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Governor promises answer on continued shutdown before state of emergency ends next Monday

COVID-19 Update: April 27, 2020

Gov. Baker said today he will announce a decision about whether to extend or amend the current state of emergency "later on this week."

At his daily State House press conference, Baker said statewide numbers for Covid-19 hospitalization seem to have plateaued in recent days. But Baker has said he needs to see a downward trend in the numbers before he's willing to make significant changes in the state of emergency, which shut "non-essential" businesses.

Baker said that, going forward, he wants to dampen some of the enthusiasm for antibody testing because while it's useful to know who has been exposed to the virus, many of the antibody tests have proven wildly inaccurate - and that what's really critical is to ramp up testing for people who may actually have the virus when they're tested.

"For me, the big thing is to ramp up what I call 'traditional' testing" - because with the latest studies showing that up to 40% of people infected with the virus not showing any symptoms, knowing who is infected today - and doing something about them, such as trying to track down their recent contacts to get them tested and staying at home - is vital to controlling the virus, he said. He said the state needs to do even more of the 8,000 to 10,000 virus tests now conducted each day.

And that is why, he continued, it's important for people to keep wearing face masks in public places - not to protect themselves, but to protect others should they be unknowingly infected.

In response to a question about whether he is feeling pressure to re-open, Baker did not reply yes or no, but said different states are at different points in the pandemic and that while it might make sense for rural states with low rates of infection or hospitalization to talk about re-opening, that's the wrong answer in Massachusetts - which is still at its peak levels of hospitalization.

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Comments

A 50 minute discussion by docs on opening up. Very common sense and Governor Baker's people might want to listen to it. https://youtu.be/xfLVxx_lBLU.

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Voting closed 8

Everything he said was correct. I'm grateful to live in a state where the governor isn't rushing things and is paying attention to the medical science.

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Voting closed 40

I'm sincerely curious what is going on with people and work.

Where I work, we were asked last Friday, "If you were asked to come in, would you feel safe to come in?" Those that said, "Yes," were asked to go in today.

They said, "If you don't come in, you can file for unemployment but we don't know if you'll get paid."

I said, "If we're provided with what's being talked about, masks, hand sanitizer, and gloves, then I'm ready, willing, and able to work."

I am confused by this. Not specific to me, because I have my own issues I'm dealing with, but it seems "unfair" to ask us to decide whether or not to go in.

What's going on where you work?

(Post edited by author to remove 1 or 2 specifics)

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Voting closed 16

That is a pretty lousy thing to do to Employees, yeah.

I'm fortunate in that my company legitimately cares about the employees, and
we can all (mostly all; I think there is a mail room staffed somewhere) work
from home. They sent my work location out back on March 6th, and the rest
of the company was out within a week after than. We need special permission
to go into our offices currently (I understand our security badges are actually
turned off at the moment). I don't expect we'll be "back" until the end of
May, and even then I'm sure they'll tell us "only come in if you feel safe"
and actually mean it.

I wish everyone was a fortunate as me and my colleagues. Stay safe
everyone!

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Voting closed 16

What a shitty response from your employer. It sounds like they cherrypicked a crew that was willing to work without any PPE and they ran with that.

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Voting closed 25

Sounds like you have a solid case for a complaint. Start with the health department in the city or town where you work. This is likely a situation where some employer thinks they are extra special bunnies but really should be telework or shut.

Consider calling OSHA as well. Seriously.

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Voting closed 19

This isn't such an easy call to make. Depending on your employer and personal situation, you might be looking at the prospect of a layoff or termination now or in the future. The state meanwhile is at reduced staffing for compliance enforcement. So many workers are understandably concerned making a complaint might be putting themselves on the "terminate" list if and when the company decides to make further cutbacks. While it might be a wrongful termination, they know it's going to be a hard, expensive battle with no income to have that fight.

So it's understandable why not everyone is going to want to speak up even if they are in the right.

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Voting closed 11