Please note the following updates from the Town of Swampscott regarding the ongoing COVID 19 emergency response:
Public Health Update: The Swampscott Health Department has announced that a Swampscott resident has tested “presumptive positive” for COVID-19, which means that their test is pending confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The resident is following recommended isolation protocols and is being monitored by the Swampscott Health Department.
Schools: Per Governor Baker’s order yesterday, all public and private schools will remain closed until April 7th. Visit www.swampscottps.org for school updates, including food services.
Town Services: Town Hall, the Swampscott Public Library, and the Swampscott Senior Center will also remain closed until April 7th. Please call the Senior Center at (781) 596-8866 for information about services being offered to Seniors and use the website or call 781-596-8850 to speak with someone about Town services.
Restaurants: Per Governor Baker’s order, starting tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17th, 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.
Playgrounds and public spaces: All Town playgrounds will remain closed. Families are welcome to play in fields but please do not engage in group activities or activities that require contact, and remember to maintain at least a 6-foot distance from others.
Town Response: Swampscott’s Emergency Response Team is in regular contact with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and other State and Federal Agencies in order to keep our residents safe. The Swampscott Emergency Response Team is meeting at least daily to review all updates and additional measures required in response to this public health emergency. Swampscott’s Emergency Response Team includes:
Swampscott Fire Chief / Director of Emergency Management
Swampscott Town Administrator
Swampscott Superintendent of Schools
Swampscott Police Chief
Swampscott Public Health Director
Swampscott Public Health Nurse
Swampscott Senior Center
Swampscott Assistant Town Administrator
Chair, Swampscott Board of Health
Chair, Swampscott Select Board
Chair, Swampscott School Committee
Trash and Recycling will continue to be picked up on a normal schedule.
All Town-sponsored public events (recreation, library, senior center, etc.) are postponed.
All Board, Committee, and other public meetings are cancelled and will be held virtually using Zoom. Please stay tuned for public meeting postings with information on how to access meetings online or by phone.
As of March 15, 2020, there have been 45 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts and 119 presumptive positive 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*:
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
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