May 4, 2020

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker COVID-19 Briefing Transcript May 4

Massachusetts May 4
RevBlogTranscriptsPolitical TranscriptsMassachusetts Governor Charlie Baker COVID-19 Briefing Transcript May 4

Governor of Massachusetts Charlie Baker’s coronavirus press conference on May 4. Baker said the state’s COVID-19 trend is going in the right direction.

 

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Charlie Baker: (00:00)
So good afternoon. Today I’d like to provide a brief update on where we are in testing and hospitalizations and a brief update on the advisory board’s work over the weekend. Yesterday, we processed almost 16,000 tests throughout the Commonwealth, bringing our total at over 315,000 tests. Sunday’s testing numbers were the highest number of tests we’ve ever processed in a single day since the pandemic began. As we all know, ramping up testing capabilities continues to be one of our highest priorities, and it’s incredibly important to the success of our community tracing program, both of which will have a lot to do with the new normal once we get there. It’s good to see the total test numbers continue to increase, and I think as we talked last week, we added 18 community health centers around the Commonwealth in key locations to our testing community to make sure that we would continue to test in places where people felt we had significant concerns.

Charlie Baker: (01:10)
There were 1,824 new confirmed COVID-19 tests in that batch of tests, which means about 12% of the tests that were conducted were positive. In the last seven days, positive tests rates have come in under 20% every day. Seeing only 12% positive rate with this round of testing obviously continues that trend. We continue to hold daily calls with our colleagues in the healthcare community to closely monitor hospital capacity, hospitalization rates for COVID and ICU bed days for COVID, as well as ICU rates generally. As of yesterday, 3,617 patients were hospitalized due to COVID. This represents about 5% of the cases in the Commonwealth. COVID hospitalizations have actually been decreasing in the past several days, with very few spikes and new admissions. The number of patients dealing with COVID in the ICU has also dropped to under a thousand to 904 patients. There obviously still thousands of people who were being hospitalized due to this virus, but the numbers have started to trend in the right direction.

Charlie Baker: (02:21)
It’s also important to note that different parts of Massachusets are in different stages at this point in time with respect to the pandemic. For example, COVID hospitalizations and ICU bed days related to COVID have gone down in Western Mass and on the Cape, but remain high in Worcester and on the south coast and flat in Boston. That said, we have had some positive evidence with respect to people returning to the hospitals and to the healthcare system generally, who are dealing with chronic and other medical conditions that have nothing to do with COVID. This is really good thing, and that’s a trend we hope continues.

Charlie Baker: (03:01)
As we’ve said before many times, if you are in fact dealing with a chronic condition, if you do believe you’re sick, you should continue to engage or begin to engage with your clinician and your doctor, and if you feel very sick, you should go to the ED. The system is there, people can treat you. The capacity exists, and we don’t want people putting off necessary medical procedures because they’re concerned about the system’s ability to serve them due to COVID-19. The simple truth of the matter is that is not the case and most of the hospitals in Massachusetts are serving far more people for reasons other than COVID than serving the COVID population. We built it that way. We organized it that way. We want people to continue to access the system if they need to.

Charlie Baker: (03:51)
We’ve also had tremendous success with our telehealth program. You can always reach out to your clinician by phone or through some sort of video chat. That is a covered benefit in Massachusetts, and hundreds of thousands of those kinds of visits I’ve taken place over the course of the last 40 days. People should continue to use that if they need to reach out.

Charlie Baker: (04:14)
Frontline medical workers continue to be, in many respects, terrific performers and all of this, and as we talk to hospitals, we’ve been pleased to hear that for many of them, they’re down to the lowest number of workers they’ve had out due to COVID since March I think was what we heard on that call this morning. With everybody else playing their role and by staying home, doctors and nurses have been able to do the job they need to do taking care of their sickest patients.

Charlie Baker: (04:42)
We continue to chase down personal protective equipment to ensure the safety of our frontline healthcare workers or nursing home workers, our emergency responders, vulnerable residents and others. Over the weekend, we joined with the other northeastern states in the united front around procuring PPE on a go forward basis in a more organized fashion, so that we can maximize our orders and bring in quantities that we’ll need for healthcare workers, public safety people and others as we go forward. As of yesterday, we’ve delivered over 8 million pieces of PPE, including mask and gloves and ventilators, and we’re getting this gear to a variety of organizations, hospitals, senior care facilities, and, of course, to our first responders as well.

Charlie Baker: (05:29)
As we mentioned last week, the reopening advisory board co-chaired by Lieutenant Governor Polito and by Secretary Mike Kennealy has hit the ground running. Under their leadership, the board made significant progress in compiling feedback and ideas from various industries and groups over the course of the past few days. Over the last week and through the weekend, the board engaged with or virtually met with stakeholders from 23 different industry associations and community coalitions. Together, these groups represent over a 100,000 businesses and more than 1. 4 million workers from across the Commonwealth. These groups included representatives from retail, the high tech sector, life sciences, restaurants, travel, tourism and lodging, banking, construction and recreation. The board also engaged with the Black Economic Council, the Latino Chamber of Commerce, and the NAACP.

Charlie Baker: (06:21)
In the next few days, they plan to meet with representatives from labor gaming, museums and cultural institutions and sports organizations among others. The board has also received over 475 submissions of written testimony that they’re also going over now. Each group has discussed the key issues that they believe their industry or their region will face and emphasize the specific guidance and information that they’re looking for from the Commonwealth and from their local governments in order to safely reopen. As we discussed, we’re planning to reopen in phases just as advised by the federal government and others, and as other states are already starting to do when the time is right.

Charlie Baker: (07:04)
What that means is that the only sectors of the economy that can implement the appropriate health guide will be opening in the first phase. There won’t be anyone firing a starting gun on May 18th and saying everybody’s off to the races, but we do hope that certain types of businesses and workplaces will be able to begin resuming operations under the guidelines established through this process, and based on the fact that we will have hit certain triggers with respect to the status of the virus here in Massachusetts. Childcare and transportation will continue to be key enablers to ensure a safe and successful reopening, and the board is in the process of developing what the next steps would look like for those sectors as well.

Charlie Baker: (07:47)
When the public health data indicates that COVID-19 is on that sustained downward trend that’s been discussed by so many previously, we’ll be able to resume more and more activities going forward. But in the coming weeks, we’re prepared to have more concrete plans on what each phase of reopening will look like, where certain activities and industries fit into which phase, general business guidance about social distancing, personal protection and cleaning protocols that all businesses will need to adhere to upon reopening, and industry specific guidance and protocols for reopening safely for those that require it.

Charlie Baker: (08:27)
We’re very grateful to the many people across the industries that have had to close their doors and adjust their lifestyles and their work styles and their operations to the unprecedented measures that we’ve put in place. I think everybody’s anxious to find a way to safely and appropriately move forward when we can get there and when the data indicates that it’s appropriate to do so. It’s also important to remember, and I can’t stress this enough, that as long as there is no vaccine, we’re going to have to be talking about how to do this in a way that makes the most sense and can be done most safely across all sectors of our economy.

Charlie Baker: (09:07)
Going forward, we plan to continue to ramp up testing. This will be something we’ll probably be talking about for months to come. We’ll continue to invest in our contact tracing program, so that we’ll be in a position to identify people who have in fact tested positive and to contact their close contacts, so that we can then do the work that we need to do to help those folks isolate and to support them in their isolation. This will be a fundamental way for us to both contain the disease and slow the spread, and we’ll continue to work very closely with our healthcare providers to monitor and prepare for any kinds of change in our surveillance activities.

Charlie Baker: (09:46)
But the threat of future transmission and illness is and will continue to be with us for a very long time, and we should not forget that. That’s exactly why we issued our face covering order last week, and I just want to say once again with respect to that order, the main purpose behind the face covering, if you are not able to physically distance yourself six feet or more from the people you’re around, is to protect them from you as much as it is to protect you from them. I can’t stress enough that one of the major issues associated with this particular virus, while it is brutal and in some cases lethal for certain parts of our population, it has now been documented that a very significant portion of the people who actually contract this virus will never show symptoms at all.

Charlie Baker: (10:38)
Because of that, because such a large number of people who are in fact carriers and therefore contagious can transmit this virus to others without knowing that they’re doing it, because they show no signs and symptoms that they have it, that face covering is as much about protecting other people from you as it is about protecting you from other people, and I can’t stress that one enough. Right now, we’re going to-

Charlie Baker: (11:03)
… continue to do everything we can to continue to stop the spread, follow the data with respect to what it tells us about what we can do with regard to reopening when the time gets there and make sure that we do this in a correct plan and appropriate way. Now I want to turn the podium over to the Lieutenant Governor.

Lieutenant Governor: (11:27)
Thank you, Gov., and good morning, good afternoon to everyone. Let me just start by giving you a bit of an update about the work of the Reopening Advisory Board.

Lieutenant Governor: (11:40)
Since launching last week, the board has met literally through back-to-back Zoom sessions. I just want to say how grateful we are, both Secretary Kennealy and I in the Governor’s Office, for this enormous contribution that these individuals, business leaders, industry leaders are giving to our Commonwealth to analyze, study, meet with, listen to business leaders and community leaders from all over our Commonwealth.

Lieutenant Governor: (12:15)
It was really interesting weekend as the weather was beautiful outdoors. We were literally with each other, listening and then having time to discuss what we heard back to back over the course of those days and we’d become like a family really supporting each other, getting to know one another, and it’s really incredible process but it’s really just amazing people, smart, talented, engaged people that are helping us make these decisions.

Lieutenant Governor: (12:48)
As the governor said, we’ve had the opportunity to meet with the diversity of our economy in terms of from retail to restaurants, from the CDCs to real estate groups, to the banking community, credit unions, to our black and Latino commission sharing their thoughts and ideas with us.

Lieutenant Governor: (13:14)
I have to say I’m extremely impressed with the level of thinking, analysis and preparation that employers are engaged with as they think about what their workplace looks like in a reopened COVID environment. We’ve asked them to present to us around their readiness and given the particular nature of their work, some have a readiness level that is different then others. We’ve asked them to talk about the barriers in terms of how do they make their workplace safer, incorporating in physical distancing, how they’re going to do that. What are the things they’re going to do to make their employees feel comfortable and safer returning back to work? What are some of the key enablers that they know are important for their workforce to be able to even return to work like as the governor said, childcare and transportation?

Lieutenant Governor: (14:20)
We also heard a lot about remote work, the effectiveness of that and also the longing for that personal physical connection that comes with having a workplace environment to share and engage with one another.

Lieutenant Governor: (14:37)
I’d also just like to say that as we develop our ideas with these business and community leaders and with the members of the advisory board, it will be very similar effort to what you’ve seen with the COVID Command Response. It’s a team effort. As Secretary Soter’s has led that team and really coordinated the functions of that response, it will be a similar path forward working as a team, the advisory board, our administration and business and community leaders all across our Commonwealth and clearly working with our municipal partners who ultimately will be the ones to have to understand what the safety provisions are for the workplaces that do open up for services and employment as time goes on. As the governor said, I mean an amazing amount of engagement. The engagement comes with these Zoom presentations, also comes with one-on-one meetings and also reviewing submissions that hundreds of people have given to our board to look at; over a hundred thousand businesses, 1.4 million workers from across the Commonwealth so far.

Lieutenant Governor: (15:56)
I’d like to just speak a little bit about what we’ve heard. There seems to be some with an understanding that May 18th is a magical date. May 18th is the date that we said the report of this advisory board will be released. If you look at other states around the country, some state governments already issued a reopening plans.

Lieutenant Governor: (16:22)
Our plan will be released on that date which will outline a phased in reopening across our Commonwealth and phased in means just that. Some industry sectors will be more ready than others and even within an industry sector they might be components of that industry that can begin first and then eventually build out to full capacity. So that’s what May 18th is. It doesn’t mean that the economy across our Commonwealth will just reopen. It’s just not possible. As everybody knows, safety’s first, employers are engaged and it’s a paramount importance that we make sure that the workforce is safer, that people who do business with these employers are safe in their transactions and that we continue to move forward and not have a reverse effect as we reopened in that safe manner throughout our Commonwealth.

Lieutenant Governor: (17:21)
I’d just like to also acknowledge that we’ve heard from a lot of people so far and we will continue to hear over the course of this next week, but there is a level of anxiety and a level of it or sense of urgency in industry is employers are struggling to make their business operation continue to operate in this environment. So these are indeed challenging times for the business community of our Commonwealth; almost 24% of our workforce unemployed and we understand, the board understands, our administration understands that the work that we’re doing is really important, but we need to do it right. It needs to be safe and it needs to really reflect what we view is the proper and appropriate and safe way to allow for more business opportunities across our Commonwealth when the time comes.

Lieutenant Governor: (18:20)
With that, I’d like to now turn it back over to the governor.

Charlie Baker: (18:23)
Questions?

Speaker 2: (18:23)
Governor, we saw some very nice weather this weekend and some state parks had to be shut down.

Charlie Baker: (18:23)
Temporarily.

Speaker 2: (18:33)
What is the plan moving forward? Is that going to happen now every weekend, we may have to temporarily shut down?

Charlie Baker: (18:40)
Well, I think first of all, the good news with respect to the parks is people are going there. I mean, one of the reasons we’ve been saying this, even when the weather wasn’t great, that it was important for people to be able to get outside that that’s a big part of mental and physical health and, and the fact that people use in the parks is a good thing.

Charlie Baker: (19:01)
But the parks in many respects need to behave and act to the extent that they can, on the same kinds of terms that we’ve talked to other businesses about, with regard to distance and and crowd control, for lack of a better word and that does mean that if a park believes it’s getting to the point where people are going to have a hard time maintaining any kind of distance from one another, they’re going to make the decision to temporarily close it.

Charlie Baker: (19:29)
That’s always been, by the way, standard operating procedure at the parks. The only thing that’s changed with regard to that is there’s a lot more people coming because I think people want to be able to get out and when you’re operating under a stay at home advisory, I think this becomes a very significant opportunity and option for people and the second thing is the parks need to be a little more aggressive about how crowded they believe they can get before they need to do that, but that’s always been something that’s been part of their portfolio.

Speaker 2: (20:05)
What about beaches? [inaudible 00:20:06] How many people will just go to public beaches?

Charlie Baker: (20:06)
Well so far with respect to beaches, our policy has been to not open up the parking lots and that was just based purely on the behavior that we saw when they were open on a nice day, over two nice days over a weekend where people were not abiding by or paying any attention at all to the distancing rules.

Charlie Baker: (20:29)
Obviously this is something that’s going to have to get incorporated into the decisions that not only we make but other states make that are in our area. One of the biggest things that I’ve talked to other governors about in our area is the whole issue associated with public recreational assets, whether you’re talking beaches or parks or playgrounds, those are things we’re all talking about together because we know that for each of us, the decisions we make with regard to how to operate those and how people access them is going to matter over state lines. That’s not a decision any of us can make and expect not to have an impact on others too.

Speaker 3: (21:07)
Governor, executive order on masks goes into effect on Wednesday. I assume you’ve been out with the nice weather. Did you notice were people wearing them or do you feel like a lot of people are just not doing it yet?

Charlie Baker: (21:22)
I mean look, my survey universe here is not very big. Okay. I don’t get out much but certainly in the universe that I surveyed and had a chance to walk around in, there were a lot of people wearing masks and/or face coverings and I did go into a pharmacy to buy some stuff and I was wearing a mask when I went in and everyone in the pharmacy, everyone, was wearing a face covering or a mask. The people that worked there were wearing them. The people who were shopping there were wearing them and there was plexiglass all over the place to separate people from one another in the appropriate places you would expect it to be there.

Speaker 4: (22:01)
[crosstalk 00:22:05] Bristol County Jail had an incident. As you may know, late Friday sheriff said he was rushed. Well, detainees say they were attacked and one detainee asked for you specifically to weigh in to get involved. I was wondering if you’ve spoken with anyone involved with the situation and what would you say to ICE detainees who believe they are unsafe in the facility?

Charlie Baker: (22:25)
I have not spoken to anybody about this particular issue. It’s one of those items, it’s on the to do list for today. What I would say is there is a whole series of back and forth going on with respect to what happened there and people need to be careful about drawing conclusions one way or another.

Charlie Baker: (22:48)
We have run into situations in a number of nursing homes where we have not been able to get people who we would think would want to get tested, tested. And that’s one of the reasons why under the command center’s $130 million nursing home package. If you want access to that package, you got to commit to test everybody. We’ve run into this in a bunch of different places where you would expect that people who are in positions to be concerned about this stuff would want to be tested and we’ve had to discipline some people for not being tested in places where they should probably be tested.

Charlie Baker: (23:32)
I think people should embrace testing and I certainly believe that as we go forward we’re going to do a lot more testing and I especially believe people that are in essential and frontline positions should want to be tested. But, I think this whole testing thing is going to be as we roll it out, another one of those areas where we may discover there’s some people who for whatever reason don’t want to be tested and we’re just going to have to find a way to work through that.

Speaker 5: (24:05)
[crosstalk 00:24:05] Asking you to use executive powers to create uniform testing protocol for all incarcerated people in Massachusetts including ICE detainees, is that something you are considering?

Charlie Baker: (24:14)
We’re currently working our way through the part that we have the most direct control over, which is the correctional operations and when we finish that, we’ll start talking about other stuff.

Speaker 6: (24:24)
Governor, who do you need discipline for not wanting to get tested?

Charlie Baker: (24:27)
I’m not going to speak to that because it’s a personnel matter, but the fact of the matter is not everybody wants to be tested. Even people who you would think, would consider that to be inappropriate thing given their role and their responsibility.

Speaker 7: (24:38)
[inaudible 00:24:47].

Charlie Baker: (24:48)
The best experience we have with respect to the unemployment trust fund is what happened in 2009 and 2010 country went through a terrible depression, recession or whatever word you want to use to describe it. Most states, all states, I believe ended up running out of resources during that time. States borrowed money from the most part for the continued payment of unemployment insurance claims for their residents and then once the economy came back, they started paying it back and that’s exactly how I believe it’s going to work here. And that means that people are going to get paid on the unemployment assistance side, either through state funds or federal funds, depending upon which program they’re involved in. But the resources will be there.

Speaker 8: (25:38)
[inaudible 00:03:48]. Golf pros, general managers, they’re saying they’re losing about $2 million a day. And then based on say, 100 golfers paying $50, 400 golf courses, that’s conservative $2 million a day. And they look around and they see 47 other states open for business. Does this [inaudible 00:26:09] opening sooner than May 18th?

Charlie Baker: (26:12)
They came in to visit with the reopening advisory board and their presentations being taken under consideration. There are a lot of people in Massachusetts who are paying an enormous price financially and economically for this particular pandemic, and we made decisions based on what we thought were in the best health and safety of the people in Massachusetts.

Speaker 9: (26:34)
[crosstalk 00:26:38]. There were shootings over the weekend in Boston. Police commissioner, especially concerned over the number of inmates being let out. Is compassion taking precedence over common sense?

Charlie Baker: (26:47)
I can’t speak to the particulars of any individual decision. What I can tell you is that we’ve been involved in a very almost case specific process with a special master who was put on to this task by the Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts and over the course of the past 45, 50 days, roughly 1,100 people have been either medically paroled, paroled or if they want a pretrial basis released out of the houses of correction.

Charlie Baker: (27:24)
But it’s been my understanding that almost every decision that’s been made during the course of this process has been on individual circumstances involving particular individuals. Now, I do know that in many places in Massachusetts, there have been district attorneys and others who have raised issues with respect to particular individuals that they did not believe could be safely returned to the community. But our goal and our role in this has been to work as collaboratively as we can with the courts and with the special master to make it possible for those people who we believe there are slots and places for them to go on medical parole or traditional parole to be released accordingly and then supervised once they go out.

Charlie Baker: (28:19)
The stuff associated with pretrial, which happens through the houses of correction and the sheriffs I’m not as familiar with, but there are certainly folks who have been released where it was definitely over the objections of the district attorneys and local law enforcement.

Speaker 10: (28:37)
[crosstalk 00:28:38]. Afternoon at the State House, it was one Friday, I guess today’s supposed to be bigger from what I hear. That speaks to the frustration people think that perhaps the prescription’s worse than the disease. You’re doing serious harm to the economy [inaudible 00:28:54].

Charlie Baker: (28:55)
Well, look, I think all of us believe collectively here that the decisions that we’ve made were the ones we felt were the best among bad choices. Okay. And we made them based on science and guidance that we got from people who study pandemics and infectious diseases in many different places. And we pursued a strategy that was quite consistent with the strategy that was pursued in many other places that managed to actually get the virus to the point where they could start thinking about reopening again. But we’ve always said that from the first minute we made the first decisions on this that we knew the economic impact of this and the dislocation and the dismay and the loss of purpose and all the other things that were going to come with that were going to be significant. And that’s one of the reasons why we’ve worked so hard to crank an unemployment insurance system up that certainly not prepared or had ever had to deal with the kind of volume that those folks have been dealing with over the course of the past several weeks.

Charlie Baker: (30:09)
We do believe and buy into the guidance that we’ve gotten from experts in the field that you need to see downward trends in a number of key indices associated with this virus for some period of time before you can actually reopen. And that’s the reason why we created the reopening taskforce and it’s why we spent so much time working with our colleagues in the healthcare community to develop a set of indices that we report on every single day. And as I said in my remarks, after a really long time of not seeing much positive traction at all with regard to those measures in the course of the past few days, we’ve actually started to see some positive downward trends.

Speaker 11: (30:52)
Can you just clarify something that you just said? Do you have any plans to reopen golf courses before May 18th?

Charlie Baker: (31:01)
They came in and they met with the reopening advisory board and we’ll take our guidance as we will on many of these issues from them.

Speaker 12: (31:09)
Governor, we have a pretty good sense of what you’re looking at to reopening the economy in general. But what about nursing homes? What do you look at their to sort of say we’re making progress? Is it just a guess or is it something, what do you look at there to see if they’re making progress?

Charlie Baker: (31:27)
Well keep in mind that there were a whole bunch of things that came with 130 million, I should probably let the secretary speak to this, but there are a bunch of assessments attestations and other elements of those particular sort of what the state of play is in the nursing home industry, not just generally, but facility by facility, by facility that came along with that 130 million to basically do the sorts of things that I think we all believe needed to happen in almost every single one. Do you want to speak to the specifics on that?

Secretary Sudders: (32:07)
Good afternoon. So of the $130 million in this round, there’s 27, 28 specific metrics that the nursing homes have to one, they have to first attest to. And then we have clinical auditors. They actually, today’s Monday, they actually start going out today to sort of take the self attestation from the nursing homes and do their own boots on the ground analysis and it’s around it’s not just deaths, but it is around, if you remember we talked about PPE. So nursing homes having the appropriate amounts of PPE, infection control policies in place, being able to bring back their workers, having a sufficient staffing in their units, and being able to, in their facilities, as well as creating COVID positive and COVID negative or COVID asymptomatic units and being able to have staff who no longer float on a nursing home, but be able to work-

Secretary Sudders: (33:03)
… with dedicated units and the nursing homes are being sort of rated, like green, yellow, red and that data should be available around May 15th, and we’ve made a commitment to making it public. So it’s not just obviously deaths, or we want to turn that trend, that about 58% of our deaths from COVID-19 have been in our long term care facilities, but it’s really around infection control, PPE, working with the union 1199 and others to really ensure that we have a safe environment for our residents and our staff to be able to work.

Speaker 14: (33:41)
Last question.

Speaker 15: (33:46)
Can I ask you a data question? When you look at the people that are COVID-19 positive, do you keep track of how many, or what percentage are asymptomatic?

Secretary Sudders: (33:53)
So the data that we report publicly is who tests positive, and not … The public reporting date is not symptomatic and asymptomatic. But since I come back to this regularly, let me check to see how it’s broken out by any symptomatic and symptomatic.

Speaker 16: (34:12)
When will it be safe for folks to go visit their loved ones? How long until that?

Charlie Baker: (34:20)
That’s a tough question to answer because you’d have to get to the point where you were comfortable that … I mean, first of all, I don’t think anybody disputes the fact that that policy, as painful as it is, has made a big difference with respect to keeping people safe given the asymptomatic nature of the illness that we’re talking about here, which by the way was not really fully understood or appreciated until I’m going to say the middle to the end of March, which based on a lot of the data we know about would have been somewhere between 70 and 90 days after COVID probably was already here.

Charlie Baker: (35:02)
I think the … So the followup to your point, Bruce, is that for the nursing home space in particular, we need to come up with a game plan virtually for every provider based on where they are and how they’re organized and what they’re doing, and then use the resources that are available to make sure we implement that plan with them across their organization, whether it’s one home, two homes or three homes or whatever, and make sure that everybody’s basically playing by that same set of guidance and has the PPE and the staffing and all the rest that’s required to make sure that they implement it.

Charlie Baker: (35:44)
I don’t have a good answer to your question because it’s a huge risk no matter how you frame it for that population.

Speaker 14: (35:52)
Thank you.

Speaker 17: (35:54)
Governor, [inaudible 00:35:54] on hair salons may need [inaudible 00:35:59].

Charlie Baker: (36:06)
Well, you’ve got to remember, I’ve talked about this before, that we’re in a very different place than most other States. We’re number three, basically, behind New York and New Jersey in terms of both cases and deaths. And and for states that literally don’t have and haven’t had a significant penetration with respect to COVID, either because … For whatever reason they operate on a different timetable than we do now. In all of those states, they’re all reopening under orders and guidance with respect to ensuring that their environments of the work environments are safe and that people are pursuing what we all would describe as sort of best practices. And I think you’re going to see a fair amount of uniformity around that. There’ll be differences between and among states on the margin, but generally speaking, people are going to be playing by mostly the same rules.

Charlie Baker: (37:07)
But it’s pretty hard to compare the state of play in some of the states that were hardest hit by this against some of the states that simply never had anywhere near the kind of penetration that the hardest hit states had. And that’s one of the reasons why I think the fed said, “Here’s our guidance with respect to making decisions about reopening and how reopening should look and how it should work.” But we get the fact that states are going to operate on a different clock based on their own personal experience and where they are and to take it back, one of the major, the most fundamental issue for States to get around to executing at a reopening strategy was you have to show a demonstrated trend over a significant period of time of downward movement on most of the key indicators that are associated with the presence of the virus.

Charlie Baker: (38:03)
I don’t think there’s a state in the country that’s not relying on or respecting that fact and in fact Mississippi, which had been making moves toward reopening based on recent data with respect to positive test cases and deaths stopped and basically said, “We’re not going to reopen on the date that we said we were going to reopen because we no longer have the trend data that’s moving in the direction we thought it was moving in.” And I think that’s appropriate. I don’t want to bring this thing back. Whatever we do here, I want to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Speaker 18: (38:35)
[inaudible 00:38:35] would you consider delegating the [inaudible 00:38:45] to county governors, and [inaudible 00:00:38:49]?

Charlie Baker: (38:50)
Massachusetts is not a very big place. Okay? And as I said in my remarks, South Coast, which is right down the street from Cape Cod, had a very bad week last week. I don’t think it makes a lot of sense in a state that’s as small as ours, where people can move around to think about any of this stuff on anything other than a statewide basis. I don’t want to take a place that seems to be making progress and create a problem for them. If you were to talk to the folks in Wooster, which also has seen significant increases over the course of the past 10 days, they would say some of that has to do with Wooster. But some of it has to do also with some of the surrounding areas. And I think it’s really important for us to keep that in mind. Thanks.