Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Updates
ALERT - Governor Baker has announced that Massachusetts will enter Phase Three of reopening on Monday, July 6, permitting indoor dining, expanded office occupancy and reopening of close contact personal services. More info.
ព័ត៌មានជាភាសាខ្មែរ [INFORMATION IN KHMER]
INFORMACIÓN EN ESPAÑOL [INFORMATION IN SPANISH]
INFORMAÇÃO EM PORTUGUÊS [INFORMATION IN PORTUGUESE]
Coronavirus or COVID-19 is a respiratory virus that is generally spread from person-to-person when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to the flu or other respiratory illnesses. The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Massachusetts was reported on February 1, 2020. The number of confirmed cases in Massachusetts began to increase rapidly in early March
On Sunday, March 15, the City of Lowell was notified by DPH that two Lowell residents have tested positive for COVID-19, marking the first positive cases in the City. As of July 15, there have been 2,958 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Lowell residents. According to statistics from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), there have been 105,986 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Massachusetts.
Led by the Health Department and Emergency Management team, the City of Lowell has undertaken vigorous response and preparedness efforts since the onset of the coronavirus crisis. These efforts have taken place in coordination with state agencies and local health partners, including Lowell General Hospital, Trinity EMS and the Lowell Community Health Center and have resulted in positive developments that have enhanced the community’s health infrastructure, including expanded testing and hospital bed capacity.
Coronavirus symptoms may appear within two to fourteen days of exposure to the virus, and include: fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, sore throat, headache, muscle pain, chills, repeated shaking with chills, and loss of taste or smell. The severity of these symptoms ranges among patients. Click here for more information regarding symptoms from the CDC.
Individuals displaying symptoms, even if they are mild, should contact their healthcare provider for guidance regarding testing. Massachusetts residents may also check their symptoms online through a service offered by Buoy Health to determine if testing is appropriate.
Beginning July 10, 2020, free testing is available to all residents, even those who do not have symptoms, through the state’s Stop the Spread initiative. Testing is available at Lowell Community Health Center from 9AM-1PM on Tuesdays and Thursday. From July 20-July 24, testing will be offered at the Lowell Health Department, located at 341 Pine St., at the following hours: Monday, Tuesday - 3PM-6PM, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday - 9AM-12PM. For more information, and to pre-register for a test (strongly encourage), call: 978-937-9700.
Most testing sites require a referral from an individual’s primary care physician. Click here to view an interactive map produced by MEMA of all testing sites in Massachusetts. Individuals that do not have a PCP may contact the Lowell Community Health Center, which has implemented a system to screen patients to determine if testing is in order.
From April through June, CVS operated a rapid testing site at the Showcase Cinema parking lot in Lowell, conducting up to 1,000 COVID-19 tests per day. As of Saturday, June 27, the rapid testing site has closed.
Any person who is demonstrating symptoms of coronavirus should remain in quarantine through the duration of this process, and should not leave their home until a negative test is produced.
MONITORING AND CONTACT TRACING
The City’s Health Department is notified of each confirmed case of COVID-19 in Lowell. Public health nurses contact each patient to ensure that they are aware of isolation requirements, to ensure that they have the resources and support needed to get through isolation, and to determine others that they have been in contact with. Through a process known as contact tracing, the Department’s staff works to connect with each contact to advise them of protocols given their exposure to the virus. Contact tracing is a critical public health function in containing the spread of coronavirus. It is important that residents who are contacted by a public health nurse cooperate fully. Please look out for incoming calls from a 978-674 exchange, or that appear as "City of Lowell" on your caller ID, as these may be contact tracing calls.
CITY HALL OPERATIONS
Beginning Tuesday, July 21, City Hall and all other City buildings will be open to the public on Tuesdays from 8AM-8PM and Thursdays from 8AM-5PM. All City Departments will be available to assist residents remotely outside of these times during regular business hours.
The City of Lowell is requesting that residents and other individuals seeking to attend to City-related business continue to do so remotely when possible; online, by phone, through the mail, or by using the City’s secure drop box located at City Hall’s entrance at JFK Plaza. All City Departments will remain open and available to assist residents remotely during regular business hours.
Members of the public entering any City building must adhere to physical distancing guidelines, remaining six feet apart from City employee and other members of the public, and will be required to wear a face covering for duration of their visit, unless they are unable to due to a medical condition. Individuals are asked to avoid entering City buildings if they are sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
City Hall and all other City buildings initially closed to the public due to concerns related to the spread of COVID-19 on Monday, March 16, 2020.
For questions related to City operations, call: 978-674-4400.
STATEWIDE MITIGATION ORDERS/ACTIONS
Governor Baker declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts on March 10, 2020, enhancing the administration’s ability to respond to the coronavirus crisis.
On March 15, Governor Baker ordered the closure of all public and private schools in Massachusetts, which has subsequently been expanded through the end of the current academic year. This also applied to childcare facilities, which have been ordered to remain closed through June 29, 2020.
On March 24, 2020, Governor Baker ordered the closure of non-essential businesses and operations, and issues a stay-at-home advisory for all residents. The administration has published a comprehensive list of businesses and organizations that are considered essential services and are able to continue operations during the crisis. The order has been extended through May 18. The Administration is expected to begin allowing certain businesses to re-open beginning on that date according to a multi-phase plan.
Effective May 6, per an additional executive order of the Governor, the use of masks or face coverings is required in public places where it is not possible to maintain appropriate social distance. Click here for more information on this order.
On May 18, the Administration announced the commencement of the state’s four-phase reopening plan. The state is current in phase 3 of the reopening process.
For more information on the administration’s phased re-opening plan, click here.
PROTECT YOURSELF AND HELP STOP THE SPREAD
The most effective way to stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic is to limit your risk for exposure, meaning remaining at home whenever possible and limiting contact with individuals outside of your household. Other recommendations from the CDC and other health authorities include:
>Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
>When soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
>Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
>Wear a mask/face covering when leaving your house.
>Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
>Avoid People who are sick.
>Stay home when you are sick.
Residents with any questions or concerns related to coronavirus are encouraged to contact the City of Lowell’s Health Department at 978-674-4010 or contact the 2-1-1 line set up by the state. Massachusetts residents are encouraged to sign up for updates from the state by texting COVIDMA to 888-777.
Lowell Health DepartmentPhone: 978-674-4010
Monday - Friday
Updates from the City of Lowell
COVID-19 CASES IN LOWELL
TOTAL NUMBER OF CONFIRMED CASES