Work On Stedman Street Bridge Over I-93 Thursday (Dec. 3)

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) announces that a local single lane reduction and a full local roadway closure will be implemented on the Stedman Street Bridge over Interstate 93 northbound and southbound in Quincy on Thursday, Dec. 3.

The single lane local roadway will have a reduced width travel lane from 7 a.m. to noon and a full closure of Stedman Street will occur from noon to 5 p.m. to accommodate temporary work zone setups to facilitate the concrete bridge deck sealing. Pedestrians will be detoured through the work area and one sidewalk will always remain open for travel during the course of the work.

Appropriate signage, law enforcement details, and advanced message boards will be in place to guide drivers through the work area.

Drivers who are traveling through the area should reduce speed and use caution.

All scheduled work is weather dependent and may be impacted due to an emergency.

For more information on traffic conditions, travelers are encouraged to:

 

  • Dial 511 and select a route to hear real-time conditions.
  • Visit mass511.com, a website which provides real-time traffic and incident advisory information, and allows users to subscribe to text and email alerts for traffic conditions.
  • Follow MassDOT on Twitter @MassDOT to receive regular updates on road and traffic conditions.
  • Download MassDOT’s GoTime mobile app and view real-time traffic conditions before setting out on the road.

Baker: No Plans For More Pandemic-Related Closures

By SCOTT JACKSON

Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday said he no plans for additional closures in Massachusetts related to the coronavirus pandemic and also urged residents to continue taking steps to stop the spread of the disease, including at houses of worship during the holiday season.

Speaking during a nearly hour-long State House press conference, Baker said he has no plans to order any new closures or impose new restrictions on businesses. Residents, he said, should be wary of any such rumors they hear.

“This may come as a surprise, but the guy your sister knows who used to work with a guy who knew a friend, they aren’t necessarily up to date, up to speed or accurate with what they know about what we and others are up to,” Baker said.

“At this time, the commonwealth is not planning any additional closures or restrictions. We will continue to follow closely the public health data and continue to make decisions based on that. The public will be given – as they have been in almost every instance and circumstance from the beginning of this – clear notice before anything new goes into effect.”

Baker said the growth of new COVID-19 cases in the state has slowed down in the past ten days.

“While it is only ten days, the lower case growth and steady positive [test] rates are an improvement compared to the sharp increases we saw the few weeks before that,” he said. “It didn’t happen by accident and I am asking everyone to continue to do their part to slow the spread.”

The rising case rates seen earlier this fall prompted the governor to issue a stay-at-home advisory, effective Nov. 6, that asks residents to remain home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. each night, unless they are going out for essential services such as food or medical care. He also ordered a number of businesses to close at 9:30 p.m. each night, including gyms, theaters and indoor recreation facilities. Restaurants must also close at that time but patrons who are eating at that time can remain until 10 p.m.; restaurants can remain open for takeout and delivery after that point.

“I think we all know that especially at this time of year it is hard to stay home and avoid groups and get tested and keep your distance, but those are the things we need to continue to do to stop the virus,” Baker said Tuesday.

“Everybody has to keep doing these things because we know they work, and the idea is to keep everyone healthy to keep our schools and our economy going forward.”

With the holiday season approaching, Baker said clergy and residents who attend in-person worship services need to abide by safety protocols to stop the spread. Those include wearing a mask, maintaining proper distancing, and avoiding gatherings, such as coffee hours, before or after the service.

“The big message here is if you go to a midnight service…wear a mask, stay with your family, don’t go to a before or after gathering,” the governor said, adding that residents should treat worship services like any other gathering they have attended in the past ten months.

Houses of worship have been associated with 36 clusters of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, Baker said, including six clusters in the past month. One cluster, he said, involved 200 cases and spread to 90 or more businesses and other organizations.

During his remarks, the governor referred to vaccines – the first of which could be approved as soon as next week by federal regulators – as the light of the end of the tunnel but said the distribution of the vaccine would take months. The first two vaccines up for review require two doses three to four weeks apart, Baker noted, though others being studied only require a single shot.

The state is finalizing its plan to distribute the vaccines once they are approved, the governor said. Those at high risk – including health care workers, the elderly and those with certain medical conditions – would be the first ones eligible for immunization.

“That’s probably going to be where most of the activity is in December, January, February and March,” he said. “The focus is going to be on the people we are all the most worried about because of what they do for work or because of their age or because of their physical condition.”

The general public would likely have access to the vaccine starting in the second quarter of 2021.

“It will probably be Q2 before Joe Q. or Jane Q. Citizen will have access to a vaccine,” Baker said.

Boston Man Charged With Attempted Robbery At Quincy Station

By SCOTT JACKSON

A 31-year-old Boston was arrested Saturday on charges he attempted to rob two minor females at the Quincy Center MBTA station.

The incident took place shortly after 7 p.m. on Saturday, according to Transit Police. Police said the man, Vernard Shephard, was wearing a homemade ballistic vest when he approached the two victims and requested money.

When they refused, Shephard removed a large hunting knife, held it in a threatening manner and demanded money, according to police. The victims then fled and flagged down help. Police then arrived and arrested the suspect.

Police said the knife Shephard used was double-edged in violation of the law. He was charged with attempted armed robbery and possession of a dangerous weapon. Arraignment information was not immediately available.

Late December Start For Winter High School Sports

By SCOTT JACKSON

The basketball, hockey and swimming and diving teams at Quincy’s two high schools will begin their seasons at the end of December with new rules in place amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The MIAA Board of Directors on Nov. 20 approved the modifications for most winter sports and voted to push back the start of the winter season from Nov. 30 to Dec. 14. Basketball, hockey and swimming and diving will all be allowed to begin their seasons on that date.

Three other winter sports will not be allowed to commence their seasons, however. Indoor track will move to the second fall season, which also includes football and fall cheerleading and will begin in late February. Wrestling and winter cheerleading will be delayed until the spring season, which begins in April.

Kevin Mahoney, the athletic director at Quincy High School, on Monday said schedules for his school’s teams were still being drafted. Games will begin the week of Dec. 28, he said, and the schedules will be similar to those used during the fall season with teams playing 11 or 12 games.

There will be no MIAA tournament at the conclusion of the winter season, Mahoney said. The Patriot League – which both Quincy High School and North Quincy High School belong to – will instead organize its own playoffs, the Patriot Cup, at the end of the season like it did in the fall.

Basketball and hockey players will be required to wear masks at all times, including during the game, under the new guidelines. Swimmers and divers must also wear masks while in the facility but can un-mask as they prepare to enter the pool.

Halftime will be eliminated as part of the new rules for basketball and the length of time between quarters will be extended to two minutes and thirty seconds. The game ball will be changed at the end of each quarter.

Game day basketball rosters will be limited to 15 players and teams can have no more than three coaches on the bench at any time. The use of swing players – those who move between junior varsity and varsity, for example – is discouraged and should only be used to sustain a program.

Basketball players should refrain from picking up one another from the court, unless it is necessary to do so because of injury. Players should also refrain from huddling during the game as well as touching hands during substitutions.

There will be no jump ball at the start of the game or at the start of overtime; a coin toss will be used instead to determination possession. Referees will be asked to emphasize the rule that a defender cannot physically impede an offensive player. An additional point of emphasis will be five-second violations on offense to minimize the amount of time opponents are face-to-face. Only four players will be allowed in the free-throw lane during foul shots and free-throw lanes will be empty except on the final foul shot. Additionally, defenders will be required to maintain six feet of separation from the player inbounding the ball.

Hockey rosters will be limited to 20 players, down from 22. No more than three coaches and one athletic trainer will be allowed in the bench area. Only one player would be allowed in the penalty box at a time; auxiliary boxes would be used if necessary.

On faceoffs, opposing players must line up six feet from each other. Centers will also line up six feet from their opponent and wait until the official calls them in for the puck drop.

Only one player from each team is permitted to take part in scrums along the boards. Officials will be required to stop play if a third player enters the scrum. Officials can also stop play if any scrum anywhere on the ice lasts more than five seconds but are not required to do so.

The guidance for swimming and diving allows only dual meets this year. Virtual meets are allowed as long as the teams compete on either the same day or within one day of each other. Swimmers will race in lanes adjacent to their teammates rather than alternating lanes with their opponents.

The MIAA rules allow spectators at all sports, subject to social distancing guidelines and state capacity limits. All spectators, coaches and officials must wear masks at all times.

Quincy Woman Pleads Guilty In Sprawling Benefits Fraud Case

A Quincy woman has been ordered to spend a year under house arrest and pay a six-figure restitution after pleading guilty last week to fifteen indictments of defrauding public benefits programs and providing false or misleading information, State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump and Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey announced today.
Nicole Kasimatis, age 46, under-reported her income as a licensed social worker and lied about her employment to fraudulently collect benefits from Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), MassHealth, Social Security, and the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) between August 23, 2006 and April 27, 2018. She provided falsified pay stubs and other documentation to state and federal agencies to secure benefits.
“The scheme operated by Kasimatis was designed to defraud the taxpayers of the Commonwealth, causing both financial damage and undermining public trust in these important programs,” Bump said. “For more than five years, prosecutors from the Norfolk District Attorney’s Office and investigators from my team diligently worked side-by-side to build a case that lay bare this scheme and bring justice for Commonwealth residents. I commend District Attorney Morrissey and his team for securing this guilty plea.”
”This was an unusually complex grand jury investigation, and the partnership of the Auditor’s investigators and agents from the Social Security Administration was essential,” District Attorney Morrissey said. “This was three complex, interlocking schemes.”
Kasimatis pleaded guilty in Norfolk Superior Court to all of the indictments against her on Nov. 23, 2020. Judge Beverly Cannone sentenced her to 36 days in jail (deemed time-served), five years of probation with the first year under home confinement, 200 hours of community service, and ordered to pay $103,000 in restitution.
“The plea is structured so that the $103,000 in restitution was made immediately and applied to the theft from the Department of Early Education and Care – the only victim agency with a waiting list for those who need services,” District Attorney Morrissey said.
The matter was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Phillip Burr. “This will have an immediate impact on people with children in need of support,” District Attorney Morrissey said. “While we were initially seeking a committed state prison sentence, we agreed to this structure in light of COVID restrictions making any trial unlikely for another year and the immediate impact for families in need.”
The Office of the State Auditor’s Bureau of Special Investigations investigates allegations of public assistance fraud throughout the Commonwealth. Its work ensures taxpayer dollars are used effectively, and that benefits are available to residents who truly need and qualify for them.

40 Sea Turtles Being Cared For In Quincy

More than forty sea turtles have been rescued from the beaches of Cape Cod and are being cared for at a turtle hospital at the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy. This one is covered in algae. Photos courtesy New England Aquarium.

Staff and volunteers with Massachusetts Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary have been walking the beaches in search of cold-stunned turtles, rescuing and transporting them to the Aquarium’s sea turtle hospital.

The turtles are treated for a variety of life-threatening medical conditions that are a result of weeks of hypothermia and the inability to feed. It’s only the beginning of the season, and so far, 66 turtles have been treated by the Aquarium team. More turtles are expected in the coming days and weeks.

“The lingering warm temperatures this autumn kept the water temperature just above the threshold for sea turtles. The sudden drop in temperature and winds on Tuesday seemed to kick-start the season, which is now well underway,” said Connie Merigo, Marine Animal Rescue Department Manager.
A turtle is cared for after its arrival at the facility.

This year’s pandemic has presented a unique challenge to turtle rescue and care. Social distancing guidelines mean rescuers must stay six feet apart while working to save these endangered species, which include Kemp’s ridleys, loggerheads, and leatherbacks. Merigo and Dr. Charles Innis, Director of Animal Health for the New England Aquarium, have prepared flexible rehabilitation plans that account for COVID-19 restrictions, treating and stabilizing the turtles. Once stabilized, and with the help of organizations such as NOAA Fisheries, National Marine Life Center, and Turtles Fly Too, the turtles are being moved to secondary rehabilitation facilities along the East Coast of the United States and the Gulf of Mexico, including Gulf World, to free up space for new arrivals.

“The sea turtle stranding network is teaming up once again to help us save as many endangered sea turtles as possible under the current conditions,” Merigo said. “The dedication of the network runs deep, and the teamwork is what makes this all possible, especially in a challenging year like 2020.”
In addition to rescue and rehab, as part of the institution’s conservation mission, Aquarium researchers deploy tags to help collect data on cold stunned sea turtles released back into the wild. Dr. Kara Dodge, a Research Scientist with the Aquarium’s Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life, has been able to track the movement of six rehabilitated turtles released over the summer.
Donations to the New England Aquarium help protect ocean life, support critical research on endangered species, and advocate for the environment. In this challenging year, the Aquarium launched the Mission Forward Fund, which directly supports the institution’s most urgent needs.

State Issues New Guidance For College Students Traveling This Holiday Season

By SCOTT JACKSON

Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday issued new guidance for college students traveling this holiday season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the new guidance, students who leave campuses for the holidays should receive a negative COVID-19 test from their school within 72 hours of the planned departure. State officials are also asking that schools provide students living off-campus with access to COVID-19 tests before they depart for the holidays.

Students who do test positive should immediately isolate themselves in campus housing set aside for coronavirus-positive students. Students who previously tested positive and are already isolating in on-campus housing should remain in place until they clear the 10-day isolation period.

Students in quarantine after contact with a positive case should remain in place until the 14-day period expires. Quarantined students may leave campus housing after 10 days if they do not have any symptoms and they receive a negative result from a molecular diagnostic test administered at least eight days after exposure to someone diagnosed with COVID-19.

Students returning to campus after the holidays – whether from inside Massachusetts or outside the state – must produce a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their return to campus.

State officials on Wednesday also announced that new Abbot BinaxNOW COVID-19 tests would be made available to certain school districts by Dec. 1.

Students who experience an onset of COVID-19 symptoms while in school would be eligible for testing using the new tool, provided the school had received permission from the school beforehand. The Abbott BinaxNOW tool provides a rapid antigen test that can produce results within 15 minutes. Results from that test would require confirmation from a standard PCR test.

The Abbott test cool cannot be used for large-scale testing of asymptomatic students and staff, state officials stated.

Grumpy White’s Closed After 40 Years

By SCOTT JACKSON

Grumpy White’s – the Sea Street stalwart known for its fried chicken, macaroni and cheese and other family favorites – has served its last meal after 40 years in business.

Owner Bob White, age 74, closed the restaurant earlier this week and said he plans to retire.

“I’ve been there 40 years – more than half my life – it was good run,” White said in a phone interview. “I feel a little sad about closing it, but I’m 74 years old now and it was getting tough to run.”

White said he had been out of work when a friend suggested he purchase a barroom. White did just that, buying the bar that was later renamed Grumpy White’s. After about a year, he decided to re-open the kitchen on site and began serving food.

Grumpy White’s was well-known for the eponymous Grumpy Chicken – a boneless fried-chicken dish served with mashed potatoes and gravy. Grumpy Chicken could also be ordered on a sandwich.

Other favorites on the menu included the macaroni and cheese, buffalo fingers, baked and friend seafood dishes, French onion soup, and liver and onions.

White received an outpouring of support from many longtime customers after he announced the restaurant’s pending closure.

“It’s sad to the people who have been coming here,” he said. “I’ve been getting a lot of emails from customers.”

White said he might have remained open “a little longer” had it not been for the coronavirus pandemic; he said he been making enough money in recent months to pay the bills and his employees, but not enough to make a profit.

A Weymouth resident, White said he had no immediate plans for his retirement. He suggested he could look to open a new restaurant in the future but said it would be smaller than Grumpy White’s.

The former restaurant, which was located at 211 Sea St., has been sold to a developer, White said.

State Pushing For In-Person Learning

By SCOTT JACKSON

Massachusetts officials are making a full-court press to have more students learning in-person on a full-time basis.

Gov. Charlie Baker and state education leaders on Nov. 6 released new guidance that prioritizes in-person learning for students across the state. The Department of Public Health also unveiled revised metrics to determine a community’s risk level that factor in the municipality’s population and positivity rates for COVID-19 tests in addition to the number of cases.

Communities like Quincy with more than 50,000 residents will now be considered gray if they have fewer than 15 total COVID-19 cases. Those communities are considered green if they have more than 15 total cases and a daily new case rate of less than 10 per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks.

Those communities would be considered yellow, or moderate risk, if they have a new case rate of 10 or more per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks or if they have a positivity rate greater than or equal to 4 percent. If the new case rate per 100,000 residents per day exceeds 10 and the positivity rate is greater than or equal to 4 percent, the community would be considered red or high risk.

Quincy was categorized as a green, or a low-risk community, on the weekly community level report published by the DPH later on on Nov. 6. The average daily new case rate over per 100,000 residents over the last two weeks was 7.9 and positive test rate was 1.6 percent.

James Peyser, the state’s education secretary, said school districts in communities that are considered gray, green or yellow are now expected to have students back in class on a full-time basis.

“Districts and schools in communities designated as gray, green or yellow are expected to have students learning fully in-person if logistically feasible. A hybrid model should be used only if there is no other way to meet health and safety requirements related to school buildings or transportation,” Peyser said during a State House press conference.

“Schools in red communities should consider implementing hybrid models instead of going fully remote while minimizing remote learning time for younger and high-needs students.”

Jeffrey Riley, the commissioner of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, said data from Massachusetts and throughout world show that the virus is not being spread in schools that follow standards for masks, distancing and hygiene.

“Through our local experience as well as the emerging medical literature on re-opening schools across the world, the time to get kids back to school is now,” Riley said.

“It has become increasingly clear that this virus is going to be with us for a while. We have created ways to safely return to school through our extensive health and safety guidance, new opportunities for COVID testing and our DESE rapid-response help center for districts. With these measures in place, and evidence that schools can operate safely for in-person learning, we need to continue to work hard to get as many students back to learning in school buildings as possible.”

While state officials are pushing for more in-person learning, Baker said local leaders would still make the final decision on what model to use.

“The goal generally speaking in Massachusetts is the state sets standards, provides guidance, provides resources and measures performance, but the decision about what actually happens on the ground in each community is a decision made at the community level,” the governor said.

Riley said DESE would work with districts that do not adhere to the new guidance on a case-by-case basis.

“If people start deviating from it, we will address that individually,” he said. “But we do also respect what happens locally.”

Baker also left it up to local officials to decide if a school or schools should move to fully remote learning on a temporary basis after students were found to be at large parties. North Quincy High School, for example, went fully remote for a two-week period starting Nov. 2 after some 70 students attended a Halloween party.

“I think local communities need to make their own call with respect to how they want to play that,” Baker said when asked about closing schools because of parties.

“If your goal here is to serve kids in-person or serve kids on a hybrid basis and you come across…a situation that you feel requires to go remote for a week or two, I think that is a far better outcome than just saying we’re going to stay remote.”

Marylou Sudders, the state’s health and human services secretary, said the new community-level grading system rolled out by the DPH is similar to systems by New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and more conservative than New Hampshire’s system.

By incorporating the positivity rate in the new system, Baker said local communities have an incentive to encourage residents to get tested for the coronavirus.

“You don’t want to tell a community not to test as much as they possibly can because finding cases and contact tracing and helping people support themselves in isolation is a better answer always than not doing the testing because you don’t want to raise your cases per 100,000,” he said.

“We want to give you credit if you’re testing a lot for the fact that your positive test rate is reasonably low.”

Dr. Mary Beth Miotto, the vice president of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said her organization supported the change in the system.

“More nuanced data will allow the safer school health planning that we need, including the ability to potentially pause in-person learning in the event of small outbreaks or to potentially return more children to school on a full-time or hybrid basis,” Miotto said.

Miotto practices in Worcester, where classes are fully remote. She said students are suffering physically and mentally from full remote schedules.

“I’ve begun to handout jump ropes in my annual well-child visits, because my school-age patients have gained 20 pounds or more in just the time of the pandemic. They are sitting for long periods of time with limited physical activity and may not be getting highly nutritious meals. The long-term consequences of rapid weight gain and sedentary lifestyles will certainly be seen for years to come,” Miotto said.

“Another sobering narrative on mental health is being revealed. Last week, I heard yet again from a pediatric intensive care specialist who told me that their hospital census is constituently reflecting more hospitalizations for youth suicide attempts than pediatric COVID cases.

“What is so concerning is that many of these kids with suicidal thoughts and attempts don’t have a history of behavioral health problems – they are typical children bending or breaking under the stress of the pandemic and specifically from being alone at the computer for many long hours.”

Students and teachers learning and working remotely are at no less risk of acquiring COVID-19 than their peers attending schools on a full- or part-time basis, Miotto added.

“Since we have districts on remote, hybrid and full return to school right here in Massachusetts, tracking data show that viral transmission rates are not lower in either students or teachers working and learning remotely,” she said.

State Issues New Stay-At-Home Advisory, Mask Order

By SCOTT JACKSON

To curb the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday announced a new stay-at-home advisory that asks residents to remain home overnight, imposed new limits on gatherings at private residences, set a new closing time for a variety of businesses, and toughened the requirement to wear masks in public settings.

The governor’s new orders, which take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, come as Massachusetts has recorded 1,000 or more cases of COVID-19 each day since Oct. 24. The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 has also increased from 320 on Sept. 1 to 436 on Oct. 1 and 613 on Sunday.

Baker said the increase in new daily cases and the rise in hospitalizations require the state to step in and take action to stop the spread of the virus while keeping the economy and schools open.

“The data points to a clear need to do something about these trends now,” Baker said during a State House press conference.

“What we should not do to deal with these trends is shut down our economy or close our schools to deal with this. Schools are not spreaders, here or anywhere else. It has been proven now over and over and over again by real-life experience and longitudinal studies. And in Massachusetts, the vast majority of employers, employees and customers have done a great job of playing by the rules and limiting transmission.”

Without action, Baker warned the state’s health care system could be overwhelmed by new cases by the end of December.

“If we do nothing and stay on the track we’re on now, we’ll create capacity problems for our health care system by the end of the calendar year,” he said. “Imagine what that would be like for your friends and neighbors who work in health care if cases and hospitalizations continue to rise at double digit rates straight into and through the holiday season. Double shifts, no time for families, the same urgency and demands on their time that we placed on last spring.

“They bailed us out last spring with their grit, creativity and determination and they are worried about what they see every single day. They deserve our best efforts to avoid recreating the high case and hospital counts that we all lived through last spring.”

The revised stay-at-home advisory asks residents to stay home between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. During those hours, residents should only be leaving their homes to go to work or school or for essential trips such as seeking emergency medical care, going to the grocery store or a pharmacy, picking up take-out food, and or receiving deliveries. Residents are also allowed to go outside to take a walk or exercise.

The gathering order reduces the size limit for indoor gatherings at private residences to 10 people and outdoor gatherings at private residences to 25 people. The limit on gatherings in public spaces and event spaces – like wedding venues – remains unchanged. Regardless of location or size, all gatherings must end and disperse by 9:30 p.m.

A variety of businesses will also be required to close at 9:30 p.m.

In-person dining must stop at 9:30 p.m., but takeout and delivery can continue for food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Liquor stores and other retailers that sell alcohol will be required to stop alcohol sales at 9:30 p.m. but can continue selling other products. Adult-use marijuana sales must also end at 9:30 p.m. but medical marijuana sales can continue past that.

Indoor and outdoor event spaces must close at 9:30 p.m. as well as indoor and outdoor performance venues, theaters and movie theaters, including drive ins.

Other businesses and activities that must close at 9:30 p.m. include youth and adult amateur sports; golf facilities; recreational boating and boating businesses; outdoor recreational experiences; casinos and horse tracks/simulcast facilities; driving and flight schools; zoos, botanical gardens, wildlife reserves and nature centers; close-contact personal services such as hair and nail salons; gyms, fitness centers and health clubs; indoor and outdoor pools; and museums, historic sites and other similar cultural facilities.

The underlying goal of the new orders is to have people home by 10 p.m., Baker said.

“We’d really like people to be home by 10 o’clock with the people they live with,” he stated.

The new mask order requires everyone over the age of 5 to wear a face covering in public at all times. It replaces a previous order that required masks or face coverings be worn in public only when social distancing was not possible.

“We’re basically saying if you go out in public, wear a mask,” Baker said.

Public locations include but are not limited to grocery stores, pharmacies and other retailers; public transportation, taxis, livery services and ride-share vehicle like Uber and Lyft; public streets and ways; and any location that hosts indoor or outdoor events or performances. Masks or face coverings are also required if carpooling with non-household members.

The governor said he expected the new orders to be in effect for at least a month. For Thanksgiving, he said families should limit their celebrations to ten people if they are not from the same household.

Enforcement of the new orders will be left to local officials, Baker stated. Local police or other officials, he explained, would likely break up gatherings that exceed the size or time limits and send those in attendance home. Frequent violators could be subject to civil penalties.