The Town of Acushnet is working diligently to protect its residents from the spread of COVID-19. Please refer to this page for updated links from the state, references, and important information.
Baker-Polito Administration to Lift COVID Restrictions May 29, State to Meet Vaccination Goal by Beginning of June:
The Baker-Polito Administration announced that the Commonwealth is on track to meet the goal of vaccinating 4.1 million residents by the first week of June and all remaining COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted effective May 29. The Commonwealth’s face covering order will also be rescinded on May 29. The Department of Public Health will issue a new face covering advisory consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated guidance. Face coverings will still be mandatory for all individuals on public and private transportation systems (including rideshares, livery, taxi, ferries, MBTA, Commuter Rail and transportation stations), in healthcare facilities and in other settings hosting vulnerable populations, such as congregate care settings.
Governor Charlie Baker will end the State of Emergency June 15.
The Administration also announced updates that will be effective May 18 to revise face covering requirements for youth and amateur sports and other guidance relating to childcare programs and K-12 schools. The Administration will release updated guidance for summer camps effective May 29. The Administration is able to take these steps to reopen the Commonwealth’s economy because Massachusetts is on track to meet the goal set in December to fully vaccinate over 4 million individuals by the first week of June. The Commonwealth leads the nation in vaccinating residents, with 75% of adults receiving at least one dose. To date, over 4 million residents have received a first dose, with 3.2 million fully vaccinated. New cases have dropped by 89% since January 8. COVID hospitalizations are down 88% since January 1 and the positive test rate is down by 88% from peaking at 8.7% on January 1 to 1% today.
Effective May 29:
- All industries will be permitted to open. With the exception of remaining face-covering requirements for public and private transportation systems and facilities housing vulnerable populations, all industry restrictions will be lifted, and capacity will increase to 100% for all industries. The gathering limit will be rescinded.
- All industries will be encouraged to follow CDC guidance for cleaning and hygiene protocols.
On May 18, 2020, the Administration published the reopening phases, which called for ending restrictions when vaccines became widely available. Today, there are over 975 locations for Massachusetts residents to access vaccines without delay.
Face Covering Guidance:
In line with updated CDC face covering guidance, the Administration will rescind the current face covering order and issue a new face covering advisory effective May 29.
Non-vaccinated individuals are advised to continue wearing face masks and to continue distancing in most settings. The advisory will also recommend fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear a face covering or social distance indoors or outdoors except for in certain situations.
Face coverings will still be required for all individuals on public and private transportation (including rideshares, livery, taxi, ferries, MBTA, Commuter Rail and transportation stations), healthcare facilities and providers, congregate care settings and health and rehabilitative day services.
Face coverings will also remain required indoors for staff and students of K-12 schools and early education providers.
Youth and Amateur Sports Face Covering Guidance:
Effective May 18, the youth and amateur sports guidance will be updated to no longer require face coverings for youth athletes 18 and under while playing outdoor sports. Effective May 29, all youth and amateur sports restrictions will be lifted.
K-12, Early Education and Summer Camp Guidance:
Effective May 18, guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Department of Early Education and Care will be updated to no longer require masks for outdoor activities like recess and to allow for the sharing of objects in classrooms, in both K-12 and childcare settings. This guidance will remain in effect beyond May 29.
The Administration will release updated guidance for summer camps, effective May 29, which will include no longer requiring masks for outdoor activities.
State of Emergency Order:
Governor Baker will end the State of Emergency June 15, and the Administration will work with legislative and municipal partners during this period in order to manage an orderly transition from emergency measures adopted by executive order and special legislation during the period of the State of Emergency.
January 7, 2021: The Governor's Office announced the extension of further restrictions and new hospital guidance to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth. Industry restrictions for capacity limits and reduced gathering limits went into effect on Saturday, December 26th and will now be extended for at least two more weeks to January 24th. Read a summary of restrictions here.
January 4, 2021: The Governor's Office outlined plans to vaccinate the Commonwealth's first responders, the next priority group within Phase One of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. First responder departments and organizations can visit www.mass.gov/firstrespondervaccine to learn more about these options. Based on recommendations of the COVID-19 Vaccine Advosiry group, the Governor's office also updated prioritization so that individuals age 75+ are included in Phase 2, Group 1, along with individuals of all ages with 2+ comorbidities. The revised vaccine distribution timeline can be found here.
December 22, 2020: The Governor's Office announced further restrictions to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, including new capacity and gathering limits. These measures will go into effect on Saturday, December 26th and remain in effect until noon on January 10, 2021. A summary of the restrictions can be found here. Most industrist in Massachsetts will be subject to a 25% capacity limit including: restaurants, close contact personal services, theatres and performance venues, casinos, office spaces, places of worship, retail businesses, driving and flight schools, golf facilities for indoor spaces, libraries, lodging, arcades and indoor recreation businesses, fitness centers and health clubs, and museums, cultural facilities and guided tours. Effective Saturday, December 26, indoor gatherings will be limited to 10 people and outdoor gatherings will be limited to 25 people.
December 11, 2020: The Town of Acushnet is currently in the red category according to the state's weekly health report, found here. According to the data, the Town currently has a 54.69 average daily incidence rate per 100,000 people in the last 14 days, with 80 positive cases in the last two weeks and a 7.02% positive rating. In addition, this week the Governor announced that the first rounds of vaccines will be available around December 15th, with additional doses coming in through the end of December. The first round of vaccines will be available between December 2020 and February 2021 and will be dedicated for: clinical and non-clinical health care workers doing direct and COVID-facing case; long term care facilities, rest homes and assisted living facilities; police, fire and emergency medical services; congregate care settings (including corrections and shelters); home-based health care workers; and health care workers doing non-COVID-facing care. Phase 2 will be administered between February and March of 2021 and doses will be dedicated to: individuals with 2+ co-morbid conditions (high risk for COVID-19 complications); early education, K-12, transit, grocery, utility, food and agriculture, sanitaion, public works and public health workers; adults 65+; and individuals with one co-morbid condition. Phase 3 will start in April 2021 and will have vaccine doses available for everyone in the general public. See the link here for more information.
December 8, 2020: Governor Baker announced new measures to disrupt the trend of increasing new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Massachusetts. A copy of the press release regarding this announcement can be found here. Under the new orders, effective Sunday, December 13, 2020, all communities in MA will return to Phase 3 Step 1 of the Commonwealth's reopening plan.
December 1, 2020: The Town of Acushnet reached a new high of 124 positive cases in the month of November. Our previous monthly high was in October when 63 residents tested positive - we nearly doubled that number in the past 30 days. According to the state's data, the Town is currently experiencing a 4.91% percent positivity rate and an average daily rate of 37.6 per 100,000 people, as of November 27th.
November 28, 2020: The Governor updated the list of lower-risk states, and according to the new maps, any state other than Massachusetts is now considered "high risk" - https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel-order#lower-risk-states- Therefore, any travel to another state will require compliance with Travel Restriction Guidelines, including submitting the Massachusetts Travel Form and must quarantine for two weeks upon return to Massachusetts or meet the 72-hour testing rule.
November 18, 2020: The Governor announced an update to quarantine guidance from DPH (See this link). While the initial guidance to quarantine for 14 days after exposure still stands, this additional guidance will allow those who have been exposed to COVID to test out of the quarantine after 10 days if they meet ALL of the following parameters:
- They have not had, and do not have, any symptoms of COVID;
- If they are tested on day 8 of their quarantine period or later using a molecular diagnostic test, a PCR test, and receive a negative test result; and
- They must monitor themselves for symptoms for the full 14 days. Any individual that develops symptoms should contact their local health care provider and be re-tested.
November 2, 2020: The Baker-Polito Administration announced a series of measures targeted to disrupt the increasing trend of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. The order can be found here and takes effect on Friday, November 6th at 12:01 am. A link to the update can also be found on our "News and Announcements" tab to the right.
October 29, 2020: The Town of Acushnet has continued its designation as a "high risk" community after having 50 positive tests over the last 14 days and a 5.07% positivity rate. The month of October ended with 62 positive cases, our highest monthly record to date.October 22, 2020: The Town of Acushnet has been designated as a "high risk" community according to the Commonwealth's Community-Level COVID-19 data reports. Since Acushnet has seen this designation for three consecutive weeks, effective on Monday, October 26th, Acushnet will revert back to Phase III, Step 1 under the Commonwealth's Reopening Plan. Additional information on the impact for local businesses can be found at this link. The Town of Acushnet now has over 40 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in the month of October. According to contact tracing efforts, the majority of these cases have been spread through large and small private gatherings among family and friends without taking the proper precautions. Please take the following steps to help STOP THE SPREAD in our community:
- Wear a mask when you can't socially distance yourself from others.
- Wash your hands often.
- Keep gatherings small (even with family and friends) and make sure everyone wears a mask and keeps socially distant.
- Don't share food or drinks.
- Stay home if you feel sick, and please keep children home from school if anyone in the house is sick or quarantining.
- Follow travel quarantine guidelines.
- Get tested.