Hello, this is Mayor Joe Curtatone with an important message.
The news regarding the COVID-19 has been developing rapidly. I wanted to take this moment to personally update you on Somerville’s actions to curtail the spread of the virus.
The disease officially has been classified as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. It’s important that we all take this public health emergency seriously and do what we can to help stop its spread. Coronavirus is more contagious than the flu, it is more deadly than the flu, and none of us are immune to it. If we allow it to spread unchecked, it will overwhelm our healthcare system, as we are seeing in Italy.
Earlier this week I, along with other regional leaders, heard from public health experts who made it clear that COVID-19 should be taken seriously and that our best defense against its transmission is to practice social distancing, which means cutting interpersonal contact to a bare minimum.
Based on this warning, we are closing all City buildings and schools starting Monday for at least two weeks. Essential functions will continue, but the community should be prepared for these disruptions to potentially continue longer. They are vitally necessary. Limiting contact with others, along with handwashing and staying home if you feel sick, will slow the transmission of this disease. These measures can – and will — save lives.
We are currently working on food assistance and outreach to vulnerable populations in our city. We ask you to check on your neighbors, seniors, and those who may need assistance. Yet remember to practice social distancing with six feet of separation even when doing that.
This situation is rapidly evolving, so expect regular updates. We will post all available information on our City website at Somervillema.gov/coronavirus and our 311 operators will be available 24/7 to answer any questions you might have.
Thank you for listening, Somerville. We know these are trying times and we will work through this together.