Workers depart a main gate to the Encore Boston Harbor casino, Wednesday, April 28, 2021, in Everett, Mass. The Encore Boston Harbor casino began offering COVID-19 vaccinations on Tuesday, April 27, by appointment only to employees and the general public in conjunction with Cambridge Health Alliance, a local health care organization. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, seen as a possible candidate for governor next year, is calling for mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for public employees, saying it is a matter of public safety.

“Look, you’re there, you’re getting paid by the taxpayer — you have an obligation, whether it’s delivering public health or public safety,” the Democrat said Tuesday during an appearance on Boston Public Radio. “You’re interacting with the public. That’s a part of your job, by definition.”

People have a right to refuse a vaccine or seek a health or religious exemption, but Healey suggested those abstaining may effectively forfeit the right to public-sector employment.

Responding to vaccine hesitancy among state police and corrections officers, Healey said in March that vaccines should be mandated for those employees.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, who has yet to say whether he will seek a third term, has hesitated to mandate vaccines.

During her radio appearance Tuesday, Healey also urged the public to be wary of various vaccine-related scams, many of which are an attempt to steal personal information.



Blackjack, poker, slots, and now, coronavirus vaccinations.

The Encore Boston Harbor casino has started offering COVID-19 vaccinations by appointment only to employees and the general public in conjunction with a local health care organization.

The vaccination site inside a ballroom that opened Tuesday is open from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays, according to a statement from the casino.

The casino is located in Everett, which is one of the state's hardest hit communities.

“We want to help residents of Everett and our surrounding communities receive the vaccine as quickly and conveniently as possible,” casino President Brian Gullbrants said.

Appointments are available through the Cambridge Health Alliance until the site is listed on the Massachusetts vaccination finder website,, which is expected to happen early next week.



The Six Flags New England amusement park announced Wednesday that it plans to reopen its rides next month with some coronavirus safety protocols in place.

The park in Agawam said in a statement that it will open for members and season pass holders on May 14, and to the general public the next day.

“Now more than ever families need an escape that is safe, accessible and fun," park President Pete Carmichael said.

Visits must be reserved online so park management can manage attendance and stagger arrival times. Guests and employees will undergo health screenings, visitors will be required to wear face coverings and maintain social distancing, and the park will undergo enhanced cleaning.

The safety plan, developed in consultation with epidemiologists, meets or exceeds federal, state, and local guidelines for sanitization, hygiene, and social distancing protocols, management said.

The rides have been closed for more than a year, but the park has opened for other events.



The number of new daily cases of COVID-19 increased by about 1,400 Wednesday while the number of newly confirmed coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts rose by 12.

The new numbers pushed the state’s confirmed COVID-19 death toll to 17,227 since the start of the pandemic, while its confirmed caseload rose to about 643,000.

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

There were about 600 people reported hospitalized Wednesday because of confirmed cases of COVID-19, with about 150 in intensive care units.

The average age of those hospitalized was 61. There were an estimated 27,000 people with current active cases of COVID-19 in the state.

About 5.9 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Massachusetts, including about 3.4 million first doses and about 2.2 million second doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

About 2.4 million people have been fully immunized.