Gov. Charlie Baker extended the state’s stay-at-home advisory and non-essential business closure to May 18 as the death toll from the coronavirus rises in Massachusetts. The advisory was set to expire on May 4.
The governor also extended the ban on gatherings of 10 or more people.
Baker announced the formation of a 17-member advisory board that will develop a plan to reopen the state on a “phased basis.”
There have been more than 56,000 cases of COVID-19 in the state with more than 3,00o deaths.
New modeling from Massachusetts General Hospital shows lifting the stay-at-home order at the end of May — in four weeks — could result in more than 40,000 deaths by the end of the summer. The prediction is much lower if it’s lifted in eight weeks, with about 5,600 deaths.
The governor said Monday that it appears Massachusetts has flattened the curve and is in a plateau depending upon which parts of the state you’re in. He said in Western Massachusetts it appears to be trending downward.
“The trend data remains reasonably high,” Baker said. “But obviously whatever decision we make needs to come with a little thought and a plan behind it, so we’ll probably put that out later this week.”