12 Democratic state lawmakers urge Gov. Baker to extend Mass. stay-at-home advisory

12 Democratic state lawmakers urge Gov. Baker to extend Mass. stay-at-home advisory in written letter

BOSTON — Twelve Democratic state lawmakers are urging the governor to extend the state’s stay-at-home advisory until June 1. They worry about a resurgence in the coronavirus if businesses reopen too early.

Representative Mike Connolly is one of those lawmakers who sent a letter to Gov. Baker on Saturday.

“Not only will that allow us to do even more to try to contain this terribly contagious and deadly virus, but another important thing is it will give us some time to build some consensus and some understanding about what to expect on Monday,” Rep. Connolly said.

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Those lawmakers said everything should stay closed for another two weeks because the number of COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts is still too high.

The World Health Organization’s benchmark to reopen is when there is less than 10% of positive cases in an area, but Rep. Connolly said that, right now, Massachusetts has a 12% rate of positive cases.

“We’ve been stuck at 12% for several days and I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t follow the advice of the scientists and the epidemiologists to tell us we have to do more in terms of testing,” Connolly said.

Boston 25 News reached out to the governor’s office about that letter on Saturday. Although they didn’t directly respond to these demands from lawmakers, Gov. Baker said on Friday that he has ramped up testing with his contact tracing program, and he’ll release more details on the phased reopening on Monday.

“I think it would make a lot more sense for the governor to put a draft plan out on Monday and to allow a period of time for the public and businesses who are all concerned to comment on it and perhaps in a couple weeks we could all consider where we’re at,” Rep. Connolly said.

Rep. Connolly added that in other countries like Germany, there’s been another spike in cases after businesses opened up too early, forcing another lockdown.

So he’s hoping the governor takes their letter seriously when he releases his reopening plan on Monday.

“You know the worst possible thing would be is if we all went through this terrible hardship for the past 10 weeks only to see the virus make a big resurgence and that sends us all back into lockdown,” Rep. Connolly said.

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