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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Phase 3 of the reopening plan is the last phase the state will advance to, state officials said, before a cure or vaccine is found.

But as with all the other phases, this one is broken up into two steps.

Easthampton Mayor Nicole LaChapelle is a member of the state’s reopening committee and helped devise the phased plan.

She said Phase 3, step two will largely look similar to what’s already open but will add more people.

“Looking at things like group activities that are indoors and having that number go up, looking at outdoor activities and gatherings,” she said.

LaChapelle said the COVID-19 reopening plan within the state has been carefully measured with each phase having two steps for a reason.

Phase 3 step one began Monday, with movie theaters, gyms and museums opening. The biggest difference from Phase three, step two, she said, will be the changes to the new capacity limits.

“Groups of 25 or 100,” she said. “That group capacity of 100 outdoors goes up a little bit. I mean, we always want to make sure that we can differentiate what might be driving a spike upward and not just rolling out one phase all at once.”

She said testing the waters before allowing more people to congregate indoors helps the state determine what part of human interaction allows the virus to spread.

“Each step within phases allowed us to follow those metrics and better identify what might be spiking, you know, cases,” she said.

She said watching COVID-19 spikes in other states has helped inform their policies in Massachusetts, particularly in mask-wearing.

“Whether it’s beaches in Florida or just retail establishments in Texas or even California, we have seen a spike in infection,” she said. “You add the large gatherings and it’s almost an accelerator for infection. But the masks, I mean, very low tech solutions to not only flatten the curve but bring deaths way down.”

In step two, concert halls can resume indoor performances. Right now they are limited to outdoors.

The date for Phase 3 step two has yet to be announced.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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