City of Newburyport COVID-19 Response Update

Monday, September 21, 2020.  There are currently 126 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Newburyport, and 1 active case.  7 of our Newburyport residents have died from complications of the virus.  

 

Mask Zone - Rail TrailMask Zone Downtown District

City of Newburyport Announces Emergency Order for  Face Coverings in the Downtown District, the Boardwalk and the Clipper Rail Trail

Mayor Donna Holaday and Health Director Frank Giacalone announce a new emergency order requiring that all residents and visitors wear a face mask or cloth face covering when in downtown Newburyport, on the boardwalk and when using the Clipper City Rail Trail.

The emergency order will go in effect on Friday, Aug. 7 and remain in effect until further notice. The order applies to both indoor and outdoor spaces, and all businesses will be required to enforce this order.

All community members should also continue to practice social distancing by remaining at least 6 feet away from others and should wash or sanitize their hands frequently when in public.

“Over the last few months, we’ve seen the number of visitors to our downtown and rail trail continue to rise, making it difficult to practice proper social distancing at times, so we want to further emphasize the importance of wearing a mask or face covering,” Mayor Holaday said. “The emergency order will help to keep our community and downtown businesses and employees safe by helping to limit the spread of COVID-19. We thank you for your understanding and cooperation.”

“It’s essential that everyone take responsibility and embrace their role in preventing the spread of COVID-19 by covering their face when in public, and especially in crowded areas like downtown,” Health Director Giacalone said.

Those under the age of two or with certain health conditions identified by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) are exempt from the requirement. Masks do not need to be worn while eating or when sitting in personal vehicles.

Signage will be added downtown to remind residents and visitors of the requirement, and “mask ambassadors” will be downtown to hand out masks for those who may need them.

To view the emergency order, click here.

City of Newburyport COVID-19 Response Update

CITY HALL WILL BE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC BY APPOINTMENT ONLY BEGINNING JULY 6, 2020. PLEASE NOTE FACE MASKS or FACE COVERINGS ARE REQUIRED TO ENTER CITY HALL. Residents and business owners needing to conduct business with the city should call 978-465-4413 or preferably visit the city's website for individual department contact numbers; click here at www.cityofnewburyport.com/departments. Please leave a message if you reach the voice mail system and your phone call will be returned.  All residents are encouraged to use online payment services at www.cityofnewburyport.com/home/pages/online-services. 

The Newburyport Health Department is following DPH and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and is monitoring each case during the 14-day quarantine period.

The state is providing information about COVID-19 cases and residents subject to quarantine in Massachusetts and by county on their website.

  • The Council on Again continues the Meals on Wheel program. For our seniors, we are delighted to begin offering driving services beginning next Wednesday, July 1st.  Our Council on Aging vans will be available to take residents to Newburyport destinations. Most of the transportation are for trips to doctor’s offices, pharmacies, and grocery stores. Face masks are required.  Also, the Tax Preparation Program has resumed at the COA. Tax preparers from AARP are available by appointment for filing of Federal and State tax returns. This is a free service.  Please call the Council on Aging for rides and a tax appointment at (978)-462-0430.
  • The Newburyport Public Library is now open for limited browsing and by appointment (30 minutes) for computer use, printing, scanning, faxing and Archival Center visits. Hours and details are on our website https://www.newburyportpl.org/phased_reopening/.   The library Patio Pick Up service of reserved materials continues to be available. You can pick up items on hold and weekly teen and kids craft bags on the Patio. Staff are in the building ready to assist you with requesting an item, giving reading suggestions, creating customized book and DVD bundles, offering technology help, downloading eBooks and audio books. Summer Reading for children, teens and adults has started - sign up to win prizes! You can call the library at 978-465-4428 or use our online and virtual resources available through the website at http://www.newburyportpl.org.

  • Evictions for residential and commercial tenants is banned during this Emergency.

  • All Police and Fire Department lobbies and stations are closed to the public, with the exception of the vestibule at the front entrance of the police station, for emergencies only. Residents are encouraged to call the departments’ business lines for all non-emergency matters. The Police Department’s business line is 978-462-4411 and the Fire Department’s business line is 978-465-4427.

As always, please call 911 for any emergency. All emergency services are fully functional and prepared. 

The Newburyport Police and Fire Departments remain fully staffed and prepared to respond to any emergency.

Updates

Reopening Massachusetts

The Baker-Polito Administration today launched Reopening Massachusetts, a comprehensive plan to safely reopen the Massachusetts economy, get people back to work, and ease social restrictions while minimizing the health impacts of COVID-19. 

Link to Reopening Massachusetts Report.

Link to Reopening Massachusetts Website.

Baker-Polito Administration Orders Use of Mask or Face Covering in Public

The Baker-Polito Administration has ordered all residents over the age of two to use a face covering or mask in public places where maintaining proper social distancing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are not possible. This statewide order went into effect on May 6th and supersedes previously issued guidance relative to mask use.  Full press release.

 

Newburyport Board of Health Issues REVISES Orders Banning Gatherings in Public, Mandating Masks, and Banning Evictions

On April 23rd The Board of Health unianimously approved revising the order (in italics) issued on April 15th with the following aimed to further reduce and precent the spread of COVID-19 locally:

  1. Gatherings in all public areas including but not limited to parks, public buildings and walkways are hereby restricted. Gatherings include physical and interactive sports activities to include but not limited to playing frisbee, catch, tennis and other activities that may spread the Covid-19 virus from sweat, droplets and physical contact from an individual. Individual passive recreational activities, such as walking, jogging and biking are exempt from this provision. All individuals must practice social distancing of 6 feet and not gather in one setting.
  2. All members of the public entering any essential business as defined by Governor Baker’s Covid-19 Executive Orders must wear a facial covering, such as a fabric mask, scarf or bandana, over his or her nose and mouth. The facial covering does not have to be a surgical mask or N-95 respirator, which should be left for medical professionals and first responders. 
  3. All employees of all essential businesses open to the public shall wear a facial covering over their mouth and nose, provided by their employers, during all hours of operation. Employers and employees must also comply with all applicable CDC and DPH protocols and guidelines for their particular business, which may include recommendations and/or directives concerning the use of personal protective equipment, such as gloves. Essential businesses open to the public shall use discretion for occupational health hazards using facial coverings (i.e. cooks over grills, employees using machinery, etc.) and can make best professional judgement on use of facial coverings or not during such occupational operations. Food/Goods delivery personnel are considered employees and shall wear facial covering over their nose and mouth when delivering the food/goods to the customer if there is a person to person exchange. The facial covering does not have to be a surgical mask or N-95 respirator, which should be left for medical professionals and first responders.
  4. Each applicable essential business shall post at the public and employee entrances signage requiring a facial covering and must exercise social and physical distancing of six feet from one another.
  5. Moratorium on Eviction Enforcement & R.E. business: No landlord and/or owner shall enforce an eviction upon a resident of Newburyport, residential or commercial, during this public health crisis. Real Estate showings of homes, dwellings or other properties shall be limited to two people from the public. R.E (Real Estate) agents shall not be considered in this count but limited to the R.E agent only. All surfaces must be sanitized before and after showing and all social distancing protocols shall be followed.
  6. Any resident or member of the general public, including workforce, entering or exiting a residential or commercial building complex of greater than one (1) unit must wear a facial covering over their nose and mouth while in common areas and communal spaces and must exercise social distancing in these spaces in accordance with CDC guidelines. 
  7. Social distancing of 6 feet or more should be practiced at all times. Everyone should comply with the Governors “stay at home” advisory to help prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus 
  8. Board of Health hereby strongly advises that anyone out in public ways, areas, buildings and such shall wear a facial covering over their nose and mouth

This emergency order shall be effective beginning April 15th, 2020 and remain in effect until the Public Health Emergency declaration has been lifted by the Board of Health. 

Newburyport Connected, a Resource Page for Residents and Businesses looking for help or offering help

Newburyport Connected is a city site with resources for residents and businesses affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.  You can use the sign in form to describe your need and city staff will help resolve your issue or will refer you to the appropriate local social service provider.  Many will be affected by Coronavirus in the coming months and we hope that this referral page will make it easier for residents to find the help they need.  In addition, residents and businesses looking to help others can sign up to be connected to others.  We may have to stay apart and be socially distant, but we need to remain connected as a community during these difficult times.

CityofNewburyport.com/Connected

Mayor Updates:

Previous City Updates:

Previous State Updates

Resources:

 

Latest Health Guidance

City leaders stress that if anyone displays symptoms of COVID-19, including a fever, cough or shortness of breath they are advised to call their primary care physician as a first step.

For those calling 911 for police or fire services, you will find that dispatchers are asking a number of questions about the health of you and those in your household to better prepare first responders and keep them safe.

Public health officials are advising everyone to practice social distancing by keeping six feet between people to prevent the spread of infection, which includes handshaking and hugging. Residents are also encouraged to avoid group activities and events.

Other Guidelines Include:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, including under your fingernails. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol content) can be used when soap and water are not available.
  • Keep your hands away from your face.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing with a tissue and discard it immediately. Cough into the sleeve over your elbow instead of your hand. Wash your hands often when coughing and sneezing.
  • Stay away from people who are sick and stay home when you are sick.

Managing Stress

The City’s leadership team understands that the threat of illness as well as the widespread practice of social distancing and the closure of most public events and cancellation of school and other activities is a source of stress and anxiety for many residents.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidelines for those experiencing fear and anxiety relating to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Coping with stress will make residents and those they care about, as well as the community as a whole, stronger and healthier.

Those who may respond to the crisis more strongly than others include:

  • Older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for COVID-19
  • Children and teens
  • People who are helping with the response to COVID-19, such as doctors and other healthcare providers, or first responders
  • People who have mental health conditions, including problems with substance use

Additionally, people with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms. Additional information can be found at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website.

For more information, parents, responders, people who have been released from quarantine and the general public can visit the CDC’s “Managing Anxiety and Stress” website.