The City of Gloucester continues to advance measures to limit person to person contact to help slow the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Everyone should continue to follow the guidelines and recommendations from the City, the CDC and the DPH.
The following are timely updates, announcements, and reminders from the City.
COVID-19 Updates & Information
TIPS FOR A SAFE AND HAPPY THANKSGIVING: Traveling and gathering with family and friends for Thanksgiving will look different this year to keep loved ones safe from COVID-19. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) provided guidance for holiday celebrations to help limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and reduce the spread of the virus. Read the full press release here. Tips For A Safe Thanksgiving.
GET TESTED MA!: Testing for COVID-19 is widely available in Massachusetts. For more information or to find a test site please visit https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-testing.
HIGHER EDUCATION HOLIDAY TRAVEL GUIDANCE: Today, the Baker-Polito Administration released updated travel guidance to colleges and universities in advance of the approaching holiday season. These updated guidelines are focused on a robust testing initiative to reduce the risk of college students bringing COVID-19 home to their families and communities before Thanksgiving. Students who leave campuses for the holidays should first receive a negative COVID-19 test administered by the college within 72 hours of their planned departure. Residential colleges should also offer COVID-19 tests to students living off campus that plan on returning home for the holidays. Read the full announcement here.
COVID-19 RISK DESIGNATION BY COMMUNITY: Based on the average daily cases per 100,000 residents, each city or town has been designated as a higher risk, moderate risk, or lower risk community. This information is updated and included in the Department of Public Health’s weekly public health dashboard, which are now posted on Thursdays. As of Thursday, November 12 Gloucester was in the green and was considered a low-risk community.
STAY AT HOME ADVISORY: The Stay a Home Advisory is in effect and all residents of Massachusetts are advised to stay home between the hours of 10pm and 5am. Residents are asked to only leave home to go to work or school, or for essential needs such as seeking emergency medical care, going to the grocery store or pharmacy, picking up take-out food, or receiving deliveries.
EARLY CLOSURE OF BUSINESSES & ACTIVITIES: A new executive order is in effect requiring the early closure of certain businesses and activities each night at 9:30 PM. The 9:30 PM closure requirement is aligned with the Stay At Home Advisory and together the two new initiatives are designed to further limit activities that could lead to COVID-19 transmission. Effective November 6, the following businesses and activities must close to the public each day between the hours of 9:30 PM and 5:00 AM.
- Restaurants (in-person dining must cease at 9:30 PM, although takeout and delivery may continue for food and non-alcoholic beverages, but not alcohol)
- Liquor stores and other retail establishments that sell alcohol must cease alcohol sales at 9:30 PM (but may continue to sell other products)
- Adult-use marijuana sales must cease at 9:30 PM (not including medical marijuana)
- Indoor & outdoor events
- Theaters/movie theaters (including drive-in movie theaters), and performance venues (indoor and outdoor)
- Youth and adult amateur sports activities
- Golf facilities
- Recreational boating and boating businesses
- Driving and flight schools
- Close contact personal services (such as hair and nail salons)
- Gyms, Fitness Centers and Health Clubs
- Indoor and outdoor pools
- Museums/cultural & historical facilities/guided tours
GATHERINGS ORDER UPDATED: An updated order restricting gatherings reduces the gathering size limit for gatherings at private residences: indoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 10 people and outdoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 25 people. The limit on gatherings held in public spaces and at event venues (e.g. wedding venues) remains the same. The new order also requires that all gatherings (regardless of size or location) must end and disperse by 9:30 PM.
FACE COVERING ORDER: An updated order related to face-coverings requires all persons to wear face-coverings in all public places, even where they are able to maintain 6 feet of distance from others. The revised order still allows for an exception for residents who cannot wear a face-covering due to a medical or disabling condition, but it allows employers to require employees to provide proof of such a condition. It also allows schools to require that students participating in in-person learning provide proof of such a medical or disabling condition.
MA TRAVEL ORDER IN EFFECT: All visitors and returning residents are required to fill out a “Massachusetts Traveler Form” unless they are coming from a state that has been designated a lower risk COVID-19 state or fall into an exemption category. The new travel order also provides that visitors and returning residents arriving in Massachusetts from any place other than a COVID-19 lower-risk state must quarantine for 14-days unless they can produce a negative COVID-19 test result administered on a sample taken not more than 72-hours prior to arriving in Massachusetts. For more details please visit mass.gov/matraveler.
LOWER RISK STATES: Travelers from COVID-19 lower-risk States are not required to fill out the Massachusetts Travel Form and do not need to quarantine. States are included on the list based on meeting two criteria: average daily cases per 100K below 6 AND positive test rate below 5%, both measured as a 7-day rolling average. The current list of COVID-19 lower-risk states, which was recently amended, includes: Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
COVID-19 COMPLIANCE: An online portal is available where residents can report any businesses or workplaces that are violating the state's reopening guidelines. Anyone wishing to submit a report of non-compliance can go to mass.gov/compliance or call the state's 211 COVID-19 hotline. Non-compliance can also be reported to the Department of Labor Standards (DLS) through their hotline (508) 616-0461 x 9488, by completing this online form, or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Status of Cases
As of today, November 18 the status of COVID-19 cases in the City of Gloucester were as follows:
- 518 overall cases (461 confirmed and 57 probable);
- 444 recovered;
- 26 COVID-19 related deaths; and
- 48 active cases.
For a list of COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts, which is updated every evening, click here.
City Updates & Information
WATER RESTRICTIONS IN PLACE: Water conservation measures are currently in place and will remain in effect until further notice. In accordance with Section 23-60 of the Gloucester Code of Ordinances, the Director of Public Works has instituted the following water conservation measures to help ensure an adequate supply of water to all customers:
- Outdoor watering and lawn irrigation is permissible from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. daily;
- Outdoor watering is limited to “handheld” with a hose or a watering can after 5 p.m. or before 9 a.m;
- Filling/replenishing of swimming pools from the City water supply is prohibited; and
- Washing of vehicles, boats, driveways and sidewalks is prohibited.
FALL CURBSIDE YARD WASTE COLLECTION: The next fall curbside collection of yard waste (leaves and clippings) will take place next week - November 23-27. The final collection is scheduled for Dec. 7-11. Place leaves and grass clippings in paper leaf bags or loose in marked barrels. Please NO plastic bags. Leaf bags and barrels should be on the curb by 7 a.m. Yard waste is collected first and after the trucks are dumped regular trash and recycling routes will begin.
THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY – CITY OFFICE AND TRASH SCHEDULE: In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday city offices will be closed Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27. Additionally, trash will not be collected on Thursday, November 26. Offices will reopen at normal business hours on Monday, November 30. Trash collection will resume on Friday, November 27 where Thursday’s collection will occur on Friday and Friday’s collection will occur on Saturday.
VIRTUAL PUBLIC MEETINGS: The City of Gloucester is utilizing the Zoom platform for remote participation of public meetings. Virtual Public Meeting Forums are open to the public. For a list of all upcoming scheduled meetings, including meeting agendas, click here. For Zoom links to access these remote meetings click here.
STAY INFORMED, SIGN UP FOR CITY EMERGENCY ALERTS/WEBSITE NOTIFICATIONS: City officials have and will continue to use the Smart911 system to share information and updates regarding COVID-19 as the situation surrounding the virus continues to evolve. To sign up for Smart 911 go to http://www.gloucester-ma.gov/384/Emergency-Alerting. To review current subscription selections and/or sign up for City of Gloucester website notifications go to http://gloucester-ma.gov/list.aspx..
NOTICE TO TAXPAYERS OF PROPOSED FY21 ASSESSMENTS - PUBLIC DISCLOSURE PERIOD: The Board of Assessors has completed a comprehensive revaluation of all properties and preliminary certification from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue has been received. The proposed Fiscal Year 2021 assessments are based on the status of properties as of a January 1, 2020 assessment date. Values are reflective of market conditions, as of the assessment date, and have been established through analysis of market sales occurring between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2019. The residential, commercial, industrial and personal property classes have all seen changes in valuation as a result of the analysis.
The proposed assessments are available for review at the Assessors’ Office and via the following links: FY21 Proposed Real Property Assessments and FY21 Proposed Personal Property Assessments during the public disclosure period which runs from November 18, 2020 through November 24, 2020. Contact the Assessors’ Office during this time frame to ask questions, review, discuss or request changes in proposed values at 978-281-9715 during normal business hours.
In case you missed it please view these important articles, informative videos and/or flyers:
Health Guidance and Recommendations
According to the CDC, symptoms of the virus appear within 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19: Cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing or at least two of these symptoms: fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell.
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.
Stop the Spread of COVID-19
Please wear a mask or face covering when out in public, maintain a safe physical distance of 6 feet from others, wash and sanitize your hands and frequently touched surfaces often, and stay home if you’re sick.
Important Local, State & Federal Information and Updates
Please visit the City of Gloucester’s COVID-19 information page here.