COVID-19 Updates

UPDATED 11/29/21

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

  • Case Count: As of 11/29/21 there have been 1,560 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Swampscott and 21 COVID-19 related deaths caused by the virus.
  • Vaccination Rate:
    • 95% for those eligible have recieved 1 dose
    • 81% for those eligible are fully vaccinated
  • Town Buildling Mask Policy & Delta Variant: See BELOW for important information on the renewed mask policy and an update about the Delta variant.
  • Vaccinations: View an update on the Town and Regional vaccination plan HERE.
  • Testing: Click HERE for more detailed information about other safe, reliable, and fast locations to be tested in neighboring communities.
  • Testing/Contact Tracing: There's important information you should know about the testing process and contact tracing. Read more HERE
  • The Town maintains interactive charts reflecting the rise in COVID-19 cases, cases per day, and other important data. Click HERE.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT SWAMPSCOTT AND COVID-19
- Get Town Alerts
- Vaccination Plan
- Updated Mask Policy and Information About Delta Variant
- Food Services
- Volunteering
- Business and Employee Information
- Info About Your Health and Wellness
- Important Meetings
- Emergency Orders

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.

VACCINATIONS

For detailed information on vaccination eligibility, locations, and other facts visit the Vaccination Page on the Swampscott website.

UPDATED MASK POLICY & INFORMATION ABOUT DELTA VARIANT

Due to the rise in positive cases of the highly-transmissible COVID Delta variant in Massachusetts, starting Monday, August 9, masks will be required in all municipal buildings regardless of vaccination status. This includes Town Hall, the Library, Senior Center, Department of Public Works, Police Station, and Fire Station.

I’M VACCINATED, DO I STILL HAVE TO WEAR A MASK IN TOWN BUILDINGS?

Yes, you must wear a mask in all town buildings even if you’ve received the vaccine. The good news is that the CDC reports that the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines continue to be effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalizations, and deaths in those that are fully vaccinated. Furthermore, the current breakthrough rate of vaccinated individuals infected with COVID-19 in Massachusetts is less than 1% of positive cases.

However, vaccinated individuals can still contract and transmit the virus to others. Studies have shown that the viral load in infected individuals with the Delta variant is the same with or without the vaccine. In order to continue to protect those who are immunocompromised or unable to be vaccinated (including children under the age of 12), mask-wearing is still a necessary precaution to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

WHY NOW?

Town Officials have implemented this policy in light of several jarring pieces of information about the new Delta variant as reported by the CDC and other medical professionals:

  • The Delta variant, which is now the dominant variant in Massachusetts, is considered to be highly transmissible and it is much more easily spread to other people. Researchers estimate that the Delta variant is roughly 50% more contagious than the Alpha variant, the strain previously dominant in the country.
  • Early studies are also finding people infected with the Delta variant carry higher levels of virus than with earlier strains, which lead to far less exposure time (some medical experts state that the exposure time is now 1 minute, as opposed to the 15 minutes previously stated with the original strain.)
  • Vaccinated people infected with the Delta variant have measurable viral loads similar to those who are unvaccinated and infected with the variant.
  • The CDC Director stated that the Delta variant is about as transmissible as chickenpox, with each infected person, on average, infecting eight or nine others.
  • On July 27th, 2021, the CDC released recommendations that all persons, including those who are fully vaccinated, should wear masks in indoor public settings in areas where COVID-19 transmission is ‘high’ or ‘substantial’ () and according to the CDC’s COVID-19 Data Tracker Integrated County View, Essex County is in the orange with the ‘substantial’ transmission
WHAT’S THE CURRENT SITUATION IN SWAMPSCOTT?

The great news is that as of 7/27/21, 75% of eligible Swampscott residents (ages 12 and older) have been fully vaccinated (thank you!). However, after 7 weeks of 0 confirmed positive cases, the Town of Swampscott has reported 18 new lab-confirmed cases in the last 2 weeks alone – in line with case trends last seen in April before the vaccine was widely available and before the Delta variant emerged. These cases have been found in individuals ranging in age from children to the elderly.

WHERE DO THESE VARIANTS COME FROM?

It is natural for viruses overtime to undergo genetic mutations, potentially causing them to become impervious to current vaccines. The more opportunities a virus has to infect an individual – most commonly an unvaccinated person – the more likely these mutations are to occur. This is one of many reasons why it is so crucial for individuals to get vaccinated to prevent the virus from mutating into a variant that is not responsive to the current vaccines. LEARN MORE.

PLEASE GET VACCINATED!

It’s more urgent now than ever that unvaccinated individuals who can be vaccinated do so. Early reports in Massachusetts conclude vaccinated individuals make up less than 1% of confirmed positive cases of COVID-19, and those who do get sick are far less likely to experience severe symptoms or be hospitalized. (https://www.mass.gov/doc/daily-covid-19-vaccine-report-august-3-2021/dow...)

There is no shortage of vaccines at local pharmacies, including CVS, Stop & Shop, and Walgreens on Paradise Rd. The Lynn Community Health Center at 269 Union St. is still open for vaccinations as well. https://www.lchcnet.org/vaccine-schedule/month.

PLEASE GET TESTED!

If you have any symptoms of COVID and/or have been named as a close contact of someone that has tested positive for COVID, please get tested! Project Beacon still provides free testing, with no insurance required, and is open to all Massachusetts residents over the age of 12 months old.  The closest location is in Lynn and information on how to register for an appointment to get tested can be found here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/regional-express-covid-19-testing-site...

WHAT’S NEXT?

The Swampscott Health Department will continue to closely monitor the trends of the spread of the new variant in Swampscott, regionally, and nation-wide. All efforts to continue to mitigate the effects of the virus are based in regional trends, guidance from the CDC, and science. Decisions balance the highly successful efficacy of the vaccination with the fact that we still have a fair number of people who cannot or will not get vaccinated. Updates on guidance will be provided through the Town’s Facebook page, robocalls (sign up at www.swampscottma.gov) and on the Town website.

FOOD SERVICES
 

  • Anchor Food Pantry: Starting on May 24, Anchor Food Pantry will now operate out of 86 Burrill St. Visit the Anchor Food Pantry page for more information.

VOLUNTEERING

  • The Medical Reserve Corps is currently seeking volunteers to aid in COVID-19 vaccination efforts! You do not need to be a medical professional to apply, as there are non-medical opportunities as well. The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a national network of local groups of volunteers engaging local communities to strengthen public health, reduce vulnerability, build resilience, and improve preparedness, response and recovery capabilities. To register to volunteer, visit www.mrcvolunteer.org/home.html

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.

HOUSING RESOURCES

If you're struggling to pay rent, facing eviction, or need other services, learn about the options available to you 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.
  • 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.

IMPORTANT MEETINGS RELATED TO COVID-19

  • Recordings of previous Select Board/Board of Health Meetings on the topic of COVID-19 can be found on the Cable Access website. Stay tuned for upcoming COVID-19 related meetings.

EMERGENCY ORDERS

  • Emergency Order #6 (EFFECTIVE MAY 13, 2021)
    • Rescinds all previous COVID-19 Emergency Orders
    • The Town, businesses, and residents shall follow all regulations and guidance as updated regularly by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in effect.  To the extent necessary, the Town may enforce applicable state and federal COVID-19 requirements to the extent permitted by law.
  • Emergency Order #5 (EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 12, 2020): The Town has instituted MANDATORY MASK ZONES in the following areas.
    - Humphrey Street: From Shelton Road to the Lynn Line
    - Puritan Road: From the beginning of Puritan Road (near the Fish House) to Puritan Lane
    - The regions surrounding the MBTA Train Station
    - The Vinnin Square Shopping District: Along Paradise Road from the Salem Line to 330 Paradise Road. This zone also includes all shopping and food areas and entries from Essex Street
    For more information, read the press release HERE and the order HERE.
  • 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

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)


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


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