The Baker-Polito Administration has announced additional measures to address a recent rise in COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts and to ensure acute care hospitals have sufficient capacity to care for both COVID and non-COVID patients. This effort includes an update on the Commonwealth's masking policy and activation of the Massachusetts National Guard to give support to hospitals.

Staffing numbers are critically short...

According to a media release from the Governor's Office this morning, the Commonwealth’s healthcare system is facing a critical staffing shortage, and that has contributed to the loss of approximately 500 medical/surgical and ICU hospital beds since the beginning of the year. To make matters even worse, hospitals in the Commonwealth are also seeing a high level of patients, many due to non-COVID-related reasons.

National Guard Activation...

Governor Baker says that he is activating up to 500 members of the Massachusetts National Guard to address the non-clinical support needs of hospitals and transport systems. Up to 300 Guard members will start to train this week and will support 55 acute care hospitals and 12 ambulance service providers in the Commonwealth.

Get our free mobile app

Update on masking advisory...

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has released an updated mask advisory today. It recommends that all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask or face covering in indoor, public spaces. The DPH is also urging this recommendation for individuals who have a weakened immune system, are at increased risk for severe disease because of age or an underlying medical condition, have someone in their household with a weakened immune system, are at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated.

Vaccination is still the number one recommended action...

The numbers don't lie. The Baker-Polito administration is also reminding residents of the Commonwealth that getting a vaccine and booster remain the best way to protect against serious illness or hospitalization from COVID.

The Department of Public Health says that unvaccinated individuals are five times more likely to contract COVID than fully vaccinated individuals and 31 times more likely to contract COVID than individuals who have a booster.

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.

LOOK: What major laws were passed the year you were born?

Data for this list was acquired from trusted online sources and news outlets. Read on to discover what major law was passed the year you were born and learn its name, the vote count (where relevant), and its impact and significance.

LOOK: Things from the year you were born that don't exist anymore

The iconic (and at times silly) toys, technologies, and electronics have been usurped since their grand entrance, either by advances in technology or breakthroughs in common sense. See how many things on this list trigger childhood memories—and which ones were here and gone so fast you missed them entirely.

More From WBEC AM