Baker loosens capacity restrictions
COVID numbers down, vaccination numbers confusing
GOV. CHARLIE BAKER slightly loosened capacity restrictions at restaurants, retailers, and gyms on
Thursday as the state’s weekly COVID-19 numbers continued to retreat from the highs of recent weeks.
Vaccinations increased, but the numbers didn’t seem to mesh with figures released by the governor on Wednesday. . The state’s weekly vaccination report indicated 681,472 shots have been administered so far, including 149,030 over the last seven days. The report said 896,300 doses had been shipped to Massachusetts. On Wednesday, however, Baker said 654,104 doses had been administered so far out of 1 million shipped.
The number of high-risk communities, designated in red on the state’s color-coded map, fell to 153, down from 192 a week ago and 222 two weeks ago. None of the red communities reported more than 100 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people over the last two weeks, the first time that has happened in more than a month.
The state as a whole reported 48.9 cases per 100,000 people over the last two weeks, down from 59.4 cases last week. The state’s positive test rate (positive tests divided by total tests), dropped from 5.51 percent a week ago to 4.32 percent this week.
Other COVID indicators are also improving. Hospitalizations are down 33 percent since early January and the seven-day average of new cases is down about 53 percent from the peak, Baker said at a State House press conference.The positive trends prompted Baker to increase capacity limits at restaurants, retailers, movie theaters, casinos, offices, and places of worship from 25 percent to 40 percent starting Monday. The lower capacity limit was put in place on December 26 as COVID cases were spiraling upward.
The governor kept existing gathering limits in place – 10 for indoor gatherings and 25 for outdoor gatherings.