Baker extends stay-at-home advisory, closure of non-essential businesses

BOSTON (WHDH) - Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday announced that he is extending the stay-at-home advisory and closure of non-essential businesses through May 4 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

RELATED: What businesses are staying open in Mass. while ‘stay-at-home’ advisory is in effect?

The order, which began on March 24, was slated to expire at noon on April 7.

All non-essential businesses will also be required to keep their physical workplaces closed through May 4 to slow down the spread of the virus.

Baker extended the 10-person limit on gatherings through May 4 as well.

He told reporters at his daily coronavirus briefing at the State House that the moves come on the heels of President Trump’s extension of federal social distancing guidelines through April 30.

“Here in Massachusetts, we’ve taken some of the earliest and most aggressive steps in the country to slow the spread of this virus and we must continue to be aggressive in our pursuits,” Baker said.

Baker said the updated order does not apply to essential businesses and that the state would be updating its list of businesses and organizations that are considered essential.

Essential businesses include supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations, and manufacturers of medical supplies and pharmaceuticals. Medical marijuana facilities can stay open but not recreational pot shops.

Restaurants can stay open for takeout and delivery only.

Baker pointed out that hotels and other short-term rentals can no longer be booked for leisure or vacation. He said they can be used to house those on the frontlines battling the coronavirus.

State executive branch workers will continue to work from home during the duration of Baker’s order.

The state is preparing for a surge in coronavirus cases between April 7 and April 17, Baker said Monday.

The help combat the surge, the federal government approved the DCU Center in Worcester as a field medical station for those who are ill but not in critical condition.

“The next couple of weeks are going to be critical in this battle. Everyone needs to play their part,” Baker said.

Baker urged all residents to continue to self-isolate and practice social distancing.

As of Tuesday, there were 6,620 confirmed coronavirus cases in the Bay State and 89 deaths.

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