BOSTON – Next Tuesday, the COVID-19 state of emergency that Gov. Charlie Baker declared on March 10, 2020 will terminate.
When that emergency declaration was first signed, there were 91 “presumed positive” cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, and more than 114,000 confirmed cases worldwide.
There have now been a total of 662,343 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, including the 100 newly announced Tuesday by the Department of Public Health. The department also reported two recent deaths among people with confirmed cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total fatality count here to 17,554, or 17,917 when deaths of people with probable cases are counted. The state’s seven-day positive test rate stands at 0.52 percent, and 173 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized, the DPH said.
Looking ahead past June 15, the Senate Ways and Means Committee has sketched out which pandemic policy adaptations it believes are worth keeping in place a while longer, releasing legislation that would temporarily extend allowances for remote public meetings, mail-in voting, to-go cocktails, and many other measures.
Senators have until 1 p.m. Wednesday to file their amendments, ahead of a debate scheduled for Thursday. Meanwhile, a bill that aims to make up for pandemic-related data delays by allowing the Legislature to redraw state and federal political districts before cities and town adjust their local precincts — an order-of-operations swap opposed by Secretary of State William Galvin — was moving in the Election Laws Committee Tuesday afternoon after a Monday hearing.
On Wednesday, Massachusetts will take another step towards post-emergency life, with the state’s Public Health Council slated to vote on a request to rescind regulations around the use of masks and face coverings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s Dr. Monica Bharel’s last meeting as public health commissioner before she plans to leave the Baker administration on June 18.