Massachusetts has joined a coalition of several New England states to establish a framework for resuming economic activity. The coordinated effort seeks to define benchmarks that will be used to determine timelines for re-opening businesses and institutions throughout the region. Participating states include Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The states of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine have established their own compact.
The announcement comes as Massachusetts wrestles with economic contraction in the face of rising COVID-19 numbers. A recent University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) model suggests that our state will reach peak cases during the last week of April.
It is expected that widespread testing and actionable protocols will be components in forming re-opening plans. A gradual return to normality, with phases of loosened restrictions, is more likely than an abrupt re-opening of all activity.
Meanwhile, essential businesses have been establishing new practices to enhance safety for clients, customers and employees. In recent weeks, the CDC and OSHA have provided updated COVID-19 guidance for employers. All combined, this provides a starting point for balancing public health with operational needs and economic recovery.
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