Baker relaxes self-quarantine advisory

New Yorkers and residents of other New England states welcomed to Massachusetts without restrictions ahead of July 4th.

Visitors from New York and New England states will no longer have to quarantine for 14 days. - Lexi Pline

Updated 8:50 pm

Gov. Charlie Baker announced Tuesday that visitors coming to Massachusetts from New England, New York, and New Jersey will not be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Baker said the decision is due to those states making significant progress in flattening the COVID-19 curve.

“These surrounding states, like Massachusetts, are seeing a significant decline in cases and new hospitalizations,” Baker said. “Travelers arriving from these 7 states are exempt.”

The update to the travel advisory is the first since March 27 when Baker urged all travelers coming to Massachusetts to self-quarantine for 14 days. Those showing COVID-19 symptoms are instructed to not travel to Massachusetts.

When those in the lodging industry such as hotels, motels, Airbnb, and VRBO reopened at the beginning of the state’s phase two reopening plan, part of their guidelines were to inform visitors there was an advisory to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Looking ahead to the Fourth of July weekend, Baker said people have generally been good about following the self-quarantine protocol and other measures to prevent potential spread.

“It’s our hope that most folks don’t do the big large Fourth of July gatherings and for the most part across the commonwealth they’re not,” Baker said.

At the state level Tuesday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported no new deaths for the first time in months.

114 new cases, which includes probable cases, were reported Tuesday. In total, there have been 108,882 confirmed cases and 8,054 deaths across the state. Total deaths and confirmed cases decreased due to an ongoing data cleaning which identifies and removes duplicate reports. 

The state is also keeping track of antibody tests. There were 918 new antibody tests Sunday. In total, 71,686 individuals have been tested for antibodies.

There are currently 733 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Massachusetts.

While numbers are trending in a positive direction for the Northeast, the country as a whole is showing troubling signs.

Testifying before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee, Dr. Anthony Fauci, a lead member of the Trump Administration Coronavirus Task Force, warned that the United States was “not in total control right now” and that recent outbreaks in areas are putting the entire country at risk.

“We are now having 40-plus-thousand new cases a day. I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around, and so I am very concerned,” Fauci said.

On Monday, a new confirmed case of COVID-19 and two new probable cases brought the Island’s total number of confirmed cases to 34 and probable cases to 18.

As of Tuesday, Island Health Care (IHC), which tests asymptomatic individuals, reported that in total it had tested 2,399 patients with four positives, 2,168 negatives, and 227 pending results.

It’s been five weeks since the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital has reported a new case of COVID-19.

In total the hospital has tested 1,633 patients. Of those 28 have tested positive, 1,555 negative, and fifty are pending results. There are currently no hospitalizations for COVID-19 at the hospital, but the hospital previously transferred three patients with COVID-19 off-Island for treatment.

The town of Aquinnah is also conducting self administered saliva tests. So far 19 people have been tested. None have come back positive, 15 are negative, and four are pending results.

Test kits are provided by the Aquinnah board of health. They are available for pick up at the board of health office window at the Aquinnah Town Hall. The test can be taken at home and mailed to a lab for testing.

The boards of health have separately reported two confirmed cases, bringing the Island’s total to 34.

Of the Island’s 34 cases, 31 are no longer symptomatic and all positive cases confirmed before June 20 are no longer symptomatic and have been released from isolation, according to a report from the Martha’s Vineyard boards of health. There is one exception, a case that the boards of health have been unable to contact. One case confirmed last week is still being monitored by public health officials.

The boards of health have also linked 19 cases to another case. In all there are seven separate household groups where the boards of health could link positive cases.

The 33 cases are the total COVID-19 cases reported by Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, Island Health Care (IHC), and the boards of health.

Of the 33 cases, 20 are female, and 14 are male. Nine of the cases are aged 50-59 years old, seven cases are 60-69 years old, seven are 20-29 years old, five are 30-39 years old, two are 20 years old or younger, two are 40-49, and two are 70 years or older.

The boards of health have also started reporting on probable cases. On Tuesday, the Island’s total number of presumed positive cases rose to 18, of which 15 were positive antibody tests, and three were symptomatically positive.

Of those, 10 are female and eight are male. Of the 18 presumed positive cases, six are aged 60-69, four are aged 50-59, three are aged 40-49, two are aged 20-29, two are under 20 years old, and one is over the age of 70.


Updated to include current state numbers and IHC numbers. — Ed.