City of Woburn Provides Important Information Regarding Business, Municipal Closings Related to COVID-19 Situation

WOBURN — Mayor Scott Galvin and the City of Woburn seek to provide residents, business owners and workers with important information relating to business and municipal closings in the city due to the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Effective Tuesday, March 24 at noon, companies that do not provide essential services related to COVID-19 must close all facilities to employees and customers, following an emergency order issued by Governor Charlie Baker today. The Department of Public Health, at the governor’s request, is also issuing a “Stay-at-Home” advisory at the same time.

These measures are scheduled to remain in effect until April 7 at noon.

A full list of designated organizations that provide essential services and workforces related to COVID-19 has been outlined by the state, and these organizations may continue to operate their brick-and-mortar facilities during this two-week period.

Essential COVID-19 services include:

  • Health Care & Public Health
  • Law Enforcement, Public Safety & First Responders
  • Food & Agriculture
  • Critical Manufacturing, Chemical Manufacturing & Hazardous Materials
  • Transportation
  • Energy, Water & Wastewater organizations, and Public Works
  • Communications and Information Technology
  • Financial Services
  • Defense Industry Base
  • News Media
  • Other Designated Community Based Essential Function & Government Operations

Local businesses in industries not included in the above list are encouraged to continue operations remotely, if possible.

Restaurants may remain operational for delivery or takeout operations and should continue to follow social distancing protocols. Takeout and delivery patrons are urged to call ahead or place their orders online with restaurants and eateries in order to minimize face-to-face interaction and streamline the pickup process. Liquor stores and gas stations also remain open.

“This is a difficult and unprecedented time period for our city, our state and our country,” Mayor Galvin said. “The fact is, life is going to be different for a little while. But these measures are temporary. We are strong, and when we unite behind a cause, we are unstoppable. Call your neighbors, play your part, stay home, and stay healthy, and we will get through this crisis together.”

At this time, Mayor Galvin is not halting constructions projects in the City, but officials continue to monitor the situation.

Municipal Services

The City of Woburn is aware of three positive cases of COVID-19 in the city. All individuals are currently in isolation, and the city is following all appropriate Department of Public Health (DPH) guidelines. Additional individuals in the city are currently being tested for the virus. It is anticipated that the number of cases will grow statewide as testing improves.

Woburn City Hall and the Woburn Public Library are closed to the public, until at least April 7.

City Departments are staffed and running, with all City employees required to maintain social distancing practices to protect themselves, their colleagues and their families. The ability to conduct business with the City of Woburn will continue. Please visit the City website here or call 781-897-5800 to be directed. Lock boxes have been set up at City Hall to allow residents to drop off payments, permit applications, and other paperwork.

The Woburn City Council will hold its next meeting as a virtual meeting, on Tuesday, March 24, starting at 7 pm. To view this meeting on a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone with speakers and microphone, go here, and at the prompt enter the password 161505. To access by telephone dial 1-646-558-8656, at the prompt enter the meeting ID 805-728-950, at the next prompt enter Password 161505.

Schools in the city will remain closed through April 6. For more information, visit the Woburn Public School COVID-19 website here.

Children and COVID-19

Parents should be sure to talk to their children about proper hygiene and prevention methods as well as the importance of social distancing until further guidelines are provided by state officials about the status of the virus.

  • Families should practice social distancing with their children and follow these guidelines from the state and local health officials:
  • Families should not hold “play dates” and those in need of childcare should limit the number of families involved as much as possible.
  • Practice social distancing techniques with children and have them practice among themselves.
  • Clean and sanitize toys, video game controllers and all touch surfaces regularly.
  • All city and school playgrounds have been closed and are off-limits to the public.

Social distancing will help to minimize exposure among people, especially given that COVID-19 is highly contagious and people may be contagious prior to exhibiting symptoms.

As the weather continues to improve, outdoor gatherings are viewed as safer, but strict social distancing techniques should still be practiced. Organized sports activities are cancelled and the basketball, tennis and pickleball courts are closed. Walking and jogging in outdoor recreation areas in Woburn is allowed, so long as social distancing practices are maintained.

Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Crisis Resources

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers a Disaster Distress Helpline to provide 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people.

  • Call 800-985-5990 to connect with trained crisis counselors, 24/7
  • Text with a live counselor via SMS, text ‘TalkWithUs” to 66746.
  • Text “Hablanos” for Spanish at 66746.
  • To learn more on how to cope with stress and anxiety, go to the CDC website, or the SAMHSA website.

Emergency Services

The Woburn Police and Fire Departments will continue to respond to all emergencies as normal. However, the departments will be limiting access to the police and fire stations to outside visitors for general, walk-in business until further notice. Residents should call the Woburn Police Department business line at 781-933-1212 or the Fire Department business line at 781-932-4560 for all non-emergency matters. Always dial 911 in case of emergency. Residents should NOT dial 911 for general questions about COVID-19/Coronavirus. Instead, the state has made 2-1-1 available for all inquiries related to the pandemic.

Person-to-person spread

The situation is fluid and new information is being posted regularly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the DPH. The CDC offers the following guidance for how COVID-19 spreads:

  • 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).
    • Through 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.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • 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 occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects:

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. As a precaution, it is recommended that residents clean things that are frequently touched (like doorknobs and countertops) with household cleaning spray or wipes.

For more information, visit here or the CDC’s website by clicking here.

COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, has been declared a Global Pandemic by the World Health Organization and has moved Governor Charlie Baker to declare a State of Emergency and President Donald Trump to declare a National Emergency.

Additional updates will be provided as information becomes available.