GLOUCESTER — Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, Public Health Director Karin Carroll and Emergency Management Director and Assistant Fire Chief Joe Aiello wish to provide tips for community members and businesses regarding gatherings and public events to help with the prevention of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
At this time, there are no confirmed or presumptive cases of the virus in Gloucester.
The Governor declared a State of Emergency in Massachusetts due to COVID-19 this week, formally activating the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. As of Friday at 4 p.m., the total number of confirmed or presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, the illness associated with the novel coronavirus, has risen to 123 in Massachusetts according to the Department of Public Health.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those at a higher risk for serious health complications from the virus include older adults and those with chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and lung disease.
The City of Gloucester encourages residents to practice social distancing, and the city is urging private organizations to consider cancelling or rescheduling events that would place large numbers of people together or groups of people in close proximity.
The Gloucester Health Department and Mayor’s Office would like to recommend the following for all community members and businesses based on guidelines from the DPH:
- Continue to promote daily practices of preventative actions, such as washing your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds, staying home when you are sick, using proper techniques when coughing or sneezing, avoiding touching your face, and cleaning frequently touched surfaces and objects daily.
- Avoid large events or gatherings, especially if you are at higher risk for serious health complications from the virus.
- Postponing large indoor events or gatherings, including school activities, programs and sporting events for the time being.
- Should events be held, providing prevention supplies at events, such as sinks with soaps, hand sanitizers and tissues.
- Make telecommuting options available for as many employees as possible and urge employees to stay home when they are sick.
- Be flexible with sick leave benefits for those who are ill or who are recommended to stay home because they are high risk.