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Smaller Opening Day at Fenway to happen as state eases more Covid-19 restrictions

COVID-19 Update: February 25, 2021

Gov. Baker today announced two phases of Covid-19 easing, that includes expanding restaurant capacity on March 1 and giving stadiums and arenas the ability to re-open, although not at full capacity, as Massachusetts Covid-19 numbers continue to fall.

On March 1, the current cap on restaurant capacity will go away, although restaurants will have to keep tables at least six feet apart, limit parties to six people and their time to 90 minutes. Also, restaurants will be allowed to bring in live musicians again. Other indoor spaces, including concert halls, theaters, houses of worship and laser-tag arenas, will be allowed to re-open, up to 50% of their before-times capacity - and up to a maximum capacity of 500 people.

On March 22, arenas and stadiums will be allowed to re-open, with a maximum capacity of 12% of their normal capacity. Facilities will be allowed to re-open dance floors - but only for weddings and other events. Summer camps will be allowed to open.

Baker said that the vaccination signup worked well this morning and distributed 50,000 shot slots. He did allow that one of the three online systems in use showed wait times that "didn't make any sense at all." He asked for patience because, at the current rate of vials being sent to Massachusetts, it will take at least a month to administer shots to everybody who is now eligible and wants them.

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any science to show how many lives this saves/puts at risk now that we are "through the worst." It seems like big business leaned on Baker to get him to relax restrictions. Either that or this was never as bad as it was made out to be. I'm not sure which is worse. All you data scientists out there can convince me one way or another....GO!

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Just in time for the surge of UK, California, New York, and other variants. Montreal is experiencing a surge of the UK variant now.

This anon predicts that these reopening will not go well. I hope I am wrong, but reading the reports and opinions of epidemiologists every day tells me I am not wrong.

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I can't be the only one cynical enough to think the recent "fans allowed" announcements (NY, NJ, MA) weren't designed at some level to obfuscate the bad press the governors in those states have been getting recently over vaccine rollout/ other factors

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I'd never even considered otherwise.

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Imagine what Sox tickets will cost if they’re only allowed to operate at 12%.

$1,000 per bleacher seat, $35 per beer?

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I doubt they'll be that high. The team is historically bad right now. The days of the "sellout streak" are long gone.

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i’m wondering how much how good the team is will matter on the first nice day in spring

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i’m wondering how much how good the team is will matter on the first nice day in spring

Oh, it doesn't. But tbh, if you're a baseball fan, the team itself doesn't matter that much either.

I am hoping the college summer leagues will be playing this year. That's where I get my fix, that and high school games.

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$1,000 per bleacher seat, $35 per beer?

Ah, keeping their normal prices, then - good!

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Can they continue to operate those while also admitting spectators to Red Sox and Revolution games?

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There's nothing useful about Fenway as a vax site anyways. Either unused convention center would be better by a city mile.

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makes it, to me, a much healthier place to go than the cramped Hynes.

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Run the vaccinations while the games aren't on. The Revs play once a week, and they are on the road half the time. Fenway is a bit more complex, but the base numbers are there.

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The Red Sox are fully committed to supporting the state’s vaccination program and expect Fenway Park to continue to operate as a mass vaccination site beyond the start of the regular season. The club is working closely with the state and vaccination site partners at CIC Health to develop revised operating plans as necessary for the month of April and beyond that are well-coordinated with the Red Sox game schedule.

https://www.mlb.com/redsox/news/red-sox-announce-fenway-reopening-plans-...

I thought I saw some reporting a couple of hours ago on Twitter that they would still be vaccinating on game days outside of the game time and may try to adjust the hours so there would be no lost time. I can't remember who I saw that from and can't quickly find it so I could be completely making it up for all I know.

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If they are open at times that other places are not, that helps accommodate the irregular schedules of service workers.

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is to restrict ticket sales to the vaccine-eligible, and vaccinate them on the way in.

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My big concern is still the mask mandate when "in public" outdoors.

First, let me say I have no issue with masking up to go indoors, masking up to pass people within 10' or so, or masking up if I'm going into an outdoor area where there are a fair number of people around. That being said, I really don't think that wearing a mask on a late night walk when there's not another pedestrian in sight is crucial for public health. If I'm the only person on a hiking trail, I don't see what wearing a mask accomplishes. If I'm standing alone in the middle of a park, who is my mask wearing protecting?

It feels like this was a deliberate overshoot aimed at modifying people's behavior, sort of akin to setting the speed limit at 55 while knowing that people will still go 65--all in the hopes that they won't go 90. A lot of people I see simply ignore the outdoor mask mandate until they notice somebody watching. I would argue that a rule which everybody takes with a grain of salt isn't much of a rule--it's just a public health version of security theater.

Other than the obvious fact that large business interests are pushing reopening, I'd love to know how it's safe for Fenway to (partially) reopen while I still can't ride my bike down an empty stretch of the Minuteman without a mask. It feels like Baker is just sort of forgetting about this part of the mandate with the knowledge that most people are fudging it anyway.

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If you are alone in the middle of a field, who will be complaining if you aren't wearing a mask?

The reality is that no one is going to fine you if you are unmasked and alone. So turn your mask into a chin diaper when you are alone on a trail, but get that thing on when people approach. Is that so hard? And yes, I do that while running. I didn't mind wearing a mask while riding a bike in the fall the few times I did, but running masked is tough. I still put one on when people are around.

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I'm well aware of the reality, and like you, I often lower my mask. My point was: why propagate an overly generalized rule, that most people won't follow, and that nobody will enforce? I feel like it was--and is--a silly overreach that the Commonwealth won't abandon for fear of losing credibility on other more valid Covid restrictions.

Still, I have definitely seen the more sanctimonious among my fellow Arlingtonians give dirty looks to people more than 50 feet away from them who are outdoors with lowered masks. This particularly silly aspect of the mask mandate gives those scolds cover that I wish they didn't have.

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Saying "wear a mask while outside" probably really means "bring a mask with you when you go out and wear it when you are around people." When the latter was the rule of thumb, people were still messing it up, so they lowered the speed limit, so to speak.

Down in my neck of the woods, it is also the expectation that you don't have to have a mask unless you are around people. I did have some odd interactions while out shoveling snow when I forgot the bring a mask with me, but I see the side of those who were annoyed with me.

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This particularly silly aspect of the mask mandate gives those scolds cover that I wish they didn't have.

You are indeed fortunate that your life's going so well that this is a serious concern for you.

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I have been pretty fortunate through all of this--and I'm thankful for it. Doesn't mean that I can't be frustrated from time to time with aspects of this crisis and what it brings out in some people. Hope you'll allow me that much, at least.

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It feels like this was a deliberate overshoot aimed at modifying people's behavior, sort of akin to setting the speed limit at 55 while knowing that people will still go 65--all in the hopes that they won't go 90.

like you said, those of us who have taken covid seriously still lower our masks from time to time; imagine giving more leeway to the people who never cared to begin with. you wouldn’t have enough law enforcement personnel to hand out all those citations.

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I know, I know. As an attorney, somebody in the rule-making-and-following business so to speak, that sort of approach gives me hives, LOL.

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