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Governor bans all gatherings of more than 250 people, but says schools, malls, airports and the T can stay open

Gov. Baker today announced a statewide ban on public gatherings of more than 250 people to try to slow the spread of Covid-19.

The ban includes sporting events, concerts and religious gatherings, but excludes supermarkets, restaurants, malls, offices, the T and Logan Airport, where people do not tend to be in close contact for long periods of time.

Also excluded from the ban: Schools. Baker said state public-health experts say that local school officials should closely monitor students and staff for any signs of illness, and take steps based on that, but that schools can remain open for now and that, in fact, districts should not be shutting down all their schools at once.

"Just shutting schools down completely does not appear to be the appropriate thing to do at this time," and, in fact, might cause public-health problems of its own, Baker said.

Baker added that the federal government has given two local testing labs approval to begin doing Covid-19 testing, in addition to the state Department of Public Health. "It's been enormously frustrating" waiting for federal approval, he said, adding that Boston's large research hospitals are still waiting for permission to do their own testing.

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Comments

Why 250? Is there a scientific basis, or just a nice round number?

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Voting closed 36

Don’t forget that we are still allowed to gather in government buildings. State employees are being required/encouraged to go into the office to do work that can easily be done remotely.

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He said the state is looking at remote work where possible, but said that, unlike in the private sector, there are a lot of public-service jobs where people have to get out - like firefighters, police and child-abuse investigators. State workers often have to be where the public is, he said.

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Voting closed 26

“ school officials should closely monitor students and staff for any signs of illness“

How exactly? With tests we don’t have?

Its time for real leadership at the state level...

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Voting closed 26

Or (in the case of many government jobs) they are being allowed/encouraged to go into the office to not do work, that can easily not be done remotely.

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Parents can choose to keep them home (DESE says absences won't count towards truancy), but for many kids school meals are an major source of food. Different places have come up with a variety of approaches to making sure the kids get fed - Boston and other cities and towns need to make plans so our kids don't starve.

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Voting closed 44

so our kids don't starve.

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And it comes from a school cafeteria.

The causes vary but it doesn't change the issue at hand.

Yes, some children may be starved if there aren't plans/programs put in place during this hectic time to keep the most vulnerable of us from slipping through the cracks.

For christ's sake, man. Have a freakin' heart.

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Voting closed 13

Sadly, not really hyperbole.

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No, not for the majority of families with kids in BPS. But for some, not having school meals available would add to their burdens considerably. This IS a rational reaction.

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Voting closed 49

Definitely need to come up with a food plan but we need to keep these kids home and healthy. There are many BPS kids being raised by elderly grandparents.

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are gonna have a door guy with a people counter like a nightclub then? Well more than 250 people crammed into the Somerville Market Basket the other night. I would think last night was worse.

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How nice to ban gatherings of 250 or more people. But screw you kids and teachers!
The smallest BPS schools are around 200 people, and the largest are over 2500 people.
I am an itinerant teacher who goes to several schools each day. BPS doesn’t have the resources or protocols to contain this.
Baltimore and other cities are providing pick up and go meals for children while schools are closed. It’s time, Boston.

Marc Lipsitch, Harvard professor and epidemiologist, gave a lot of helpful information in his interview with Michelle Wu.
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1537596183055555&id=37888268...

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Voting closed 13

Officers are already being officially cautioned against prisoner transport by cruiser, so anyone arrested will have to be walked to the police station/barracks or wait for a scarce prisoner transport wagon. The ventilation in cell blocks, usually horrible, is not suitable for holding sick people to begin with. Unofficially, an officer making an arrest shy of mass murder this weekend will likely incur the permanent wrath of the desk sergeant. This could make the officer's life difficult long after Corona has passed. Boston area troopers might expect a transfer to the NY border, local cops the equivalent worst possible assignment. In other words, criminals get a free pass on almost all crime this weekend, including Charlie's "feel good' restrictions. Cops are trained to survive and self-preserve more than most. A summons in the mail might be the worst sanction in the short term. Traffic stops, few if any. Hopefully people will comport themselves appropriately and enforcement won't be necessary.

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Voting closed 27

Few traffic stops? Cops not doing the job they are overpaid to do? Sounds like business as usual.

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Voting closed 39

Jealousy will get you no where

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What am I jealous of? Corrupt scumbags who steal from taxpayers while sitting on their obese asses? I’d rather be honest and in shape than a filthy pig.

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"...[B]ut excludes supermarkets, restaurants, malls, offices, the T and Logan Airport, where people do not tend to be in close contact for long periods of time."

Has he ever been on the T?

(Don't answer that. I know, I know...)

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Voting closed 47

Facts but it's hard to close supermarket, they too need a plan so many in so many out. The best time is first thing in the a.m. when there just opening up

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There's a lot of loopholes. You can have athletic or leisure events with as many people you like if there are no spectators.

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What sport has more than 250 players? That would be one crazy basketball game.

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