BOSTON (CBS) — Gatherings of more than 250 people are prohibited in Massachusetts effective immediately, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced Friday. The move is to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The gatherings are described as anything that brings 250 people or more together in “a single room or a single space at the same time.” It includes community meetings, sporting events with spectators, concerts, festivals, faith-based events, and potentially weddings.
“This order does not apply to the normal operations at airports, bus and train stations, medical facilities, libraries, shopping malls and centers, polling locations, grocery or retail stores, or other spaces where 250 more persons may be in transit,” Baker said. “The order also does not apply to restaurants provided that they should, whenever possible, encourage social distancing.”
It also doesn’t apply to offices, government buildings, or factories.
At this time, Baker said health officials are not recommending schools close statewide.
On Tuesday, Baker declared a State of Emergency in Massachusetts. Baker said the continuous coronavirus precautions “represent a significant change in daily life for the vast majority of people here in the Commonwealth.”
He stressed the importance of limiting the number of people who get coronavirus, despite the fact that the virus does not have critical implications for most of the population.
“If you limit the number of people who get it overall, you limit the number of people who are in those high-risk categories from getting in it the first place, which has to be one of our major objectives,” Baker said. “Those are the people who, in many cases, if you’re talking about people in their 70s, who dressed and bathed everybody in this room and a heck of a lot of people across the Commonwealth. They’re the people who actually made your lunch and took you to school every day. They’re the people who paid your bills and, in many cases, helped you get through some of the toughest parts of your life and they’re the people who, in many ways, we owe the most to at this point in time.”