Following news that Texas would begin phase one of its re-opening plan on May 1st, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker opted for a different path, instead extending the emergency order through May 18th.

This extension will keep nonessential businesses closed and keeps the stay-at-home advisory in place.

“The people of Massachusetts have definitely sacrificed and they definitely have played their part,” said Governor Baker. He also noted that coronavirus cases had plateaued as a result of social distancing efforts. However, he also said that “we’re moving in the right direction in respect to the virus, but we’re not where we need to be.”

The governor stated that an advisory board would help set “rules of the road” to begin a “phased reopening” once the extension expires.

“We’ve picked a fairly small group to make sure they will be productive in a fairly short period of time,” the governor said.

The board comprises municipal, health industry, and business leaders. A few who have been named include Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera and Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack.

“I know pushing these dates back a couple of weeks is not what many want to hear,” Baker said. “We all look forward to stepping in front of this podium and saying ‘We are open for business,’ and we will get there soon.”

Claire Carpenter