Fifteen more Massachusetts communities must revert to Phase 3, Step 1 of the state’s reopening plan amid the coronavirus pandemic, as the number of cities and towns considered at high-risk for the virus continued to swell this week.
In total, there are now 54 municipalities where the rate of virus transmission is too high for them to remain in or move onto Step 2 as established under an order issued by Gov. Charlie Baker last month.
Communities that move back a step are those that have been designated in the so-called “red zone” or high-risk category as determined by the Department of Public Health for the last three weeks, according to officials.
Cities and towns reverting to Step 1 must close, once again, certain businesses, such as indoor performance venues, roller skating rinks, obstacle courses, laser tag, escape rooms, and trampoline parks. Other establishments — such as driving and flying schools, libraries, gyms, museums, arcades, and “lower-contact indoor and outdoor recreation businesses” — must reduce capacity to 40 percent of the usual lawful limit, state officials said.
Under Step 1 of Phase 3, outdoor gatherings are limited to 50 people and outdoor theater and performance venues can operate at 25 percent capacity but cannot exceed 50 people.
Here are the municipalities that must revert back to Phase 3, Step 1 that were added this week:
- East Longmeadow
- Fall River
Here are the other communities already in Step 1:
- New Bedford
- North Andover
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