BY: JULIA JACOBO AND ARIELLE MITROPOULOS, ABC NEWS
(BOSTON) — Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has issued an overnight stay-at-home order, among other new mandates, in response to a recent rise of COVID-19 cases in the state.
The new stay-at-home advisory instructs residents to stay home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., but activities such as going to work, critical errands such as getting groceries and addressing health needs, and taking a walk are allowed. Restaurants will also be required to close in-person dining by 9:30 p.m.
The other executive orders include a stricter statewide mask order and limitations on gatherings at private residences. All orders will take effect Friday.
In addition, the limit for gatherings at private residences will be reduced from 25 to 10, and the limit at outdoor events will be reduced from 50 to 25. The order requires that organizers of gatherings report known positive COVID-19 cases to the local health department in that community and requires organizers to cooperate with contact tracing.
Anyone found not to be in compliance by local health and police departments could be fined up to $500 for each person above the limit at a particular gathering.
The state joins other areas in the country and around the world responding to an uptick in cases. Last week, officials in El Paso, Texas, issued a mandatory curfew after cases rose 160%, and a four-week lockdown in the United Kingdom may need to be extended if that doesn’t remedy the spread of the virus.
The initial pandemic response in Massachusetts was considered to be among the best in the country, but daily case counts have been looking similar to what the state was experiencing in mid-May. As of last week, a seven-day average for new cases was up nearly 339% since early September, according to an ABC News analysis of state data.
The state issued a mask mandate in early May, which required face coverings to be worn in public places whenever social distancing is not possible. However, under the altered order, masks will be required in any public space, indoor or outdoor, regardless of the ability to maintain social distancing.
The new orders come just one day after Massachusetts recorded its ninth consecutive day of more than 1,000 new cases. In the last month, new cases have surged by more than 135%.
As of Monday, Massachusetts was one of 40 states where cases were trending higher, according to an ABC News analysis. It was also one of 39 states that showed an increased rate of positivity and one of 45 states with an increase in hospitalizations.
ABC News’ Erin Schumacher contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.