Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday announced that he is extending coronavirus restrictions in anticipation of a post-holiday surge as hospitalizations and ICU admissions continue to mount at health care facilities across Massachusetts.

According to a report from WHDH/7 News Boston, business restrictions for capacity limits and reduced gathering limits that went into effect on Dec. 26 will remain in place until at least Jan. 24, Baker said during a news conference at the State House. They were slated to expire on Jan. 10.

Under the restrictions, restaurants, close contact personal services, theaters and performance venues, casinos, office spaces, places of worship, retail stores, indoor golf facilities, libraries, arcades, gyms and fitness centers, museums, guided tours, and other indoor businesses must keep capacity limits at no more than 25 percent.

Indoor gatherings will remain limited to 10 people and outdoor gatherings will remain limited to 25 people outside. The gatherings limit applies to private homes, event venues, and public spaces.

Governor Baker had this to say:

We need to stay in the game a little longer, especially during this most crucial period to stop the spread of the virus and build the bridge to vaccines.

In the past six weeks, COVID hospitalizations have skyrocketed by 145 percent and the rate of patients admitted to the ICU has grown by 111 percent, Baker said. On Thanksgiving, state hospitals were about 65 percent occupied, but they’re currently 84 percent filled.

While field hospitals in Lowell and Worcester have helped ease the burden on frontline health care workers, Baker stressed that more must be done to assist in the battle against the pandemic.
For much more on this report, check out the full story at WHDH/7 News' website here.
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