COVID-19 Updates

UPDATED 3-26-20
Please note the following updates from the Town of Swampscott regarding the ongoing COVID-19 emergency response:

  • Stay-at-Home Order: In a public meeting on March 25, 2020, the Select Board and Board of Health voted unanimously to issue a Stay-at-Home Order for the Town of Swampscott, which makes mandatory Governor Baker's Stay-at-Home Advisory issued on March 24, 2020. This order prohibits individuals from leaving their residence except for essential activities such as running necessary errands, going for a walk or getting exercise, or leaving home to care for a family member. Here are some links relevant to this order:
  • Public Health Update:  There have been 6 cases of COVID-19 in Swampscott. The Swampscott Health Department strongly believes that additional unrecognized cases DO exist in Town. Due to the fact that they are undetected, some of these infected individuals may not be properly isolated or quarantined, which is why the Health Department continues to strongly request that everyone practice diligent social distancing and avoid large gatherings.
  • Business Assistance: There are several resources available to small businesses and employees affected by the State of Emergency. Click here for more information.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT SWAMPSCOTT AND COVID-19
- Get Town Alerts
- Town Closures & Service Suspensions
- Food Services
- Volunteering
- Business Information
- Info About Your Health and Wellness
- Important Meetings
- Other Information
- Statewide Cases

GET TOWN ALERTS

Stay up to date on the Town's emergency response to COVID-19 by signing up to receive Town Emergency Notifications via phone, text, and/or email by going to swampscottma.bbcportal.com and entering your information.

TOWN CLOSURES & SERVICE SUSPENSIONS

CLOSED:

  • Schools:  All public and private schools will remain closed until May 1st (Schools to open May 4th). Visit www.swampscottps.org for school updates, including food services.
  • Swampscott Town Hall and Services: Town Hall is closed to the public, but most essential services can still be completed online. For questions, call 781-596-8850.
  • Swampscott Public Library: The library is closed to the public, but is offering many great virtual programs to keep you occupied at home. Visit the library website or Facebook page for more information.
  • Swampscott Senior Center: The Senior Center is closed but is still offering meals and services to seniors. Call 781-596-8866 for more information and view the FOOD SERVICES portion of this page.
  • Inspections: All non-essential fire safety and building inspections have been suspended until further notice. Town Hall, the Swampscott Public Library, and the Swampscott Senior Center will also remain closed to the public until further notice. Please call the Senior Center at (781) 596-8866 for information about services being offered to Seniors. Information about town services are available at swampscottma.gov call 781-596-8850 to speak with someone about Town services.
  • Playgrounds: All Town playgrounds will remain closed. At the moment, residents may access town fields as long there are no group activities and people maintain at least a 6-foot distance from others.
  • All Board, Committee, and other public meetings moving forward will be held virtually using Zoom. Please consult the Town Website Calendar for information on meeting dates & times and how to access meetings online or by phone.

STILL OPERATING 

  • Trash and Recycling will continue to be picked up on a normal schedule. To order over-throw stickers, mail a check for $2/sticker to "Overthrow Stickers," 22 Monument Ave. Swampscott, MA 01907. Stickers will be mailed to your home address. Purchasing Overthrow Stickers in-person at Town Hall will not be allowed during this emergency. Due to the State of Massachusettes Executive Order, effective March 24th,  ALL Simple Recycling collection operations (pink bag program) in the state are temporarily suspended.  This will remain in effect until further notice.
  • Police Emergency Services: The Swampscott Police Department will continue to operate 24/7. The front door will remain unlocked for urgent public safety matters, but the public is strongly encouraged to address all non-urgent matters over the phone by calling the police station at 781-595-1111. As always, in an emergency or when immediate urgent police response is needed, call 911

FOOD SERVICES
 

  • Food Services for public:
    1. Meals for all public: Monday-Friday free lunch pick-up at Swampscott High School from 11:00am - 1:00pm
    2. Meals for Seniors: Monday-Friday Meals on Wheels pick-up or delivery for people 60+.  Call Senior Center for information (781-596-8866).
    3. Bag of staples for all Public & Seniors: A bag of food staples available weekly to all. Call Senior Center for information (781-596-8866).
  • Help Support the Anchor Food Pantry
    The Anchor Food Pantry in Swampscott is seeking donations of food and money. For more information on how to donate food, visit the Anchor Food Pantry Facebook page or call the Senior Center at (781) 596-8866.

    VOLUNTEERING

    • If you are interested in volunteering to help residents during the COVID-19 emergency, please fill out our volunteer form click here.
    • Additionally, the Medical Reserve Corps is looking for medical and non-medical volunteers to help in the coming months responding to COVID-19. Learn more here.

    INFORMATION ABOUT BUSINESSES

    • State and Town Resources: Visit the COVID-19 Business Resource Page for more information about how to obtain financial assistance for your small business affected by the State of Emergency.
    • Restaurants: Per Governor Baker’s order, only take-out and delivery will be allowed for restaurants and food establishments. The Town of Swampscott is allowing all restaurants to offer curbside pick-up and delivery until further notice. See a list of restaurants still serving curbside pick-up or delivery.
    • State ordered closure of non-essential businesses: On 3/23/20, Governor Baker issued an order requiring the closure of non-essential businesses  To see a copy of the order, click here.
    • Small Business Support: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Town of Swampscott are available to help small businesses through this unprecedented time.  Please click HERE to obtain more information on available programs.  Swampscott businesses are also welcome to contact Marzie Galazka, Swampscott Community and Economic Development Director at 781 596 8829 or mgalazka@swampscottma.gov for assistance or with questions.
    • Non-essential Personal Services: Prior to Governor Baker's non-essential business closure order, the Select Board and Board of Health held an emergency public meeting and unanimously voted on an order that prohibits the operations of all non-critical businesses and entities that provide personal care services and cannot comply with social distancing protocols. This order will go into effect at 9:00am on Saturday, March 21st until 11:59pm on April 6th.  This closure applies to personal service businesses including (but not limited to) hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, gyms, health clubs, tanning, laser hair removal, and massage parlors. This order does NOT apply to medical or dental and ancillary health services provided they are able to adhere to proper treatment protocols recommended by the Massachusetts Department of public Health and Centers for Disease Control. View the signed copy of the order and the video of the public meeting here.

    IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR HEALTH & WELLNESS
     

    • Maintaining physical and mental health:
      Staying isolated indoors can take a toll on us physically and mentally. Here are some ideas on how to stay active and connected:
      1. Exercise, take a walk/run/ride a bike 
      2. Stay connected through phone, video, and other social media 
      3. Stay tuned into the Town’s Facebook page to see Swampscott Recreation virtual activities to participate in.
    • Social Isolation and gatherings: It is crucial that you avoid social interaction at your home – even in small groups – to keep those around you safe. Early and thoughtful social distancing will flatten the curve, lessen the burden on our healthcare system and reduce the length and need for longer periods of extreme social distancing later. Please do not hold play dates or group gatherings.
    • COVID-19 Testing: Urgent Care in Swampscott is doing COVID-19 testing starting today at its location in Vininn Square BY APPOINTMENT ONLY and subject to availability.  People who feel they are symptomatic should call Urgent Care in Swampscott at 781 691-9366 for a telephone screening and to see if they qualify for testing. 

    IMPORTANT MEETINGS RELATED TO COVID-19

    • On Wednesday, March 25 at 6:00pm there will be a VIRTUAL joint Select Board & Board of Health meeting to provide an update on COVID-19. The boards will also discuss and possibly vote on other emergency public health measures and/or responses to the virus. Access to the meeting is available through the Zoom computer or smartphone application, by telephone, on Government Access TV (online or on TV) and Facebook live. For detail, view the agenda here.
    • Previous Meetings: Watch the March 18th and 20th Select Board and Board of Health meeting regarding the Town's emergency response to COVID-19 HERE.

    OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION

    • On Friday, March 21, the Select Board & Board of Health issued a Declaration of Emergency. READ MORE HERE.

    STATE-WIDE CASE UPDATE

    As of March 26, 2020 there have been 2,417 cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts.


    Current Situation: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID‑19)

    A novel (new) coronavirus was recently detected in Wuhan, China and is causing an outbreak of respiratory disease. On February 11, 2020, the World Health Organization named the disease coronavirus disease 2019 (abbreviated “COVID‑19”). On March 11th, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has the latest information on the number of people in the United States who are infected and is updating this information regularly at noon Mondays through Fridays. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has the latest information on the number of people in Massachusetts who are infected and is updating this information daily by 4pm.  

    The Swampscott Health Department is working closely with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) in monitoring this developing situation. Please click on the following for the latest developments on COVID-19:

    Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) - Information on the Outbreak of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) - Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)


    INFORMATION FOR THE PUBLIC

    How does COVID-19 spread?

    Current understanding about how the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreads is largely based on what is known about similar coronaviruses. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:

    • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet)
    • Via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
    • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
    • It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
    • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

    How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected. Information taken from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/transmission.html

    What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

    Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure*:

    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath

    *This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses. Information taken from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html

    How can I prevent COVID-19?

    There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus, which are similar to the precautions you take to avoid the flu. As a reminder, the Swampscott Health Department always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.

    Information taken from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html

    What do I do if I think I may have COVID-19?

    Call ahead to a healthcare professional if you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you live in or have recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread. Tell your healthcare professional about your recent travel or contact. Your healthcare professional will work with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.

    Information taken from: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/steps-when-sick.html

    Where can I learn more?

    CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about COVID-19

    MDPH's Frequently asked questions about COVID-19


    Information for Travelers

    With the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, the Swampscott Health Department encourages everyone to heed the advice of the CDC and U.S. State Department’s travel watches, alerts, and warnings.

    CDC TRAVEL HEALTH NOTICES
    U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT TRAVEL ADVISORY


    Information for Healthcare Providers

    Information for Healthcare providers can be found here:
    CDC GUIDANCE FOR HEALTH PROFESSIONALS


    Information for EMS Systems

    Emergency medical services (EMS) systems can find interim guidance for the COVID-19 response on the CDC website:
    CDC GUIDANCE FOR EMS SYSTEMS


    Information for Businesses

    Businesses and employers can find interim guidance for the COVID-19 response on the CDC website:
    CDC GUIDANCE FOR BUSINESSES & EMPLOYERS


    Information for Pregnant Women

    Frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers about COVID-19 and pregnancy can be found on the CDC website:
    CDC FAQS ON COVID-19 & PREGNANCY


    Printable Materials

    The following materials can be printed for display and/or distribution to communicate key information about COVID‑19:

    MDPH - Public Health Factsheet on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) 

    CDC - Stop the Spread of Germs 

    CDC - Symptoms of Coronavirus Disease 2019

    MDPH - Stop the Spread of Germs


    Personal and Family Preparedness Resources

    Mass.gov's Know, Plan, Prepare website

    Mass.gov's Know, Plan, Prepare Preparedness Checklist

    American Red Cross: Disaster Preparedness for Seniors by Seniors