As COVID-19 variants spread, Baker urges vigilance to avoid post-Easter spike

CHELSEA, MASS. (WHDH) - With the new COVID-19 variants spreading in Massachusetts and across the United States, Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday urged residents to be vigilant this holiday weekend to avoid a spike in new cases after Easter.

“We know these holidays are very important to people and they’re a very significant opportunity for folks to gather with family and friends,” Baker said during a news conference that followed a tour of the La Colaborativa vaccination site in Chelsea. “These celebrations, in many respects, really do need to look a little different this year.”

The governor stressed that it would be “great” if residents could limit celebrations to their immediate household, especially with new coronavirus cases rising among people who are under the age of 40.

Baker did note that number of new cases in people over the age of 70 have dropped “dramatically” since January, in part thanks to the vaccine rollout.

Anyone who attends an Easter gathering should wear a mask, maintain a safe distance, and refrain from sharing drinks and food, Baker explained.

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“If you do have a small celebration, and the weather holds, consider holding it outside,” Baker said. “If you can’t celebrate outside, crack open the windows and make sure there is ventilation flow across the room.”

Baker also asked residents to be mindful of the surge in cases that followed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.

“The virus, as we know from previous holidays, has a particular opportunity to spread in those environments,” Baker said. “Let’s try to make this particular weekend a little different.”

Health officials reported 2,252 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday.

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