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Posted on: March 21, 2020

City of Gloucester Coronavirus Advisory - March 21, 2020

City of Gloucester Coronavirus Advisory

-Number of actions in place to prevent community transmission

-Local officials urge social distancing to slow the spread of the virus

Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken and the City of Gloucester’s COVID-19 Response Team have taken significant unprecedented precautionary measures to limit person-to-person contact and to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). As of this morning, Saturday, March 21, 2020, there are 3 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the City of Gloucester. 

This is not an unexpected development and our local health officials have been preparing for this scenario.  The number of cases in Massachusetts, and Essex County, increase daily and the City expects this number to rise as testing becomes more widely available. 

Once notified, the City’s Health Department began their investigation which includes tracing back these individuals’ recent contacts.  If you have not been contacted by the Gloucester Board of Health (BOH), you are not considered a contact of any of these cases.

At this time, all individuals are recovering at home and following the recommended isolation protocols.  The Gloucester Health Department will be in regular contact with these individuals to monitor their status and condition.  

City of Gloucester Public Health Director Karin Carroll said, “We’ve seen a spike in cases in Massachusetts and across the nation.  The Gloucester BOH and the City of Gloucester have been preparing for the last several weeks for the arrival of COVID-19 in our community. The City has been at the forefront on planning for this outbreak and has taken appropriate steps to adapt to the situation.” 

In consultation with Gloucester’s BOH, Mayor Romeo Theken has taken a number of actions in the interest of public health and safety and to prevent community transmission of coronavirus, including: 
Closed all Gloucester Publics Schools before the state mandate; 
Closed all municipals buildings to the public;
Declared a State of Emergency in the City of Gloucester to implement broad emergency measures to ensure public health and safety;
Ordered the closure of all City playgrounds; and
Earlier today issued an emergency order for all personal care businesses in the city to close by 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 22.  Personal care business include, but are not limited to:  hair salons, barbershops, nail salons, day spas, message and body work establishments, tattoo, piercing and body art establishments, aesthetics establishments, tanning salons, gyms and fitness centers. 

The City’s COVID-19 Response Team continue to work closely and meet regularly to discuss the latest guidance and determine the actions needed to keep the City prepared as the situation continues to evolve.  Mayor Romeo Theken is being briefed daily to coordinate efforts across City departments. The Mayor and City officials are also joining daily briefings with state and federal officials to coordinate containment strategies regionally while at the same time prioritizing public communication and ensuring critical continuity of City operations.  

According to the CDC, symptoms of the virus appear within 2-14 days of exposure. The DPH reports that symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath and pneumonia in severe cases.  Anyone who displays symptoms of COVID-19 are advised to contact their primary care physician.

Mayor Romeo Theken said, “We are relying on you, our residents, to help us slow the spread of the virus in our community.  This is a very fluid situation with many fast moving developments.  Everyone in Gloucester needs to follow all the local and state guidelines and recommendations.  Please check in on your family, neighbors and friends – especially seniors.  We all have a responsibility to do our part to keep each other and our City safe.”

The Gloucester Health Department and the Mayor’s Office encourage the following precautions to prevent infectious diseases from spreading:
Wash your hands frequently, with soap and water, for a minimum of 20 seconds;
If you are sick, stay home to protect others;
Using proper techniques when coughing or sneezing; 
Avoiding touching your face;
Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily; 
Practice social distancing (remain at least 6-foot distance between others); and 
Restrict all social interactions to essential activities, such as getting food, medicine and gas.  

Mayor Romeo Theken said, “Our City has always pulled together during difficult and trying times.  The thoughts of the entire community are with the affected individuals and their families.  Together we will all get through this.”

For more information about COVID-19, call 2-1-1 from any landline or cellphone, visit the City’s website www.gloucester-ma.gov, the state’s website www.mass.gov, or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website www.cdc.gov .

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