Special to the Lynn Journal
Mayor Thomas McGee has lauded the Baker-Polito Administration stepping up its targeted initiative to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in communities across the Commonwealth with the highest number of positive cases. Lynn is currently one of the top 5 highest-risk communities in Massachusetts.
The initiative will bring even greater focus to Lynn with regular neighborhood-level assessments and a comprehensive multi-lingual public messaging campaign.
“As the City of Lynn works purposefully to combat the rising cases of COVID-19, we are grateful to the state for their added assistance of The Commonwealth’s Enforcement and Intervention Team,” said Mayor McGee. “Together, we are expanding the available testing, increasing our reach to residents with visual reminders and information, and enforcing the Orders of the Commonwealth. I cannot underscore enough the importance of compliance from our residents and I thank those who are doing their part. We must remain vigilant in our prevention efforts to continue to limit the spread of the virus. “
The initiative focuses efforts on Lynn, Revere, Chelsea, Everett, and Lawrence. and Revere. The Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Enforcement and Intervention Team (CEIT), in partnership with local community officials, is leading this effort. This targeted initiative includes regular meetings with local leadership to understand residential and business activities contributing to trends, an even greater level of state focus to stop the spread and a new public messaging campaign.
The goal of the public messaging campaign is to ensure residents know they live in a high-risk community and reiterate the importance of wearing a mask and other best practices to stop the spread. Built around a message of, “You have the power to save a life,” the comprehensive campaign will encourage the use of masks and social distancing and will run in English, Portuguese, Spanish, Haitian Creole, Vietnamese, Arabic and other languages common to these communities. The campaign includes:
• A new online resource at Mass.gov/StopCOVID19
(Additional multilingual online resources will be available soon)
• Advertising on billboards, digital and social media
• Downloadable materials in multiple languages
• Multi-lingual field teams deployed in the communities
• Phone and text communications
• Outreach to local community groups
This new website Mass.gov/StopCOVID19 provides residents and local business owners with information on how to stop the spread, state restrictions on gathering sizes, testing locations and materials that can be printed for display in apartment complexes, restaurants and community areas.
The campaign’s advertising will run on hundreds of displays, message boards, signs, billboards and other channels in these top 5 communities through paid partnerships and via state-owned resources, such as at MBTA stations, on MassDOT signs and much more. During Labor Day weekend, the field teams will be active at approximately 15 locations in these top 5 communities. All aspects of this campaign will expand throughout the fall.
In early August, the Administration established CEIT through the COVID-19 Command Center. CEIT is a cross-agency response unit, which includes representatives from the Community Tracing Collaborative, Department of Public Health, Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, Massachusetts State Police, Department of Labor Standards and other agencies.
Since it was launched, this team has worked closely with all higher-risk communities to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in areas that are persistently above the state average. CEIT partnered with local elected and community officials, including municipal leadership, police chiefs and local health departments, to assess trends and most effectively utilize resources. Collectively, these teams have enforced gathering size restrictions and shared with municipalities additional state support, such as testing and contact tracing information. Over the last two weeks the statewide average daily incidence rate is 4.2 cases per 100,000 people, while Lynn is 12.1 cases per 100,000 people. Chelsea is 29.4, Revere is 20.9, Everett is 15.9 and Lawrence is 14.9. As new community data is reported, CEIT will adjust as cities and towns move into or out of higher-risk categories. Throughout September, the campaign will expand beyond the top five communities.