BOSTON - The reactions to the coronavirus seem like they just will not stop coming. Every day, there is some new bit of recourse introduced that is aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus. From the closure of many college campuses to the outright cancellation of many beloved events, Massachusetts is now at the forefront of this battle against the coronavirus, whether they wanted to be or not. This increased presence reached its latest apex yesterday when Governor Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency throughout Massachusetts, as a direct result of the coronavirus, per The Boston Globe.
The decision from Governor Baker came after the number of presumptive coronavirus cases in the state more than doubled, from 41 to 92. During his statement, he remarked that the risk of becoming infected with the coronavirus has increased. As a result of this, Baker made a point in his declaration to discourage the elderly population from coming into contact with crowds. He also made the point of encouraging companies in the state to take similar actions.
Part of the reasoning behind his statement read, "The purpose of moving forward with these measures now is to act before the numbers increase to a point where the virus spread is severely impacting the Commonwealth."
He later continued to regard the "disruptive" nature of these measures. Baker said, "We expect this disruption to continue for the foreseeable future and understand it will cause an inconvenience for many."
What does it actually mean for Massachusetts to be in a state of emergency? For the most part, it means that Baker's scope of power and ability will increase. He has the capacity to shutter large events that would see crowds gather together and he can also increase his ability to garner supplies for the state to help curb the spread of the virus. Part of Baker's declaration, as well, was to discourage foreign travel for state residents and to put outright restrictions on travel for employees in the state's executive branch.
In terms of local businesses, government institutions, and schools, closure is not imminent. It is possible and often likely in some cases, but they mostly make decisions for themselves on a case by case basis.
These are uncertain times, but everyone should continue to do their part on an individual level to help stop the spread of the virus.
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