Registry Of Motor Vehicles Resumes Some Service Options

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles on Monday resumed offering some services that had been put on hold during the coronavirus pandemic.

Twenty-one locations statewide will offer appointments for in-person vehicle and driver services, walk-in visits, and business-to-business transactions, which includes bulk transactions for auto dealers and insurance agents, the agency said in a prior statement.

Also, the Attleboro location will open for in-person services by appointment.

Walk-in services will be available at Braintree, Brockton, Danvers, Easthampton, Greenfield, Fall River, Haverhill, Boston (Haymarket), Lawrence, Leominster, Milford, New Bedford, Pittsfield, Plymouth, Revere, Springfield, Yarmouth, Taunton, Watertown, Wilmington, and Worcester.

The agency still recommends scheduling an appointment, and customers without appointments may have to either wait until assistance can be offered or return to a center on another date.

Also starting Monday, drop-off services which temporarily replaced business-to-business in-person services during the pandemic state of emergency will no longer be available.

Face coverings are required at the Boston, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Easthampton, and Watertown locations because they are located within municipalities that currently have indoor mask mandates in place.

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VIRUS BY THE NUMBERS

The number of new daily cases of COVID-19 increased by more than 4,300 over the weekend while the number of newly confirmed coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts rose by seven.

The new numbers from Friday, Saturday and Sunday pushed the state’s confirmed COVID-19 death toll to 18,069 since the start of the pandemic, while its confirmed caseload rose to more than 742,000.

There were more than 640 people reported hospitalized Monday because of confirmed cases of COVID-19, with nearly 170 in intensive care units.

The average age of those who have died from COVID-19 was 75.

The true number of cases is likely higher because studies suggest some people can be infected and not feel sick.

More than 4.5 million people in Massachusetts have been fully immunized against COVID-19.

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STATEHOUSE REOPENING PLANS

All Massachusetts House members and their staff would be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 under a set of pandemic proposals being weighed as House leaders look ahead to welcoming the public back to the Statehouse.

The set of recommendations unveiled Monday proposes a phased-in approach to reopening, with staggered timelines for members, staff, and the public. There is no date set yet for reopening.

Under the proposal, those unwilling or unable to provide proof of vaccination status would be required to continue to stay home and participate remotely. Proof of vaccination status must be provided to House human resources by Nov. 1.

The report by a working group charged with drafting reopening plans also urges expanding the mask mandate for all members and staff in all House-controlled spaces in the Statehouse. The group suggests keeping the virtual option for public hearings, while also proposing a model that would reduce the risks of indoor airborne transmission of the coronavirus to let the House resume in-person public access to hearings.

The reopening of the Statehouse would take place in four steps.

Phase 1 would give access to members who want to return for in-person voting, along with core staff who must be physically in the building to conduct House business. Phase 2 would broaden access to the building to all remaining House staff and employees, along with individuals who have a need to conduct business at the State House.

Phase 3 would allow entry by members of the public, by appointment, for meetings and committee hearings. In Phase 4, the Statehouse would be fully open to all parties, for all activities under federal and state guidelines.

The report does not give hard deadlines for when each phase will start.

The report also points to a need to update and formalize the House’s contact tracing and quarantine protocols.

Democratic House Speaker Ronald Mariano said there is still a lot of work to be done.

“These recommendations establish a framework within which that work can be done,” Mariano said in an email to House members. “More information on the implementation and execution of these recommendations will be forthcoming.”