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COVID-19: Businesses Forced To Close - Again - In 13 'High-Risk' Communities

Closed sign during COVID-19 pandemic
Closed sign during COVID-19 pandemic Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons: Alabama Extension - www.flickr.com/photos/184594136@N08/49704597502/, CC0, commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=89584090

Some businesses that opened just a few weeks ago will be closed as 13 Massachusetts cities and towns take a step back in reopening their local economies.

COVID-19 rates that have spiked over the last several weeks are forcing 13 cities and towns to rollback their local economies to Step 1 of Phase 3. The closures and restrictions are temporary until the community can bring its COVID-19 positive test rate down.

There are 26 other Massachusetts municipalities that were sent back to Step 1 of Phase 3 earlier. In total, that's 38 cities and towns with additional economic restrictions due to COVID-19.

On Oct. 5, Step 2 of Phase 3 went into effect in Massachusetts providing for the reopening of some businesses that, for the first time since the start of the pandemic, have been closed. These businesses include some indoor venues and indoor recreation such as trampoline parks and laser tag.

Step 2 also allowed for an increase in occupancy in various businesses restricted by COVID-19, such as gyms and museums.

The 13 communities designated "high-risk" by the state Department of Public Health that will have to rollback their economic reopenings are:

Acushnet

Brockton

Chelmsford

Holyoke

Hudson

Kingston

Leicester

Malden

Plymouth

Randolph

Waltham

Webster

Woburn.

Each of the 13 high-risk communities taking a step back has had high COVID-19 positive test rates for three weeks in a row, according to the Department of Public Health.

Businesses that are not allowed to operate In Step 1 include:

Indoor performance venues,

Roller skating rinks,

Trampoline parks,

Obstacle courses,

Laser tag,

And Escape Rooms.

The rollback will also reduce capacity to 40 percent (it’s 50 percent in Step 2) at the following business types:

Driving/flight schools,

Gyms,

Libraries,

Museums.

Arcades,

Other lower-contact indoor and outdoor recreation businesses.

Outdoor gatherings at event venues are limited to 50 people in Step 1. 

in addition to the newly added 13 communities, the following Massachusetts cities and towns have reverted to Step 1 of Phase 3: Attleboro, Avon, Boston, Chelsea, Dracut, Everett, Framingham, Haverhill, Holliston, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Lynnfield, Marlborough, Methuen, Middleton, Nantucket, New Bedford, North Andover, Revere, Saugus, Springfield, Tyngsboro, Winthrop, Worcester, and Wrentham.

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