Last Tuesday, the Baker Administration released its plans for the continued reopening of Massachusetts. Of note, effective April 30th face coverings will only be required outside in public when it is not possible to social distance. Additionally, effective August 1st, subject to public health and vaccination data, all industry restrictions will be lifted at that time, and capacity will increase to 100% for all industries. The gathering limit will be rescinded. The City of Boston and the City of Cambridge released modified versions of the statewide guidance, implementing stricter reopening timelines.
Also in Massachusetts, the House of Representatives completed debate on its version of the fiscal year 2022 budget recommendations, engrossing their bill in the early morning hours on Thursday, April 29. Attention now turns to the Senate, where debate on their version of the budget will likely take place during the week of May 24.
On Tuesday, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee will hold a hearing entitled, “Negotiating a Better Deal: Legislation to Lower the Cost of Prescription Drugs.” This hearing will include discussion on H.R. 3, the “Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act,” and H.R. 19, the “Lower Costs, More Cures Act of 2021.”
And in Massachusetts, Governor Baker said that the state will begin to scale back its reliance on mass vaccination sites and focus efforts on increasing vaccine distribution to regional communities, especially in hard-hit communities of color where rates of vaccination are lower, through mobile clinics, primary care providers, and existing sites and retail pharmacies.