Updated at 1:52 p.m.
Despite upticks in some key COVID metrics, Gov. Charlie Baker indicated Monday that he has no plans to pause or roll back the state’s ongoing reopening.
During his regular COVID briefing, Baker was asked about a recent tweet from Dr. David Rosman, the president of the Massachusetts Medical Society. On Sunday evening, Rosman noted that on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Massachusetts reported more than 200 new positive tests.
“Last time that happened? Mid-June — on the way down,” Rosman tweeted.
“The data is early, but it looks like we are on the way back up,” Rosman added. “We should consider backing down a phase” — a reference to the state’s detailed COVID reopening plan, which is divided into four phases. The state is currently in phase three of the process.
Baker’s response made it clear that, at present, he believes that’s not necessary.
“I think at this point in time, the most important thing we need to do is to continue to do the things that got us here in the first place,” Baker said. “When we look at what the [new COVID] clusters are that have been created so far, many of them are the result of people simply not doing the things we’ve been telling everybody to do, which has a lot less to do with the nature of what’s opened or what’s not opened."
“I think, certainly, the public health data’s going to drive our decision making,” Baker added. “But so far most of the data we’ve seen about where the clusters have come from have had a lot more to do with people just sort of letting down their guard a bit than anything else.”
As examples, the governor cited two recent COVID clusters — one linked to a crowded house party in Chatham, another to an employee at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield who traveled to a state with a high incidence of COVID and failed to mask appropriately at work after returning.
“Most of the time, if people do the right things, we should continue to be successful in containing this,” Baker said.
At the beginning of the briefing, Baker acknowledged that the rate of people testing positive for COVID has also risen recently. As of Sunday, the seven-day average was 1.9 percent, up from 1.7 percent a week ago. It hasn’t been that high since July 7.
“Obviously, we would prefer to see zero new cases of COVID, but we know that’s just not going to be the case until we have a medical breakthrough like a vaccine,” Baker said.
Baker did not say what data might force the state to halt or pause reopening. WGBH News has asked his office to identify possible criteria but has not yet received a response.
Last week, Marty Martinez, Boston’s health and human services chief, identified several factors that might force such a reassessment at the city level.
“We’re monitoring our positive test rate — not only a seven-day average, but looking at three-day averages to understand what we’re seeing,” Martinez said. “We’re monitoring hospitalizations, both in the ICU [and] also regular hospitalizations themselves. And we’re also monitoring the overall case numbers."
“At any moment, when we start to see these trends rise, we’ll make sure to let the mayor know, so that he can make some decisions about where we may need to …put in place more measures to secure the spread of COVID-19.”
Correction: An earlier version of this piece incorrectly named the Massachusetts Medical Society.