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Gov. Charlie Baker reiterated what he's said for days — that he does not plan to issue a statewide shelter in place order.
"I’ve spoken about this before but let me be clear: we are not planning any shelter in place orders," he said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers is calling on Baker to declare a shelter in place by end of day Tuesday. They asked Baker to follow the lead of San Francicso and other communities in the Bay Area, which are currently under a shelter in place order.
"It is essential that the spread of the virus be suppressed to protect the ability of healthcare providers to handle the influx of new patients and safeguard public health and safety," the letter reads. "Epidemiologists have suggested that Masasachusetts could see as many as 10,000 new cases by the end of this month."
The letter is signed by 10 state representatives, and local officials in Cambridge and Somerville.
Baker has said he does not want to order an order for all to quarantine, as it would make it difficult for people to get food and medicine they might need.
Also on Tuesday, Baker also announced $5 million in emergency funds will be sent to local boards of health to help cities and towns respond to the coronavirus outbreak.
He is also formally requesting the Small Business Administration issue a declaration of economic injury, which would make low interest loans available to small business owners. On Monday, Baker said the state would offer emergency loans of up to $75,000 to small businesses affected by the outbreak.
To help staff up healthcare facilities, Baker said he's signed orders to make it easier for health care staff, from nurses to respiratory technicians, to work at another licensed facility. It will also allow out-of-state physicians to work in Massachusetts, and enable retired physicians to reactivate their licenses.
This article was originally published on March 17, 2020.
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