COVID-19 Updates

UPDATED 2-25-21

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

  • Case Count: As of 2/25/21 there have been 942 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Swampscott and 19 COVID-19 related deaths caused by the virus.
  • Vaccinations: View an update on the Town and Regional vaccination plan HERE.
  • Testing: Swampscott no longer offers testing at our testing site. 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 has released new 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
- Town Closures & Service Suspensions
- Vaccination Plan
- 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:

    • Swampscott Town Hall and Services:  Town Hall is currently open by appointment only. Read more HERE. Most essential services can still be completed online. For questions, call 781-596-8850.
    • Swampscott Public Library: The library is open from 10-4 for curbside service (window ). Patrons can call the Reference Desk at 781-596-8867 (ext. 3304) to request books for pickup starting on 6/22 @10am.Visit the library website or Facebook page for more information.
    • Swampscott Senior Center: The Senior Center has reopened for specific programs when they cannot be held outside and is providing some programming on the Cable Access Channel and on Zoom. See the Senior Center newsletter for more information here.
    • Inspections: Inspections are perfomed on a limited basis and technology is being used to replace in-person inspections whenever possible.  
    • 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.
    • 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
    • Playgrounds: Playgrounds are open. Visitors must follow these regulations:
      • Children and/or adults who feel sick or are recovering from an illness may not visit the playground
      • Children and adults must remain 6 feet away from others
      • Children over the age of 2 and adults must wear face coverings if unable to socially distance
      • Caregivers must monitor children at all times to ensure they are socially distancing and wearing face coverings
      • If playground/park is crowded and social distancing cannot be maintained, please go to another playground/park.
    • 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
      • No beach fires allowed
      • No beach games allowed

    VACCINATION PLAN

    Currently, individuals in Phase 1 are eligible to receive a vaccine

    • Starting February 1, the state will begin Phase 2 of the plan, and individuals 75+ will be eligible
    • There are over 100 vaccination sites throughout the state. View a map HERE.
    • You must schedule an appointment to receive a vaccination
    • Please note that COVID vaccination clinics are contingent upon availability of vaccines. Although the region strives to keep up with the state’s phases, this again is contingent upon vaccine availability. Please visit mass.gov/COVIDVaccineMap often for additional dates, times, and locations of upcoming COVID vaccination clinics.

    Please stay tuned for more information and visit the state website for details on phases, locations, and FAQs: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/massachusetts-covid-19-vaccine-informa...

    FOOD SERVICES
     

    • Anchor Food Pantry: Beginning the week of 9/14/20, Anchor Food Pantry will be open on Wednesday evenings 6-8. Our hours will be Monday 11am-1pm and Wednesday 6pm-8pm.  Any Swampscott or Nahant resident can access the Anchor Food Pantry.  Visitors are welcome to come once a week and choose grocery times.  We are currently located at the Swampscott Senior Center, behind the High School.
    • 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

    • 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.
    • 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.

    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. 
    • 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

    • 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 can be found on the Cable Access website

    EMERGENCY ORDERS

    • Emergency Order #5 (EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 12): 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

    STATE-WIDE CASE UPDATE

    As of January 23, 2021 there have been 472,175 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