BOSTON (CBS) – Boston fans are allowed to cram the TD Garden and the bleachers are full at Fenway Park but Massachusetts’ State House remains closed to the public more than two weeks after Governor Charlie Baker lifted all COVID-19 restrictions.
“The biggest challenge to the State House there really are no rules around congregating or gathering inside that building but it’s an inside space,” Baker said Monday. “COVID is mostly over but the variants that are coming out of India, especially the Delta variant are very dangerous.”READ MORE: Wednesday's Child: 7-Year-Old Jose
We called the city and town halls in Worcester, Framingham, Lowell, Quincy, Natick, and Brockton. All of them are open.
Even with some government buildings shuttered, Oami Amarasingham, the Deputy Legislative Director for the ACLU of Massachusetts says there has been an increase in people participating in policy making through virtual meetings. That is why the group is pushing legislation to make virtual meetings permanent.READ MORE: Teen Lifeguards Save Man Who Suffered Heart Attack On Dennis Beach
“We’ve seen a broad increase in access for people with disabilities, people with caregiving responsibilities who need to be home at night and can’t spend five or six hours at a municipal meeting waiting for their issue to be called,” Amarasingham said.
Amarasingham and Governor Baker agree, there is a benefit to in person civil discourse.
“Part of what makes that building special is the ability of people to come or go as they please and to have big shouting matches outside my office, the speaker’s office, or the senate president’s office,” Baker said.MORE NEWS: Police: Allegedly Drugged Driver Fled Scene After Hitting And Killing Taunton Woman
Governor Baker did not provide a timeline for when the State House will reopen and the Bureau of the State House, which maintains the historic building, did not return our request for comment.