The following is Mayor Thomas McGee’s Statement to the City Council:
Thank you Council President Cyr. The news surrounding COVID-19 outbreak, commonly known as the coronavirus, is constantly changing and rapidly evolving. Yesterday, I declared a State of Emergency within the City of Lynn and today, the Lynn Board of Health has declared a Public Health Emergency in order to protect the general health, safety and well-being of the residents of the city.
Representatives from my Office, members of the City Council, the Public Health Department, Office of Emergency Management and first responders are in constant communication and working with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health concerning COVID-19. I have also been in frequent contact with fellow mayors throughout the region as well as our state and federal delegation.
The city has been extensively preparing for scenarios that can play out with the evolving COVID-19 situation. We will continue to provide regular updates on the City website, social media, and the Smart 911 emergency notification system. Know that the tough decisions we are making are necessary steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 here in Lynn.
In light of this truly unparalleled situation, I have ordered the following:
1. Lynn City Hall, the Department of Public Works, and the Lynn Public Library will be closed to the public until further notice. This directive does NOT apply to emergency services including Lynn Police and Fire. Residents are highly encouraged to conduct their business with City Hall by phone, email, or on the City website as much as possible, but should expect some slight delays in response due to limited staffing;
2. All non-essential in-person governmental meetings and large group gatherings will be postponed, suspended, canceled or held virtually.
3. The Lynn Public schools will be closed through Monday, April 6th at a minimum per the Governor’s order for temporary closure of all K through 12 schools throughout the state. The Lynn School District is still asking parents to plan to have child care arrangements in place through April 17th.
a. Grab and Go lunches will be available for all youth in the city under the age of 18 daily between 11:00am and 1:00pm at the following schools; Marshall Middle School, English High School, Classical High School, and Lynn Technical and Vocational High School.
b. School resources are available to students by grades on the Lynn Public School’s website. We highly encourage students to access these resources daily.
4. Shows in the Lynn Auditorium are postponed through April 29th and will be rescheduled for later dates.
5. All youth day care programs, senior adult day care programs, nail salons, hair salons and barber shops, have been ordered closed by the Lynn Department of Public Health through March 31st.
6. All playground structures within the City of Lynn will be closed until further notice. As the coronavirus can live on hard surfaces for up to 9 days, we believe this is an unfortunate, but necessary step to take to prevent any community spread. If you are heading to a City Park, please maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet and do not engage in sports or activities that require shared, physical contact.
Lynn Water and Sewer and the Lynn Housing Authority are also closed to the public until further notice. Their clients are encouraged to conduct their business by phone, email, or their agency’s respective websites.
Governor Baker has prohibited gatherings of over 25 people throughout the commonwealth and banned all in person consumption of food or drink within any restaurant or bar. Food establishments may remain open, but are limited to providing only take-out or delivery service.
The most important way that residents can help to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus is to practice social distancing. Everyone can easily take the following precautions: Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue and dispose of any used materials. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Stay home if you are sick and call your doctor.
The CDC has continued to say that those people at high risk for contracting the COVID-19 Coronavirus include older adults and people with serious, chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or lung disease. The CDC recommends that residents who fit these criteria should take everyday precautions to keep space between themselves and others, limit close contact with those who are sick, and to avoid crowds, cruise travel and non-essential air travel as much as possible. We want residents to know after speaking with numerous nursing homes in the city, there are significant visitor restrictions in place to protect the elderly. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) new recommendations for recent travelers for the following countries: China, Iran, Italy and South Korea, most of Europe and all of the United Kingdom & Ireland. Anyone who has traveled to or from one of these countries is advised to self-quarantine for 14 days since they left the affected area and take the following recommended steps:
Take your temperature with a thermometer two times a day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period. Discuss your work situation with your employer before returning to work.
Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
Avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).
We encourage all residents to visit the City of Lynn Health Department “Coronavirus Resources” page at lynnma.gov/coronavirus for more information and to sign up for the Smart 911 updates at smart911.com
I want all Lynn residents to know we are united in our efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19. I also want to thank the Emergency Management team and City officials who have been working tirelessly to ensure the City and our residents are educated, prepared and safe for this evolving situation. We ask for your patience and understanding as we deal with this truly unprecedented circumstances for our community and country. We are working together to provide you with the most accurate information available and advise you of all developments.
Thank you for your help in partnering with us on this effort and please continue to visit the City website, my Facebook Page for more updates, which I have asked to be shared by members of the City Council and the School Committee so that we can ensure that our unified message is reaching as many residents as possible.