State, city officials call on Charlie Baker to order shelter-in-place in Massachusetts

A group of 32 state and city elected officials are calling on Gov. Charlie Baker to issue a shelter-in-place order.

State Rep. Mike Connolly is asking Baker to issue the order at his 2 p.m. press conference today at the State House.

“It is essential that the spread of the virus be suppressed to protect the ability of healthcare providers to handle the influx of new patients and safeguard public health and safety,” officials wrote in the letter. “Everyone should stay home except to get food, care for a relative or friend, get necessary health care, or go to an essential job.”

The letter is signed by 17 state representatives, two state senators, the mayor and vice mayor of Cambridge and 11 city councilors from Cambridge and Somerville.

They urge Baker to follow the example of San Francisco and New York City, where shelter-in-place orders have been issued for millions of residents.

“By “Shelter In Place,” we mean people must be asked to stay home except for essential needs. Vulnerable populations must stay home,” the letter reads.

The officials say going outside for walks should be permissible, but that there can be no congregating in groups. To provide shelter for homeless people and folks who need to quarantine, they are calling on Baker to use his power to make dorm rooms, hotel rooms, vacant properties, and temporary structures available.

Baker’s office did not immediately respond to request for comment.

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