Baker administration issues indoor mask advisory, activates Mass. national guard


Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced an updated mask advisory Tuesday. Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Jennifer Suryadjaja, city editor

To curb rising COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker announced an updated mask advisory Tuesday.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health updated its recommendations, urging all residents to wear a mask or face covering in indoor, public spaces regardless of vaccination status effective today.

The Baker administration is also activating up to 500 members of the Massachusetts National Guard to aid with non-clinical support needs of hospitals and transport systems. Up to 300 of the members will commence training this week, assisting 55 acute care hospitals and 12 ambulance service providers across the commonwealth starting Dec. 27.

“For the foreseeable future, Massachusetts and most of the country will see large numbers of new cases,” Baker said. “A new case today does not mean the same thing a new case meant a year ago.” 

In addition, the Baker administration stated that effective 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 27, hospitals will “postpone or cancel all nonessential elective procedures” to conserve medical resources and hospital capacity.

“There is no question the next few weeks will be enormously difficult for our healthcare community,” Baker said. “There are staff shortages, sicker patients, and fewer step-down beds available.”

As of today, 1,019,682 people have been infected by COVID-19 in the state and 74% of the population has been fully vaccinated.  

On Monday, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu announced that proof of vaccination will be required to enter indoor venues beginning Jan. 15, 2022. As part of the city’s B Together initiative, people over 12 years old in Boston will be required to show proof of one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Jan. 15 to enter indoor spaces and have until Feb. 15 to show proof of full vaccination, completed with the second dose.