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Gov. Baker Orders Non-Essential Mass. Businesses To Close, Advises Stay-At-Home

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker during a March 21 press briefing.
Sam Doran
State House News Service
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker during a March 21 press briefing.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker outlined a stay-at-home advisory Monday, and ordered all businesses and organizations in the state that are not providing essential services to close physical operations to workers and customers, effective Tuesday at noon.

The new executive orders will remain in place until April 7.

It’s a step Baker has resisted for days. Massachusetts now joins several other states in issuing stay-at-home orders, including Ohio, Illinois, Connecticut, California and New York.

Baker said grocery stores, pharmacies, liquor stores, gas stations and other essential retail stores will remain accessible. And he said he would not be ordering people to stay in their homes — though the Department of Public Health will issue a related advisory.

Baker strongly advised those over 70 or with underlying health conditions to stay at home and limit interactions with others as much as possible.

If you do go out or take a walk, Baker stressed that people should use "common sense" and observe social distancing.

"Everyone is advised to stay home and limit all unnecessary activities," Baker said.

The state released a list of essential business categories, including delivery and packaging operations, medical facilities and pharmaceutical manufacturers. Restaurants offering takeout food can also continue to operate.

Medical marijuana dispensaries will remain open, but recreational pot shops must close.

NEPR’s Heather Brandon contributed to this report, which includes information from WBUR and State House News Service.

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