Mayor Curtatone and the Board of Health issue quarantine order for 65-unit building with 8 confirmed COVID-19 cases
Saturday, April 18, 2020
Residents of the Mt. Pleasant senior apartment building in Somerville have been placed under a mandatory minimum 14-day quarantine after eight cases of COVID-19 were confirmed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health at the residence. The quarantine order, issued Saturday, April 18, by Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and the Board of Health, goes into effect immediately. The 65-unit building houses seniors aged 62 and older and persons under age 62 with disabilities who are income-eligible.
The Board of Health has been working with the building management to help ensure residents have the supplies and groceries they need for quarantine, and the Council on Aging is offering support services to residents to answer their questions, connect them to resources, and assist with coordinating access to basic needs like groceries and medicine. Building residents may contact the Council on Aging directly at 617-625-6600 x2300 or via 311 at 617-666-3311.
Somerville officials are concerned that the true number of Mt. Pleasant Apartments residents already positive for COVID-19 is higher than the eight cases currently known. The quarantine is designed to minimize further spread of the virus to the building’s vulnerable residents. City officials are also seeking access to testing for more of the building’s occupants.
“We are bracing for confirmation of more cases at Mt. Pleasant. But we are not willing to wait for more tests to take action to protect our residents. This building is home to community members who are at higher risk for serious COVID-19 complications, and to help protect them, their loved ones, building staff, and the broader community, we are ordering this quarantine,” said Mayor Curtatone. “We’ve seen this virus leave a trail of heartbreak and death at senior residences across the nation. As a city, we are doing everything we can, but more support must come from federal and state agencies to stave off this growing crisis.”
Under the mandatory quarantine, residents may leave the premises only to receive essential medical care and must remain in their units as much as possible. No visitors are allowed, all group events in the building have been canceled, and any deliveries must be made according to safety protocols at the front entrance. Management has also been ordered to provide for adequate sanitation of high-touch surfaces and common areas as well as for health screenings for essential staff. Residents and essential staff must also wear appropriate personal protective equipment and practice social distancing in all common areas.
The Board of Health will be closely monitoring the situation and will provide residents with updates. And again, Council on Aging staff is available to provide both information and logistical support.