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Posted on: January 20, 2021

City of Gloucester COVID-19 Weekly Update - January 20, 2021

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.

Status of Cases

As of today, January 20 the status of COVID-19 cases in the City of Gloucester were as follows:

  • 1,393 overall cases (1,321 confirmed and 72 probable);
  • 1,213 recovered; 
  • 34 COVID-19 related deaths; and 
  • 146 active cases.

For a list of COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts, which is updated every evening, click here.   

COVID-19 Updates & Information

TEMPORARY MEASURES IN PLACE, THROUGH JAN 24, TO STOP THE SPREAD OF COVID-19:  Gov. Charlie Baker issued an Executive Order that went into effective Saturday, Dec. 26 and was recently extended through Sunday, Jan. 24, which temporarily reduces occupancy limits to 25% for several sectors including office spaces, restaurants, places of worship, businesses and fitness centers. For additional information about these measures, click here.  

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS COVID-19 VACCINE PLAN:  The Baker-Polito Administration announced the rollout of a COVID-19 Vaccine Plan for Massachusetts. The Commonwealth will follow a phased approach that prioritizes healthcare and other frontline workers and those at greatest risk. For more information, visit www.mass.gov/COVIDvaccine. A COVID-19 vaccine dashboard is available and posted every Thursday by 5 p.m. which includes information on vaccine supply distribution, administration and other data. The new dashboard can be found here.

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.  

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, January 14 Gloucester was in the red and considered a high-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. 

LIMIT ON GATHERINGS: Under the new order that goes into effect on December 26, 2020 indoor event venues will be limited to a maximum of 10 people at a time.   Indoor private gatherings are limited to 10 people and outdoor private gatherings are limited to 25 people. 

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. 

City Updates & Information

CITY COMMUNICATIONS REGARDING COVID-19 VACCINATION UPDATES AND INFORMATION: The City of Gloucester is committed to keeping the public fully apprised of the vaccination process, and will broadcast clearly and in a timely manner any and all updates regarding vaccination distribution in the area over the coming weeks and months. This information will be shared over the City’s website here, social media and by robocall. To sign up for Smart 911 and get important City robocalls and emergency notifications click here.

COVID-19 VACCINE DISTRIBUTION QUESTIONS: Members of the public are asked to not contact the City at this time with questions regarding vaccination distribution, access and timelines. Those with vaccine distribution timeline questions can contact the Massachusetts Department of Public Health by emailing COVID-19-Vaccine-Plan-MA@mass.gov.

WANT TO VOLUNTEER TO SUPPORT A FUTURE COVID-19 VACCINATION CLINIC:  The City has received an outpouring of messages from those who would like to volunteer to support vaccination efforts.  Volunteers with and without medical experience are needed to support different aspects of their work, and will supplement existing emergency and public health resources.  To sign up to volunteer, visit their website maresponds.org. Additional instructions on how to register for Cape Ann efforts can be found here.   

DPW BUSINESS OFFICE OPEN BY APPOINTMENT ONLY:  Until further notice, the Department of Public Works' Business Office is currently closed to walk-in traffic and will be conducting the majority of services by appointment only. Please call 978-325-5600 during normal business hours for assistance.  If you get voice mail, please leave your name, number and a brief message and someone will return your call.

CITY CLERK’S OFFICE HAS LIMITED HOURS FOR WALK-IN SERVICES:   The City Clerk’s Office, now has limited walk-in hours and will be conducting the majority of services by appointment only in order to limit those coming in and out of the office, to reduce wait times and prevent the spread of COVID-19.  This temporary change will be in effect until further notice and walk-in hours will only be available on Thursdays from 2-6 p.m. For a full list of services and options available, please click here or contact the office at 978-281-9720 during normal business hours.  

SNOW EMERGENCY GUIDELINES AND PARKING INFORMATION:  http://gloucester-ma.gov/739/Snow-Emergency-Information.

SNOW REMOVAL REMINDERS:  All residents and businesses are reminded that they are responsible for clearing snow from sidewalks adjacent to their property. Please make every effort to shovel out hydrants at, or, near your homes, and please check on your elderly and disabled. Your cooperation during this parking ban is necessary for efficient and safe snow removal efforts.

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..

Communications Resources

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, limit gatherings, get tested 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.   

Biobot - January 20, 2021