Gov. Baker today announced new restrictions on indoor gatherings that limit occupancy for restaurants and other businesses and houses of worship to just 25% of their Before Time maximums, down from the 40% allowed previously.
The restrictions run at least through Jan. 10, as do new limits of 10 people at indoor events and 25 people at outdoor events, Baker said at a press conference.
Public schools are exempt from the new restrictions, as are facilities that provide "critical services," such as public-health and public-safety services, as well as some sectors that include manufacturing, construction and laboratories.
Baker, who has pleaded with residents to just stay home for Christmas, said he would consider whether to extend the restrictions beyond Jan. 10 based on several factors, including hospitalization rates.
Several hours after he spoke, the state Department of Public Health released its daily Covid-19 stats, which showed 2,004 people hospitalized in Massachusetts due to Covid-19, the first time the state has seen that many people hospitalized with the virus since May 27, as the spring surge was subsiding.
In the Boston area, hospitals now report 81% of their beds in total are filled, down from 91% late last week.
The state figures showed a daily test positivity rate of 7.48% for non-college testing, down from 8.09% a few days higher, but still way higher than the 1.66% recorded in early September.