With Connecticut’s decision to allow indoor dining to resume Wednesday, Massachusetts is now alone among the New England states with its prohibition, another sign that the state is not moving fast enough to reopen, according to the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance.

“Once again, Governor Baker’s orders are not keeping pace with our neighbors. Countless Massachusetts businesses are struggling with the slow phased re-opening. Our state’s restaurants are being ‘phased out’ while they watch every other state in New England open up but not ours,” Paul Craney, spokesman for the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance, said in a statement Tuesday. “Massachusetts is repeating many of its previous mistakes. Massachusetts was the last state in the country to allow for retailers to perform curbside pickup and for golf, an inherently socially-distant sport, to be reopened.”

Craney contrasted rising unemployment numbers in Massachusetts with signs that jobs are growing in other parts of the country.

While Craney knocked a “snail’s pace reopening,” the alliance did not make mention of the rising COVID-19 infection numbers in states that opened up commerce earlier than Massachusetts or statistics highlighting a sharp decline in new cases here. Baker suggested Monday that he’ll make an announcement by the end of the week on the status of indoor dining.

Massachusetts has the fourth-lowest rate of coronavirus transmission of any state, according to analysis conducted by Rt.live a website launched by two Instagram co-founders. The current Rt for the coronavirus in Massachusetts – a measure of a virus’s average transmission rate at a given point in time – is 0.82, comfortably below the 1.0 threshold that signifies rapid spread. Only New Jersey, Delaware and Connecticut have a lower Rt. The Rt value is essentially the number of people that one infected person transmits the virus to.

“The way you really get in trouble with this virus is the reproduction rate – you know, how fast does one person become two, become four, becomes eight, becomes 16, becomes 32 and the like,” Gov. Charlie Baker said Monday.

When the Massachusetts High Technology Council rolled out its plan for an economic reopening, it said the Rt value would be critical to track as people venture out to work, stores and restaurants more. On May 1, the MHTC said the state’s Rt was roughly 0.90, down from just over 1.50 in mid-March. The highest Rt value in the country belongs to Arizona with 1.11.

Baker Criticized for ‘Snail’s Pace’ Reopening

by State House News Service time to read: 2 min