Gov. Charlie Baker said he expects to announce a decision on whether to extend or lift the current stay-at-home advisory on Monday.
"We'll have more to say about that Monday," he said when asked about it by NBC10 Boston on Wednesday. The advisory has been in place since late March and is set to expire on Monday.
The stay-at-home advisory urges residents to "limit all unnecessary activities," only leaving home for essential errands like going to the grocery store or pharmacy. Those leaving home should practice social distancing by staying six feet away from others.
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The governor also continued to defend his decision to wait until Monday to release information about what businesses could begin reopening next week.
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"I would love to be able to reopen everything tomorrow," he said. "But that would be an incredibly irresponsible thing to do."
Baker spoke after touring a drive-thru coronavirus testing site at Stanley Street Treatment and Resources in Fall River. For the second straight day, he was asked for details about the state's reopening plan, which is scheduled to begin Monday as long as testing data continues to trend in a positive direction.
But he again stressed that he will wait until Monday to release specifics, saying he doesn't want to address the issue until his Reopening Advisory Board issues its report.
"I want this to be done in a deliberate way. You don't do it in a deliberate way if you start leaking it out," Baker said. "I don't want the starting gun to go off today or tomorrow. I want it to go off on Monday, and I want it to go off in a targeted and phased way, period."
Monday's report from the Reopening Advisory Board is expected to include the activities and industries that will be safe to resume in each phase, and the safety and cleaning protocols for how different industries should operate.
Without providing specifics, Baker reiterated Wednesday that those businesses reopening in the first phase will be those "likely to be successful," ones that don't have a lot of close contact with customers or organizations designed in such a way so their ability to execute on a strategy of distancing would be "relatively uncomplicated for them to do."
Taking steps to reopen Massachusetts' economy next week could lead to new outbreaks of the novel coronavirus, a group of scientists told the Boston Globe.
Experts fear a broad reopening would create a second wave of infections, hospitalizations and death, and question whether the state has all the necessary tools to test and trace new outbreaks.
Baker said the fear of a second wave of coronavirus cases is part of the reason he wants the reopening to be "a slow roll" that takes place in phases.
"There are a lot of folks in the public health community who are very concerned that we need to go slow on this because they're worried about the re-ignition of the virus," he said. "We understand why people want to reopen, believe me, I get that, and I respect that and I understand that. We want to make sure when we do this we do it in a way that's sustainable."
"This is not a virus to be trifled with or disrespected," Baker added. "I think it's important for everybody to understand that."
Just 33 new coronavirus-related deaths were reported in Massachusetts Tuesday, the lowest number since the surge though one caused in part by a reporting issue, health officials said.
Additionally, 870 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus were reported Tuesday, bringing the total to 79,332. The death toll stands at 5,141.