News Flash

COVID-19 Updates

Posted on: May 18, 2020

Governor Baker Announces Guidance for Phase 1 of State Reopening Plan

Downtown Hingham

Today, the Baker-Polito Administration published the Reopening Massachusetts plan developed by the Reopening Advisory Board. The goal of the four-phase reopening plan is to methodically allow businesses, services, and activities to resume while avoiding a resurgence of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth.

Safer at Home Advisory 

As part of the announcement, the Governor issued a Safer At Home Advisory, asking all Massachusetts residents to only leave home for healthcare, permitted work, shopping, and outdoor activities. People over age 65 and people who have underlying health conditions – who are at high risk for COVID-19 – should continue to stay home except for essential errands such as going to the grocery store and to attend to healthcare needs. The advisory encourages frequent handwashing and reiterates that residents are required to wear face coverings when they cannot maintain six feet of social distance in public. We ask all Hingham residents to adhere to this new guidance and continue to take social distancing seriously.

Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards and Compliance Templates

The state’s reopening plan requires all businesses to self-certify that they have met the Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards established by the state before they can reopen in the appropriate Phase of the plan. Businesses currently operating to provide Essential Services may remain open and have until May 25, 2020 to comply with these mandatory safety standards. These new standards will apply universally to all workplaces that are open in Phase 1. They are designed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission to employees and customers and are applicable to all sectors and industries.

The Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards cover social distancing, hygiene protocols, staffing and operations, and cleaning and disinfecting. The state has developed the following materials to help businesses comply with the new requirements:

  • COVID-19 control plan template – Template that satisfies the written control plan requirement for self-certification.
  • Compliance attestation poster – Poster that customer-facing businesses are required to print, sign, and post in an area within the business premises that is visible to workers and visitors.
  • Employer and Worker posters – Posters that businesses can print and display within the business premises to describe the rules for maintaining social distancing, hygiene protocols, and cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Welcome poster/checklist – After completing the COVID-19 Control Plan template, businesses should display this poster in an area on premises that is visible to employees and visitors.

Need help with the COVID-19 Control Plan template? We’ve assembled this List of Resources and sample materials from the Centers for Disease Control and the state that you can use to develop plans for your organization.

Phase 1 Sector-Specific Guidance

The state also released sector-specific guidance for organizations eligible to reopen under Phase 1. Businesses are expected to implement these protocols in addition to the more general Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards described above. Links to sector-specific guidance for Phase 1 can be found below:

Businesses operating to provide Essential Services may remain open and have until May 25, 2020 to comply with their industry’s sector-specific protocols (if applicable).

Don’t see your business in the above list? Check the state’s “When can my business reopen?” page for more information. The state will publish additional sector guidance for future phases of the plan at a later date.

Compliance 

Town of Hingham staff are working with local businesses and organizations and the public to increase awareness of and compliance with the state’s new guidelines. Please report any non-compliance issues you observe at Hingham businesses/organizations via our COVID Complaint Form.

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