COVID-19 Updates

UPDATED 6-1-20
Please note the following updates from the Town of Swampscott regarding the ongoing COVID-19 emergency response:

  • Public Health Update: As of 5/29 there have been 123 cases of COVID-19 in Swampscott and 8 COVID-19 related deaths caused by the virus.
  • Beaches are open and the Town has released guidelines for beach use. Click here for more info.
  • Food Assistance Survey: June 19, 2020 will be the last day the Swampscott Public Schools will distribute free meals to families. If you are in need of food assistance or know someone who is, please fill out or share this survey. A PDF of the survey can be found here to be downloaded and returned in person if desired. The Senior Center and Anchor Food Pantry will continue to distribute meals this summer.

    IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT SWAMPSCOTT AND COVID-19
    - Get Town Alerts
    - Town Closures & Service Suspensions
    - Food Services
    - Volunteering
    - Business and Employee Information
    - Info About Your Health and Wellness
    - Important Meetings
    - Emergency Orders
    - 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/ADAPTED:

      • Schools/Child Care:  All public and private schools will be closed for the remainder of the school year. Visit www.swampscottps.org for school updates, including food services. Massachusetts childcare facilities will remain closed until June 29, 2020 with the exception of daycares approved by the state to serve children of essential workers.
      • 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: Inspections are perfomed on a limited basis and technology is being used to replace in-person inspections whenever possible.  
      • Playgrounds: All Town playgrounds will remain closed until further guidance from the state. 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 and wear masks when social distancing is not possible.
      • Kings Beach Walkway and Humphrey St.: In order to allow for adequate social distancing, the walkway and sidewalks on Humphrey St. will now accommodate one-way pedestrian traffic.
      • 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/OPENING 

      • 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, Fire, and other 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
      • Beaches: Beaches are open and the Town of Swampscott has issued beach rules consistent with guidelines from the State in order to keep visitors safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
        • Face coverings must be worn when entering or exiting the beach or when you are within 6 feet of another person
        • Maintain 6 feet between you and others while on the beach and in the water
        • Maintain 12 feet between towel/beach blanket area
        • There are no trash receptacles. Please take trash home with you when you leave.
        • No beach fires allowed
        • No beach games allowed

      FOOD SERVICES
       

      • Food Services for public:
        1. Meals for all public (UNTIL JUNE 19): 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: Anchor Food Pantry provides a bag of food staples on Monday & Wednesday at the High School from 11:00 -1:00pm.  Proof residency is required. Seniors can call the Senior Center for additional information.  
      • Food Assistance Survey: June 19, 2020 will be the last day the Swampscott Public Schools will distribute free meals to families. If you are in need of food assistance or know someone who is, please fill out or share this survey. A PDF of the survey can be found here to be downloaded and returned in person if desired. The Senior Center and Anchor Food Pantry will continue to distribute meals this summer.
      • 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.

        INFORMATION FOR BUSINESSES & EMPLOYEES

        • State and Town Business 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.
        • Business Re-Opening: On March 18, 2020 Governor Baker released a phased plan to begin re-opening businesses. For information about the state plan, click here. FOr more information on how the Town can assist with the re-opening process, click here.
        • 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.
        • Big Blue Bingo: Order from your favorite restaurants, play Big Blue Bingo, and enter to win a gift card to a Swampscott business! See the bingo card and instructions here.

        IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR HEALTH & WELLNESS
         

        • Symptom Checker: Massachusetts has launched a new resource that residents can use to assess symptoms and find the right care. Massachusetts residents can visit www.Buoy.com/mass to get advice from an online health assistant safely at home, for free.(Buoy's online tool is not to be used in place of emergency medical care. If this is an emergency, call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room.)
        • Social service agencies are doing their best to continue to provide critical services to those who need them. Many of these organizations are offering online and phone support as many of their in-person services have been suspended. View information about available services here.
        • Face Covering Order: A state order remains in effect requiring the general public to wear masks at essential business establishments such as grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants to pick up food, etc. Coverings also must be worn in common spaces in residential or commercial units greater than 1 unit. Volunteers have sewn masks that can be picked up at the Police Station and the Senior Center. Please call the Senior Center at 781-596-8866 in advance to reserve a mask. 
        • Maintaining physical and mental health:
          Stay tuned into the Town’s Facebook page and the Swampscott Recreation 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. 
        • Postal Workers: Our postal workers remain hard at work during this difficult time. The USPS has issued updated procedures in order to keep mail carriers safe. When dropping off a package, carriers will knock on the door, ask for a name and sign for the package themselves, and then leave the package in a safe place for retrieval. Please do not approach mail carriers or their vehicles to retrieve your mail or hand them

        IMPORTANT MEETINGS RELATED TO COVID-19

        • The Select Board and Board of Health will hold virtual meetings weekly. One of the agenda items will continue to be an update on COVID-19 and potential votes in regards to the Town's emergency response.  Access to the meetings will be available through the Zoom computer or smartphone application, by telephone, on Government Access TV (online or on TV) and Facebook live. Visit the Town of Swampscott calendar to learn about upcoming meetings.

        • Recordings of previous Select Board/Board of Health Meetings on the topic of COVID-19: 

        EMERGENCY ORDERS

        • Emergency Order #4 (EFFECTIVE MAY 20, REPLACES ORDERS #1-3: On May 19, 2020, the Select Board & Board of Health issued a new Emergency Order #4 which combines and replaces Emergency Orders #1-3. The order includes the following (this is not a comprehensive list. For the full order, click here.):
          • A reopening of the Town in accordance with the Governor's Safer at Home guidance
          • Information about business reopening requirements
          • Face covering requirement
        • Order #3 (EXPIRED MAY 18): Personal Protection Emergency OrderIn a public meeting on Friday, April 10, the Swampscott Select Board and Board of Health issued an order regarding personal protection measures taken by members of the public and employees at essential businesses, including face coverings and limiting the number of customers in essential businesses. On April 29, the Select Board and Board of Health amended the order by adding a new Section 9, ensuring that the Order shall not apply to persons for whom a face covering would cause impairment due to an existing health condition, or persons requiring a reasonable accommodation/modification as a result of a qualifying disability as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act and/or any applicable laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Read full order here.
        • Order #2 (EXPIRED MAY 18):  A Stay at Home Order is in effect in Swampscott until May 18. 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:
        • Order #1 (EXPIRED MAY 18): Declaration of Emergency - issued March 21

        STATE-WIDE CASE UPDATE

        As of June 1, 2020 there have been 100,805 confirmed 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