Massachusetts reminds residents of new coronavirus regulations by text message

BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 18: Dr. Monica Bharel, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health testifies during a hearing on the vape ban, October 18, 2019 in BOSTON, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Chris Christo/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)
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BOSTON – About 4.5 million phones were scheduled ring and buzz at 5 p.m. Thursday when the Baker administration planned to send out a message as a phone call or text message reminding residents about the threat of COVID-19 and the new safety measures scheduled to take effect Friday.

Baker earlier this week announce a new stay-at-home advisory asking resident to remain at home between 10 p.m. and 5 p.m. and requiring many businesses, including theaters, casinos, and other entertainment venues, to close at 9:30 p.m.

Restaurants can stay open later for take-out only.

Baker also signed an executive order requiring masks to be worn at all times when in public, even when social distancing is possible, and limiting indoor social gatherings to 10 people and outdoor gatherings to 25.

The governor has used emergency phone alerts in the past to remind residents in geographic hotspots not to let their coronavirus guard down.

The widespread alert going out Thursday was set to be sent through the Everbridge Resident Connection Alerts MA system, and reach about 4.5 million cellphones and landlines in English and Spanish.

The phone message was recorded by Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel.

“By following these guidelines you will be protecting your friends and family, and helping us stop the spread. Together, we can combat this deadly disease and save lives,” Bharel concludes the message.