March 27th Covid-19 Update From Mayor Sefatia

Hi, this is Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken.  I would like to provide you with some updates as we all work to slow community transmission of COVID-19 and prepare for further spread of the virus.  As of this morning, there were 14 confirmed cases of the virus in Gloucester.  

The Gloucester Health Department is actively working towards identifying and monitoring those individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 as well as anyone with whom they have recently come into contact.  

The DPH reports that symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath and pneumonia in severe cases.  If you display symptoms or suspect that you may have come into contact with a person who may be infected, please contact your primary care provider immediately.

Gloucester is well prepared for this emergency situation.  I’m in constant discussions with state and federal officials to ensure Gloucester concerns are addressed and met.  Our Health Department is working around the clock and are training additional nurses and health care workers to assist with contact tracing and case monitoring.  Public safety officials are well equipped with the necessary personal protective equipment to ensure everyone’s safety and additional staff are ready to handle emergency calls.  

As further testing has become available and community transmission spreads we expect the number of confirmed cases to rise over time.  Everyone should adhere to the DPH’s “stay at home” advisory and as much as possible restrict all social interactions to essential activities, such as getting food, medicine and gas.  

Being outdoors is good.  So take a minute and get outside.  Let the sun shine on your face.  Go for a walk or sit on your porch.  But please keep a safe distance from anyone else.   Your mental and physical health are important during this time.  

Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions are at a much higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.  Please be careful, take extra precautions and isolate as much as possible.  

All municipal buildings remain closed to the public until at least Monday, April 6.  Anyone wishing to do City business is encouraged to do so online or by calling or emailing any city office.  If you have any questions please call 978-281-9700.  

Earlier this week Governor Baker extended school closures until Monday, May 4.   “Grab and go” bagged lunch and breakfast will remain available for ALL students who are in need of a meal.  Curbside pick-up is available Monday through Friday 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. at Veterans Memorial and Beeman Elementary Schools.  

Reusable shopping bags have been banned for use at stores during the COVID-19 outbreak and local bans on single-use plastic bags have been suspended.   

All City playgrounds remain closed until further notice.  Please do not engage in sports or activities that require physical or shared contact.  

To our seniors, a reminder that grocery stores in Gloucester have dedicated “senior shopping hours.”  Also, SeniorCare is continuing to provide meal delivery and home care services.  
For additional information on these SeniorCare services call 978-281-1750.

The Open Door is available to help bridge the grocery gap for families.  
For information regarding their Food Pantry and Community Meal services please call 978-283-6776.  

Our Community Development Department is helping Gloucester businesses by sharing information and answering questions on state and federal opportunities available.  If you are a Gloucester business and would like additional information please check our website or call 978-325-5236.

Our community is strong, resilient and united.  We ALL have a responsibility to do our part to keep each other and our City safe.  Social distancing is a very hard concept but it continues to be the most important precaution against COVID-19.  We cannot stress enough how important it is to avoid gatherings and keep 6 feet between you and others at all times.  

Please take a minute and check in on your family, friends, and neighbors.  We’re all in this together and we need each other now more than ever.    

My sincere thanks and appreciation to all the men and women working on the front lines during this public health emergency, all of the wonderful volunteers, and everyone working in our grocery stores and pharmacies.  Thanks to all of you for joining together to fight the spread of COVID-19.  

We will continue to provide regular updates on the City website, social media, and through the Smart 911 emergency notification system as the situation evolves. 

Stay informed and know the facts.  For more information on COVID-19
• Text “COVIDMA”, that’s C-O-V-I-D-M-A to 888-777 to receive text message alerts from the Commonwealth.
• Call 2-1-1 from any landline or cellphone
• Visit the City’s website
• The state’s website
• Or CDC website

Thank you and be well.

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