Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is scheduled to provide an update on the state’s coronavirus response on Tuesday, one day before his new face mask requirements take effect.
Baker is scheduled to speak at 1:30 p.m. from Merrow Manufacturing in Fall River, which has converted its facility to produce personal protective equipment for medical personnel and first responders on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19.
The number of new coronavirus cases and deaths reported in Massachusetts Monday were the lowest they’ve been in weeks, though more than 3,500 people remained hospitalized with the respiratory disease.
The Department of Public Health reported 1,000 new cases, 86 new deaths, and 3,539 hospitalizations, down from 3,875 hospitalized COVID-19 patients one week ago.
“There are obviously still thousands of people who are being hospitalized due to this virus, but the numbers have started to trend in the right direction,” Baker said Monday.
A Quincy Walmart store is closed after 11 employees tested positive for coronavirus and one died.
The deadline for the state’s reopening advisory board to put forward a plan for how the state’s businesses will resume operations is two weeks away, and Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito both stressed that the reopening will be a gradual one, guided by health data and safety measures.
Baker warned the extension of the state’s state-of-emergency and stay-at-home advisory until May 18 doesn’t mean the economy will be “off to the races” on that date. He said reopening plans will include social distancing and cleaning protocols for businesses.
The governor also said his sense is that people in general were adopting the use of masks or facial coverings in public locations. Baker has signed an order making their use in public places mandatory starting on Wednesday.
State House News Service and the Associated Press contributed to this report.