|Screenshot of the most recent COVID case map on mass.gov|
Cases are back on the rise folks, and it's starting to seem like the over anticipated "second wave" is among us. A couple days ago, Wareham was upgraded to a yellow, or moderate risk town for the COVID-19 virus. This meaning that we are just a small number of cases away from a red, or high risk designation. If this were to happen, Wareham would be forced to revert back to Phase 3 Step 1 of Governor Baker's "reopening Massachusetts" plan, and schools would consider returning to remote learning until cases go back down.
While Rochester's case rate has dropped down from yellow to gray, it appears the Dartmouth, Acushnet, Plymouth, and Kingston have all recently been upgraded to high risk/red communities. Also, Barnstable, Sandwich, Freetown, and Bourne have all joined Wareham in the moderate/yellow risk communities. Westport, Middleborough, Yarmouth, and Falmouth have remained steady as low risk/green towns. Mashpee, Carver, Mattapoiset, and Marion have continued their record of being gray/no risk communities.
So what does this mean? The biggest concerns are for businesses and schools, as the higher cases get, the higher the chance of closing schools and going back to tighter restrictions on business gets. School administrators have commented saying they will continue to monitor the level of cases and will do whatever possible to keep students safe. School educators in Wareham have hinted to us that they believe the joy of having students in the classroom in-person, may not last long as schools will have to consider going back to remote learning.
Also in question is Phase 3 Step 2 of the state's reopening plan. Despite an increase in cases that healthcare professionals have noted as worrisome, the Governor enacted Phase 3 Step 2 this past Monday. This allows Laser Tag, Trampoline Parks, and Roller Rinks to open. It also allows fitting rooms to open for use, and allows gyms, performance venues, and libraries to increase their capacity to 50 percent. Despite the several supposed negotiations between the Patriots Organization and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, no changes have been made in the increase of capacity for large performance venues such as Gilette Stadium & TD Garden. This remains at 0 percent capacity.
If any town gets a red/high risk designation for COVID-19 they will be forced to revert to the first phase of step three, which would put all the above guidelines on hold. Continue to watch out for updates on both our news show on Wednesday's at 5pm (information below) and our Facebook and blog regarding the pandemic and the status of our town.
Article written byIndiana T.