before reopening. Additionally, each industry also has a series of Sector Specific Protocols that detail the policies workplaces should enforce to maintain compliance.
Phase 1: Later Portion, 25 May 2020
The following sectors, industries, and activities will be permitted to resume on May 25th:
· Auto dealers and wholesalers (curbside pickup only)
· General office spaces (except in the City of Boston)
· Libraries (curbside pickup and delivery only)
· Retail (curbside pickup only)
· Certain outdoor recreation activities (including beaches; parks; drive-in movie theaters; select athletic fields and courts; most fishing, hunting, and boating; outdoor gardens, zoos, reserves, and public installations)
· Other health care providers (not included in the May 18th categorization) who attest to meeting specific capacity criteria and public health/safety standards will be allowed to resume a limited set of in-person preventative, diagnostic and treatment services.
Sector Specific Protocols have been published for some of the industries included in the later portion of Phase 1; please click the hyperlink to access the corresponding Sector Specific Protocols. It is critical to review the detailed guidance; for example, office space re-opening on May 25th will be limited to 25% of building capacity.
Public Health Metrics to Determine Advancing to Later Phases
Each phase will last a minimum of three weeks and could last longer before moving to the next phase; public health data will determine advancement to later phases. If public health data trends are negative, specific industries, regions, and/or the entire state may need to return to an earlier phase.
Key public health metrics will determine if and when it is appropriate to proceed through reopening phases. They include:
· COVID-19 positive test rate
· Number of individuals who died from COVID-19
· Number of patients with COVID-19 in hospitals
· Health care system readiness
· Testing capacity
· Contact tracing capabilities