Millions of people in Massachusetts were receiving a phone call, a text message or both from the state health commissioner Thursday afternoon and evening with a reminder on the seriousness of the coronavirus outbreak and the governor's new restrictions, which go into effect in the morning.
The calls and text messages were going to cellphones and land lines starting at 5 p.m., according to the Massachusetts COVID-19 Command Center. The message was from Department of Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, and it was being sent in English and Spanish.
"This alert is also part of a broader campaign to high risk communities that includes paid advertising and other communications to remind residents that the pandemic is not over, and these best practices will help protect their family, friends and neighbors," said a news release about the issue.
It comes as daily coronavirus numbers show new case numbers at levels not seen since May. The most recent Department of Public Health weekly coronavirus report showed that more than one-third of Massachusetts communities are in the high-risk zone for coronavirus transmission.
The phone message says:
This is an important public health message from Dr. Monica Bharel, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. COVID-19 remains a serious threat as cases have increased across the state. You have the power to help stop the spread and protect yourself and your loved ones. We have enacted new guidance. Wear a mask in public and follow the new stay-at-home advisory in place between 10pm and 5am every night. Limit social gatherings, including in your home. By following these guidelines you will be protecting your friends and family, and helping us stop the spread. Together, we can combat this deadly disease and save lives. For more information visit mass.gov/COVID19.
And the text message says: "MA DPH: COVID19 remains a serious threat in MA. Social gatherings are a major contributor. See new guidance effective 11/6. Stop the spread mass.gov/COVID19."
Thursday's message were being sent via the Everbridge Resident Connection Alerts MA System. The state has already sent out three Wireless Emergency Alerts to high-risk communities in the last few weeks.