Updated 4:10 pm
All COVID-related restrictions and capacity limits for businesses will be lifted on May 29, Gov. Charlie Baker announced at a press conference Monday.
The announcement comes on the heels of the Centers for Disease Control’s easing of face coverings and as 3.2 million Massachuestts adults are fully vaccinated. Baker said Massachuestts is set to meet its goal of vaccinating 4.1 million residents by early June.
Previously, the state was set to allow bars to reopen and ease restaurant restrictions on May 29. All COVID restrictions were to be lifted on August 1.
“We’re willing to take the next step forward together,” Baker said.
The state’s face covering order will also be rescinded on May 29 except in specific industries.
Face coverings will still be required on all public and private transportation, as well as inside transportation hubs such as airports, bus stations, and ferry terminals. Face coverings will also be required inside K-12 public schools, childcare programs, health care facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes, assisted living facilities, jails, and shelters.
Even with the lifting of restrictions, businesses may choose to set their own requirements for vaccination or masking, according to Baker.
“We encourage them to do whatever works for them for their employees or their customers.”
Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito also announced that on May 18, youth and amateur sports will no longer be required to wear face coverings for youth athletes 18 and under while playing outdoors. Also on May 18 masks will no longer be required at schools for outdoor activities like recess. On May 29 all youth and amateur sports restrictions will be lifted.
Guidance on summer camps will be released on May 29.
Non-vaccinated residents are advised to continue wearing face masks and social distance indoors.
“If you’re not vaccinated you should wear a mask indoors,” Baker said.
Baker also announced that Massachuestts will drop its current state of emergency on June 15.
Baker said he was grateful to the people of Massachusetts for taking vaccinations seriously.
“We have made tremendous progress and that’s why we’re able to do what we’re doing and what we’re proposing here today,” Baker said.
Meanwhile, the mobile COVID-19 vaccine bus will be at the TestMV site from 2 pm to 6 pm Monday. The bus will be on-Island until Wednesday. Click here for a full schedule of times and places.
On Saturday the bus administered a total of 107 vaccine doses — 50 vaccine doses at the Island Food Pantry and 57 at the TestMV site.
Weekly Island COVID data
There were 33 new cases of COVID-19 last week, a one case increase over the previous week.
In an expanded report Monday, the boards of health reported that of the 33 positive test results between May 9 and May 15, 19 were from the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, 10 were from TestMV, three were from school testing, one from another provider. Of the cases, 22 were symptomatic, seven had no symptoms, and the status of four was unknown.
In total there have been 1,418 confirmed cases since testing began in March 2020 with 730 males and 688 females.
Younger age groups continue to see the highest number of cases. Last week’s cases consisted of five cases aged between 11 and 19, 10 in their 20s, three in their 40s, two in their 30s, five younger than 10, two in their 60s, and one older than 70.
As of Monday, the hospital has administered 17,914 tests, with 1,010 positive results. There have been 16,874 negative tests and 22 results pending.
TestMV, which is located in the parking lot at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, has now administered 37,896 tests, with 365 positive results, 37,323 negative results, and 208 tests pending.
The town of Aquinnah has conducted 444 self-administered tests, of which one has come back positive, 443 negative, and no pending results.
The Martha’s Vineyard public schools have administered 13,131 tests. Of those, 14 have tested positive.
The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) has reported a total of 11 positive cases of COVID-19.
Due to how tests are conducted, there can be a discrepancy between the number of positive individuals and the number of positive tests reported.
There were also four probable cases reported last week, for a total of 79 since March 2020. Of those, 45 are male, and 34 are female.
The Island has had eight COVID clusters, including an October wedding (eight cases), Cronig’s Market (19 cases), a Bible study group (11 cases), M.V. Hospital (five cases), Project Headway (four cases), King’s barbershop (eight cases), Shirley’s Hardware (all six staff), and the Barn Bowl & Bistro (nine cases). A cluster is defined as more than two people from different families or households with a shared source of infection.
Updated to include the weekly data.