Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker held a press conference Sunday to announce what he called "unprecedented" measures to further address the apparent community spread of COVID-19.

For three weeks, effective Tuesday, March 17 through April 7, the new directives ban gatherings of more than 25 people and limits restaurants and taverns to takeout or delivery service only. No service will be allowed on the premises.

As reported on, the new 25-person limit will includes all community, civic, public, leisure, faith-based, entertainment and sports events that bring people within a confined area, and would also includes fitness centers, clubs, and theaters. It does not include grocery stores. It also does not affect child-care programs at this point or residential, special needs or group homes.

The new directives also disallow all visitors to long-term care facilities and nursing homes, with certain exceptions for end of life.

And while schools in the Berkshires announced last week that they would be closed, the Governor today extended the mandatory closures to all schools across the state. He also emphasized the importance of "social distancing" as a way of helping to curb the spread of COVID-19.



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