Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Updates
Page Updated: 04/08/2020
Coronavirus or COVID-19 (formerly referred to as 2019 Novel Coronavirus) 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. As of April 7, according to statistics from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), there have been 15,202 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Massachusetts. 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 presumptive positive cases in the City. As of April 8, 252 Lowell residents have tested positive for COVID-19.
Since January, as reported cases of COVID-19 began to climb around the globe, the Lowell Health Department has engaged in extensive efforts to ensure the City of Lowell’s preparedness in the event of an outbreak. The Health Department has been in frequent communication with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and has participated in conference calls with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to remain informed of best practices for preparedness and developments related to the spread of the virus. While this specific virus is new, the Lowell Health Department has a great deal of experience in preventing the spread of disease in our community and is well prepared to protect the health of residents and visitors.
On March 10, 2020, Governor Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts, which will provide additional tools and enhance the administration’s ability to respond to coronavirus.
Subsequently, on March 15, Governor Baker announced further emergency actions including closing all public and private schools for three weeks, prohibiting gatherings with more than 25 individuals, and reducing restaurant service to take-out only. On March 25, 2020, the closure of all schools and non-essential child care providers was extended until May 4, 2020.
On March 23, the Governor ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses effective Tuesday, March 24 at noon until April 7, 2020. Click here for a list of businesses and operations that are considered essential under this order. Additionally, he directed DPH to issue an advisory for Massachusetts residents to remain at home for two weeks.
In response to concerns related to the spread of coronavirus, beginning on Monday, March 16, Lowell Public Schools will be closed for two weeks, and all City of Lowell buildings will be closed to the public. City of Lowell staff will continue to report to work, and all departments will remain open. Residents are encouraged to conduct business with the City remotely, by phone, e-mail or through postal mail.
The City of Lowell is following enhanced mitigation guidelines provided by Governor Baker and DPH. The City of Lowell’s Emergency Management Team is also monitoring the situation closely and has worked stringently to provide plans for the event of heightened local circumstances.
The City is committed to providing timely and up-to-date information to residents and will update this page frequently with the latest information available regarding the status of coronavirus locally and precautionary measures being implemented by the City.
Residents with any questions or concerns related to coronavirus are encouraged to contact the City of Lowell’s EOC, which is staffed Monday-Friday from 8:30AM to 4:30PM at 978-674-4052 or contact the 2-1-1 line set up by the Governor. Massachusetts residents are encouraged to sign up for updates from the state by texting COVIDMA to 888-777.
INFORMATION FOR INDIVIDUALS SEEKING TESTING
On April 7, CVS Health launched a rapid testing site in Lowell, located in the parking lot of the Showcase Cinema. The site is drive-through only, and produces on-the-spot results for patients in approximately 15 minutes. The site is open 9am-5pm Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm on Saturday and 10am-3pm on Sunday. Symptomatic individuals seeking a test are required to pre-register on the CVS Minute Clinic website.
Otherwise, any individual that is demonstrating symptoms and believes they should be tested should contact their primary care physician who will conduct and evaluation and offer a referral in cases where testing is appropriate.
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.
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.
City of Lowell - Emergency Operations CenterPhone: 978-674-4052
8:30am - 4:30pm
Monday - Friday
Updates from the City of Lowell
COVID-19 CASES IN LOWELL
TOTAL NUMBER OF CURRENT CASES