BOSTON (WGGB/WSHM) -- The state's 'stay-at-home' advisory and non-essential business closures will continue for several more weeks.

Gov. Charlie Baker announced Tuesday that those directives will be extended until Monday, May 4.

Businesses and organizations that are not on the list of essential services are encouraged to continue operations through remote means that do not require workers, customers, or the public to enter or appear at the brick-and-mortar premises closed by the order.

The state’s Department of Public Health is now reporting more than 5,000 positive cases in the Bay State.

The order also extends the 10 person limit on social gatherings until May 4.

The original advisory and orders had been in effect until April 7.

Looking at the numbers in local cities and towns, Springfield officials report 45 cases in the city.

  • In Westfield, there are 57 confirmed cases.
  • Chicopee officials report that there are 20 cases in their city.
  • Palmer reports four positive cases, which is no change since Monday.
  • In Greenfield, Buckley Health Care Center said there are now 17 patients testing positive for coronavirus at their facility. Four are hospitalized.
  • Hatfield is reporting one confirmed case.

Baker, in his update Tuesday, got emotional as he talked about and praised the sacrifices we are all making, including not being able to visit his 91-year-old father.

“As most of you know, my weekly visits with my 91 year old father are phone calls and, as I said previously, neither one of us are very good at that….and I miss him, but that's just the way it is and it's the way it should be and it's the way all of us need to be as purposeful as we can be when dealing with the contagious nature of this virus,” Baker explained.

The governor also acknowledged the strain the extension is putting on small business owners and their employees throughout the Commonwealth.

“Now we know that for many businesses and individuals, the measures that have been put in place have come at a very high cost. This includes the many homegrown and small businesses in Massachusetts that we are so proud of. For them and for many others, it has not been an easy time and we respect that. We know that today's news won't make it any easier,” Baker said.

The Baker-Polito administration also updated that list of essential services on Tuesday, based on updated federal guidance.  That new list takes effect on April 1.

Some of the updates to the list include:

  • Clarity around the supply chain that supports other essential services
  • Adding health care providers like chiropractors and optometrists
  • Expanding the types of workers providing disinfectant and sanitation services

Hotels, motels, and AirBNB have new restrictions. They are only to be used for those impacted by the order like frontline healthcare workers and not for vacationers.

Three make-shift medical centers will be established. The first at the DCU Center in Worcester.

Western Mass News continues to follow this story and will have more information as it becomes available.

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