Town of North Reading Coronavirus (COVID – 19) Information

Updated as of September 13, 2021

September 13, 2021 at 6:00 PM

Town of North Reading officials including the Health Department, School Department, Public Safety, and Administration continue to monitor COVID-19 vaccination data, case data, and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Since July 1st, the Town has been notified of 187 cases of COVID-19 in North Reading.  102 of those cases have been in unvaccinated individuals, and 85 cases have been in vaccinated individuals.  Vaccinated individuals generally reported mild illness, and unvaccinated individuals generally reported more severe illness.  The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported on September 9th that North Reading had a 14-day Average Daily Incidence rate (per 100,000 residents) of 24.9 cases, and a 14-day Percent Positivity rate of 4.76%.

Effective Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at 7:00 AM, the public will be required to wear a facial covering when entering Town Hall, Flint Memorial Library, or Edith O’Leary Senior Center.  This will apply to general business and when attending public meetings, and does not apply to individuals with a medical condition that prohibits wearing a facial covering.  Facial coverings may be removed when speaking at a public meeting.  Employees will be wearing facial coverings when interacting with the public indoors.  To the extent possible, social distancing will also be in effect.

The Board of Health is offering a virtual vaccine information session tomorrow night in advance of a clinic to be held on Wednesday, September 15th.  More information may be found here: https://www.northreadingma.gov/health-department/news/psa-zoom-education... Information regarding the September 15th clinic may be found here: https://www.northreadingma.gov/health-department/news/psa-covid-19-vacci... Additional information sessions will be held on September 22nd and 29th.

The community is reminded that conducting gatherings outside, or conducting activities inside with social distancing in effect, can mitigate the risk of creating “close-contact” situations for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.

Officials will continue to monitor COVID-19 vaccination data, case data, and guidance and will provide updates to the community as needed.  The next Board of Health meeting is Thursday, September 16th.

 

August 4, 2021 at 9:00 AM

Town of North Reading officials including the Health Department, School Department, Public Safety, and Administration continue to monitor COVID-19 vaccination data, case data, and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

After a period of zero reported cases during the late spring and early summer, 19 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported to the Health Department since July 1st.  Ten of these cases were in vaccinated individuals, and those ten individuals generally reported mild illness.  Nine of these cases were in unvaccinated individuals and reported more severe illness.  None of the 19 cases reported requiring hospitalization.  While none of these 19 cases were associated with Royal Meadow View Nursing Home, Health Department officials remain in contact with Nursing Home staff.  For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine in Massachusetts, including how to get vaccinated, please click here:  https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine 

The Health Department has been notified of one participant in a Parks and Recreation program who has tested positive for COVID-19.  The Health Department and Parks and Recreation Department have notified and provided instructions and guidance to all individuals who are close contacts of this positive case.

Residents are advised to review and familiarize themselves with guidance regarding the use of face coverings and cloth masks by individuals who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 as issued by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health on July 30th.  The guidance generally states as follows:

  •  [Last] week, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated guidance that continues to state that individuals who are fully vaccinated may, as a general matter, resume many of the activities that they engaged in prior to the pandemic without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart, except where otherwise required by federal, state, or local laws, rules or regulations.  In response to the recent spread of the Delta variant, however, the CDC’s updated guidance does recommend that even fully vaccinated persons wear masks or face coverings when indoors if other risk factors are present.
  • In light of the information provided by the CDC, and in order to maximize protection of vulnerable individuals from the Delta variant, the Department of Public Health released updated guidance today that recommends that a fully vaccinated person wear a mask or face covering when indoors (and not in your own home) if you have a weakened immune system, or if you are at increased risk for severe disease because of your age or an underlying medical condition, or if someone in your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is an unvaccinated adult. 
  • All people in Massachusetts (regardless of vaccination status) are required to continue wearing face coverings in certain settings, including transportation and health care facilities. Please see www.mass.gov/maskrules for a complete list of venues where face coverings remain mandatory as of May 29, 2021.

The full DPH guidance may be viewed here: (https://www.mass.gov/doc/updated-advisory-regarding-masks-and-face-cover... )

Additionally, for individuals who are not fully vaccinated (two weeks having passed after their second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks having passed after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine), the following guidance is in effect:

  • For individuals who are not fully vaccinated, it is important that you continue to wear a face covering or mask to help prevent you from spreading COVID-19 to other people. People who show no symptoms of illness may still be able to spread COVID-19.
  • For individuals who are not fully vaccinated, the CDC advises the following:
    • Wear a face covering or mask that covers your nose and mouth.
    • Stay 6 feet apart from others who don’t live with you.
    • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.
    • Get tested if you have been exposed to or have symptoms associated with COVID-19

Guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issued July 30th may be viewed here:  https://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/on-desktop/2021-0730fall-2021-covid19-g...

Officials will continue to monitor COVID-19 vaccination data, case data, and guidance and will provide updates to the community as needed.  The next Board of Health meeting is Thursday, August 12th.

June 1, 2021 at 9:00 AM

As of May 29, 2021, the North Reading Board of Health aligned with the Governor of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health on rescinding COVID 19 restrictions here in the Town of North Reading. As the North Reading residents are getting vaccinated against the COVID 19, the following community numbers are as follows:

  • Town of North Reading Population – 16,656
  • Town of North Reading residents receiving at least one dose of COVID 19 Vaccination -9,983
  • Town of North Reading residents with at least one dose per capita – 60%
  • Residents who are fully vaccinated -8, 201
  • Town of North Reading residents fully vaccinated per capita – 49%

The community of North Reading has not yet gained full herd immunity to COVID 19 virus, the Health Department is issuing the following Public Health advisory and recommendations to the North Reading residential and business community to continue to be vigilant and protect yourself, your family, and your community against the COVID 19 Virus:

  1. Get Vaccinated: The Health Department recommends that all North Reading residents get vaccinated against the COVID 19 virus. Vaccines are safe and are one of the best ways to protect yourself and those around you from getting sick from COVID-19. Vaccines help our immune system fight infections in the future. The COVID-19 vaccine will protect us from the virus that causes COVID-19 without having to get the illness.
  2. Wear a Mask/Facial Covering: While the Massachusetts Department of Public Health advises all unvaccinated residents to continue to wear face-coverings in indoor settings and when they can’t socially distance, vaccinated residents should protect themselves by continuing to wear a masks or face-coverings when indoors, public places and outdoors when they are unable to maintain 6 feet from other people outside the household members. 

    Effective May 29, 2021, face coverings will continue to be required for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals at all times in the following locations, subject to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts defined exemptions listed below:

    • Public transportation.

    • Inside K-12 public schools, collaboratives, approved special education schools.

    • Inside Childcare Programs. 

    • In Health Care Facilities.

    • Provider Offices.

    • In Congregate Care Settings

  3. Maintain Social Distancing: People can spread COVID19 up to 48 hours before they have symptoms.  That’s why social distancing is so important— no matter what. Even if you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, proper social distancing in public settings or with people who are unvaccinated or at higher risk for COVID-19 is still important.
  4. Prevention:
    1. Many of the things you do to help prevent colds and the flu can help protect you against other respiratory viruses, including COVID-19:
    2. Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. The simplest way to protest yourself from colds, flu, salmonella, norovirus and food borne disease is to wash your hands.
    3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
    4. Clean things that are frequently touched (like doorknobs and countertops) with household cleaning spray or wipes.
    5. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Use a tissue or your inner elbow, not your hands.
    6. Stay home if you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
    7. Get vaccinated.

For additional prevention and treatment information, please visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-prevention-and-treatment#soci...

For information regarding municipal services at Town Hall, Flint Memorial Library, and Edith O’Leary Senior Center, please click here: https://www.northreadingma.gov/home/news/town-north-reading-offering-per...

May 18, 2021 at 5:30 PM

North Reading Town Hall reopened for walk-in service on Monday, May 17th.  Walk-in hours are Monday/Wednesday/Friday from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM, and Tuesday/Thursday from 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM.  Facial coverings are required to be worn in Town Hall in accordance with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ current facial covering order.  Many services continue to be available online at www.northreadingma.gov .

Flint Memorial Library is open for by-appointment browsing and contactless pickup.  For more information, please click here: https://flintmemoriallibrary.org/ .  Facial coverings are required to be worn in Flint Memorial Library in accordance with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ current facial covering order.

Edith O'Leary Senior Center is open for in-person appointments by request.  Please call (978) 664-5600.

The Health Department is working with North Reading Public Schools to partner with Pelmeds Pharmacy to offer optional COVID-19 vaccination series to students ages 12 and up.  Information regarding registration is being distributed directly to families by North Reading Public Schools.

A statewide order requiring people to wear masks or face-coverings in indoor public places and outdoors when they are unable to maintain 6 feet from other people remains in effect through May 28th as follows:

     • Face coverings are still required at all times in indoor public places. 

     • Face coverings also continue to be required at all times at events, whether held indoors or outdoors and whether held in a public space or private home, except for when eating or drinking.

     • At smaller gatherings in private homes, face coverings are recommended but not required.

The full facial covering order may be found here:  https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-mask-requirements

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health Weekly COVID-19 Public Health Report dated May 13, 2021 indicates a total case count of 1,430 cases.  The total case count for the last 14 days is 26, the average daily incidence rate per 100,000 in the last 14 days is 11.2, and the percent positivity in the last 14 days is 1.74%.

A gathering order remains in effect through May 28th.  Gatherings at private residences are limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors, and gatherings at event venues and public settings are limited to 100 people indoors and 150 people outdoors.  For more information, please click here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-state-of-emergency#limits-on-...

A statewide travel advisory remains in effect through May 28th.  For more information, please click here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel-advisory

March 31, 2021 at 10:00 AM

Over the past two months, Town officials including public health, public safety, school and municipal officials have continued to monitor and respond to COVID-19 in our community.  The following is an update regarding the Town’s efforts as well as other important information:

  • This week, the Health Department’s final two “second dose” vaccination clinics are being held at Hillview Country Club.  Appointments for these clinics have been filled.  The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has informed North Reading and other communities that it will no longer be providing either first or second doses for local clinics.  Residents can access information about their vaccine eligibility and vaccination clinic locations here:  https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine
  • The Health Department is collaborating with the North Reading Housing Authority to provide vaccinations to eligible Housing Authority residents.
  • Municipal and school nurses continue to monitor and respond to COVID-19 case activity.  For updated information regarding COVID-19 case activity as of March 25th, please view the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Weekly COVID-19 Public Health Report which may be viewed by clicking here:  https://www.mass.gov/doc/weekly-covid-19-public-health-report-march-25-2... .  The report indicates a total case count of 1,264 cases.  The total case count for the last 14 days is 61, the average daily incidence rate per 100,000 in the last 14 days is 26.2, and the percent positivity in the last 14 days is 3.30%.
  • A recent audit of the approximately 1,000 COVID-19 North Reading cases in the state public health database by the Health Department identified a total of 36 individuals who have died due to COVID-19 since March, 2020.  Many of these deceased cases were previously unknown until the audit was completed, and the Health Department has been in communication with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health regarding these cases.  These recently identified deaths represent instances of positive cases referred to the state Contact Tracing Collaborative for tracking and follow-up, deaths of individuals in the care of a facility outside of North Reading but previously associated with an address in North Reading (and ultimately assigned back to North Reading in the state system), or where an individual died but was not identified as COVID-19 positive until after their death.
  • North Reading Public Schools continues to respond and is in direct communication with families and staff regarding any positive cases, symptomatic and pooled COVID-19 testing, the return to in-person learning as the primary instructional model in accordance with Department of Elementary and Secondary Education requirements, as well as requirements for families and staff who chose to travel.
  • A statewide order requiring face masks or cloth face coverings in all public places, whether indoors or outdoors, even where you are able to maintain 6 feet of distance from others, is in effect.  For more information, please click here: https://www.mass.gov/news/mask-up-ma
  • A revised statewide gathering order is in effect, including limits of 10 people for indoor and 25 people for outdoor gatherings at private residences.  For more information, please click here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-state-of-emergency#:~:text=Go...(as%20further%20defined%20in
  • A statewide travel advisory is in effect.  For more information, please click here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel-advisory 

January 27, 2021 at 12:00 PM

As of Wednesday, January 27th, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has notified the Town of North Reading of 850 cases of COVID-19 in North Reading including 784 residents and 66 patients at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center.  715 cases have recovered, and the Health Department continues to monitor 119 cases.  Sixteen (16) cases including 13 at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center, two Town residents, and one suspected case in a Town resident, are deceased.  Since the beginning of the school year, North Reading Public Schools and/or the Health Department has assisted in responding to 26 staff and 87 student cases of COVID-19 in the Public Schools, as well as instances where staff/students have self-reported as close contacts of positive cases.  

The Health Department began operating COVID-19 vaccination clinics for Phase I eligible individuals on January 12th.  These clinics administered first dose vaccines to Phase I eligible individuals over a four day period.   Future vaccination clinics are anticipated to be held at Hillview Function Facility but are dependent on the supply of COVID-19 vaccines available to the Town from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH).  The Town has been informed by MDPH that its vaccination supply will be limited to 100 doses per week for Phase II vaccines through February, and allocation is not anticipated to begin until mid-February.  Residents who are eligible for vaccination are encouraged to visit https://www.maimmunizations.org/ for current vaccination options.  Due to limited allocation of COVID-19 vaccines, current eligibility is limited to individuals age 75 and over.  Because registration can only occur online, residents are asked to assist family members, friends, and neighbors who may have difficulty accessing the internet. 

Mystic Valley Elder Services is offering free transportation services to adults 60 years and older to nearby COVID-19 vaccine sites.  Round trips will be provided for those who do not have access to the vaccine at their building complex or do not have other means to get to a vaccination site.  Masks will be required on trips. Rides may be arranged by calling Mystic Valley Elder Services at 781-324-7705.

Individuals who wish to volunteer to assist with clinics may find information here: https://www.northreadingma.gov/health-department/news/volunteers-needed-...

The Health Department maintains local vaccination clinic information at https://www.northreadingma.gov/health-department/pages/covid-19-vaccine-... and vaccination eligibility information at https://www.northreadingma.gov/health-department/pages/covid-19-vaccine-...

The Town has been in contact with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation facility regarding the vaccination of patients and staff.  Previously scheduled clinics have been postponed on two occasions by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contracted vaccinator, and first dose vaccinations are now anticipated to be administered on February 1st.  The Town has been working with the state and federal officials over the past week to attempt to obtain an earlier date, however no earlier date is available.

Residents are also reminded of the following:

• A revised “Safer At Home” Advisory has been issued by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public Health and may be viewed here: https://www.mass.gov/news/safer-at-home 

• A statewide facial covering order remains in effect and may be viewed here: https://www.mass.gov/news/mask-up-ma 

• Information regarding the statewide limitation on gatherings and other restrictions may be viewed here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-state-of-emergency#limits-on-...

Previous COVID-19 updates may be found by clicking here: https://www.northreadingma.gov/home/news/town-north-reading-coronavirus-...

January 6, 2021 at 12:00 PM

As of Wednesday, January 6th, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has notified the Town of North Reading of 700 cases of COVID-19 in North Reading including 634 residents and 66 patients at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center.  533 cases have recovered, and the Health Department continues to monitor 151 cases.  Sixteen (16) cases including 13 at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center, two Town residents, and one suspected case in a Town resident, are deceased.  Since the beginning of the school year, North Reading Public Schools and/or the Health Department has assisted in responding to 22 staff and 63 student cases of COVID-19 in the Public Schools, as well as several instances where staff/students have self-reported as close contacts of positive cases.  The Town is also working in conjunction with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to investigate a cluster of North Reading and out-of-town cases associated with Reading Gymnastics.  For non-healthcare worksites, a COVID-19 cluster is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as two or more confirmed or probable cases among workers within a 14-day period, with a potential connection in time and place at a worksite, in employer-provided group housing, or among workers using employer-provided transportation.

Public safety and public health officials anticipate operating a vaccination clinic for Town of North Reading first responders during the week of January 11th.  As the Town’s resources work to develop this and potential future vaccination clinics, the Town will be increasing its reliance on the state Contact Tracing Collaborative (CTC).  The CTC often calls from a number in the “857” area code, and residents are asked to cooperate with the CTC.  For more information about the Commonwealth of Massachusetts vaccination plan and the vaccine itself, please click here: https://www.northreadingma.gov/health-department/pages/covid-19-vaccine.

School, public safety, public health, and other municipal officials reviewed COVID-19 data on January 6, 2021, and while overall case numbers continue to increase in the community, there continues to be confidence that the public schools are not a significant source of transmission of the virus at this time.  There are no plans at this time to alter the current hybrid school schedule.

As has been previously reported in the media, effective Saturday, December 26th, the Commonwealth enacted further restrictions to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the Commonwealth, including new capacity and gathering limits. These measures went into effect on Saturday, December 26 and remain in effect until noon on January 10, 2021.  These restrictions are anticipated to be re-visited later this week.  More information may be found here: https://www.mass.gov/news/baker-polito-administration-announces-further-...

Residents are also reminded of the following:

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December 16, 2020 at 9:00 AM

As of Tuesday, December 15th, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has notified the Town of North Reading of 549 cases of COVID-19 in North Reading including 485 residents and 64 patients at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center.  419 cases have recovered, and the Health Department continues to monitor 114 cases.  Sixteen (16) cases including 13 at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center, two Town residents, and one suspected case in a Town resident, are deceased.  The third Town resident death was recently identified by the Town in state public health records, but occurred earlier in the fall.  Since the beginning of the school year, North Reading Public Schools and/or the Health Department has assisted in responding to 12 staff and 23 student cases of COVID-19 in the Public Schools, as well as several instances where staff/students have self-reported as close contacts of positive cases.

As the presence of COVID-19 continues to escalate, residents are reminded of the following:

  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Maintain six feet of social distancing, wear a facial covering, and wash your hands often.
  • Be aware that either Town or Commonwealth contact tracers may attempt to reach you to notify you that you are a close contact of a positive case.  Residents are reporting that the state Contact Tracing Collaborative often calls from a number in the “857” area code.  Local contact tracers may contact you from either the 664 or 357 exchange, or in some cases from a home or cellular number.

School, public safety, public health, and other municipal officials reviewed COVID-19 data on December 15, 2020 and while overall case numbers are increasing in the community, there continues to be confidence that the public schools are not a significant source of transmission of the virus at this time.  While it is possible that North Reading may be designated a “Red” community according to weekly state public health metrics, there are no plans at this time to alter the current hybrid school schedule based on that potential designation alone.

Effective Sunday, December 13th, all communities in Massachusetts returned to Step 1 of Phase 3 of the Commonwealth’s reopening plan.  This reduced indoor capacities across a broad range of sectors of the economy and tightened several other workplace restrictions. The State Administration announced the roll-back to respond to an increase in new COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations since the Thanksgiving holiday that is straining the health care system in Massachusetts.  For more information, please click here: https://www.mass.gov/news/baker-polito-administration-announces-statewid...

Residents are also reminded of the following:

November 20, 2020 at 12:00 PM

The Town of North Reading has been notified that a Town employee working at the Household Hazardous Waste drop-off event at the Department of Public Works on Saturday, November 14th has tested positive for COVID-19.  The employee was wearing a facial covering, and contact tracing conducted by the Town’s Public Health Nurse has confirmed that the employee was not in close contact with any customer who attended the drop-off event.  Close contact is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as being within six feet of an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 for 15 or more minutes over a 24 hour period.

The Town continues to remind all residents to take the following steps to protect themselves, particularly with the holiday season coming:

  • Practice social distancing by staying more than six feet away from individuals who are not in your household.  If you must be within six feet of an individual not in your household, limit that time to no more than fifteen minutes in a 24 hour period.
  • Wear a facial covering whenever you are in public or with individuals outside your household.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Stay home if you are not feeling well.

By taking these precautions, each one of us can do our part to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and help to protect our family, our neighbors, and ourselves.

November 18, 2020 at 12:00 PM

As of Tuesday, November 17th, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has notified the Town of North Reading of 347 cases of COVID-19 in North Reading including 283 residents and 64 patients at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center.  292 cases have recovered, and the Health Department continues to monitor 40 cases.  Fifteen (15) confirmed cases including 13 at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center, one Town resident, and one suspected case in a Town resident, are deceased.  The thirteenth deceased case at Meadowview occurred over the summer and was previously unaccounted for in the Town’s reporting but has been reflected in state long-term care facility reports.  To date, the Health Department has assisted in responding to five staff and seven student cases of COVID-19 in North Reading Public Schools, as well as several instances where staff/students have self-reported as close contacts of positive cases.

Residents are reminded of the following:

The next Board of Health meeting is Wednesday, December 9th at 7:00 PM.  Virtual login and call-in information may be found on the Town website at https://www.northreadingma.gov/node/166/events on Monday, December 7th.

November 4, 2020 at 9:00 AM

As of Tuesday, November 4th, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has notified the Town of North Reading of 288 cases of COVID-19 in North Reading including 224 residents and 64 patients at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center.  258 cases have recovered, and the Health Department continues to monitor 16 cases.  14 confirmed cases including 12 at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center, and 1 suspected case, are deceased.  To date, the Health Department has assisted in responding to three staff and four student cases of COVID-19 in North Reading Public Schools, as well as several instances where staff/students have self-reported as close contacts of positive cases.

On Monday, November 2nd, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts issued an advisory and orders that go into effect at 12:01 AM on Friday, November 6th:

  • Stay-At-Home Advisory (https://www.mass.gov/news/stay-at-home-advisory):
    • Beginning on Friday, November 6, 2020, all residents of Massachusetts are advised to stay home between the hours of 10pm and 5am.
    • Only leave home to go to work or school, or for essential needs such as seeking emergency medical care, going to the grocery store or pharmacy, picking up take-out food, or receiving deliveries.  If you do leave home, practice social distancing by staying 6 feet away from others and wearing a face covering.
    • Not have gatherings in your home with anybody outside of your household.
    • Comply with all Governor’s Orders, including orders requiring face coverings, limiting gatherings, and mandating early closure of businesses.
    • Practice social distancing and avoid touching surfaces frequently touched by others if you go outside to get fresh air.
    • Use remote modes of communication like phone or video chat instead of visiting friends or family.
  • Limits on Gatherings (https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-state-of-emergency - limits-on-gatherings-):
    • Reduced gathering size limit for gatherings at private residences: indoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 10 people and outdoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 25 people. The limit on gatherings held in public spaces and at event venues remains the same. Requires that all gatherings (regardless of size or location) must end and disperse by 9:30 PM.
    • Also requires that organizers of gatherings report known positive COVID-19 cases to the local health department in that community and requires organizers to cooperate with contact tracing. The gatherings order authorizes continued enforcement by local health and police departments and specifies that fines for violating the gathering order will be $500 for each person above the limit at a particular gathering.
    • Outlines certain legal exceptions to the limits, including schools.
  • Facial Coverings (https://www.mass.gov/doc/covid-19-order-55/download):
    • Revised order requiring all persons to wear face-coverings in all public places, even where they are able to maintain 6 feet of distance from others.
    • Allows for an exception for residents who cannot wear a face-covering due to a medical or disabling condition, but allows employers to require employees to provide proof of such a condition.
    • Allows schools to require that students participating in in-person learning provide proof of such a medical or disabling condition.

The next Board of Health meeting is Thursday, November 5th at 7:00 PM.  Information may be found here: https://www.northreadingma.gov/town-clerk/events/89151

October 19, 2020

The Town of North Reading Health Department has been working with School Department officials to investigate and respond to a student at the J. Turner Hood Elementary School who has tested positive for COVID-19.  This case is not believed to be related to the previous staff case at the Hood School earlier this month.  All students and staff who were in close contact with the positive student are being contacted privately this evening (Monday, October 19th) and will be notified of the requirements of their quarantine.  At this time it is not believed that there is any impact on students or staff in any other schools, or for any other grades or cohorts at the Hood School.  The School Department will provide remote learning for all students required to quarantine.  Town and School officials will continue to engage in ongoing communication regarding this instance, and any potential future instances, of COVID-19 in North Reading Public Schools.

October 7, 2020

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s “Weekly COVID-19 Public Health Report” released on September 30 and October 7, 2020 classified North Reading in the “yellow” category of average daily incidence rate per 100,000 residents for the most recent reporting period.  For detailed information, please click here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-response-reporting

As of October 7, 2020, state reporting indicates a total case count of 234 for North Reading, with 14 cases over the past 14 days.  The average daily incidence rate per 100,000 residents over the past 14 days increased from 4.3 on September 30th to 6.0 on October 7th.

While the state map is a useful weekly tool for understanding COVID-19 in North Reading, nearby communities, and throughout Massachusetts, the Health Department continues to also monitor local data on an ongoing basis along with public safety, North Reading Public School, and other Town officials.   Decisions and recommendations in the Town of North Reading continue to be made based on information including not only the number of cases, but the nature of transmission and the contact history of the individuals.

Many families are seeking to make plans for Halloween.  Town officials are reviewing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Massachusetts Department of Public Health guidance, will consider this guidance along with COVID-19 activity in North Reading, and will offer more information regarding traditional “trick or treating” closer to Halloween.  To learn more about this guidance, please click here: https://www.mass.gov/news/halloween-during-covid-19

Most importantly, with the increase in COVID-19 cases in the community, it is important that those who live, work, or visit North Reading remain vigilant by exercising the following precautions:

Follow the Massachusetts “Safer at Home” Advisory: https://www.mass.gov/news/safer-at-home-advisory

Resources and guidance for businesses may be found here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-resources-and-guidance-for-bu...


October 4, 2020

Town officials including Health Department and public safety officials have been working with School officials to investigate and respond to a staff member at the J.Turner Hood elementary school who has tested positive for COVID-19.  All students and staff who were in close contact with the positive staff member have been contacted by the public health nurse and have been notified of the requirements of their quarantine.  Hood School has been sanitized with a focus on those areas frequented by the staff member who tested positive, and the Health Department has approved the reopening of the school building tomorrow (Monday) morning.  The School Department will provide remote learning for all students required to quarantine.  Town and School officials will continue to engage in ongoing communication regarding this instance, and any potential future instances, of COVID-19 in North Reading Public Schools.

August 17, 2020

As of August 17th, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has notified the Town of North Reading of 226 cases of COVID-19 in North Reading including 163 residents and 63 patients at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center.  195 cases have recovered, and the Health Department continues to monitor 17 cases.  13 confirmed cases including 12 at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center, and 1 suspected case, are deceased.

Beginning last week, state reporting procedures classified probable cases as positive cases resulting in an increase in the total number of cases.  Three of the 226 cases are attributed to a cluster associated with international travel.  The Health Department is monitoring other individuals associated with international travel.

Beginning next week, data reporting regarding North Reading cases will reflect state “Weekly COVID-19 Public Health Report” data which is available at https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-response-reporting.

The North Reading Food Pantry, and the Elder Services “Senior Van”, were recently required to be closed for one day for disinfection due to a positive case.  Potential close contacts of that case have been notified and directed to follow the appropriate protocols.

The Town of North Reading in collaboration with the North Reading Police & Fire Departments, Community Impact Team, Human Services, and COVID-19 Response Team is providing free disposable masks to the community via safe drive-in pick-up:

On Saturday, August 22nd from 9:00am-10:30am, residents age 60 and over as well as those with medical challenges are invited to pick up their masks at the North Reading Middle/High School. Anyone else who wants masks may visit the pick-up from the safe site from 11:00am-1:00pm. Each person will receive five pre-packaged masks.

Those seeking to pick up masks should enter the North Reading High School via the main driveway on Park Street and proceed around the building to the pick-up/drop-off area at the front doors where they will receive their masks and proceed back out the access road to Park Street.

Residents who are in need of a facial covering sooner than August 22nd may contact the Elder Services Department by calling 978-664-5600.

The Town of North Reading wishes to thank Stop & Shop, Alliance Private Wealth, Converse, the Friends of Elder Services, and Moynihan Lumber for their contributions to support this project.

For questions, please contact Chief Don Stats at (978) 357-5100 or email dstats@northreadingma.gov.

Residents are reminded that a state and local declaration of emergency remain in effect.  For the state’s “Safer at Home” Advisory, please click here:  https://www.mass.gov/news/safer-at-home-advisory

Resources and guidance for businesses may be found here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-resources-and-guidance-for-bu...

July 16, 2020

As of Thursday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has notified the Town of North Reading of 203 cases of COVID-19 in North Reading including 140 residents and 63 patients at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center.  181 cases have recovered, and the Health Department continues to monitor 8 cases.  13 confirmed cases including 12 at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center, and 1 suspected case, are deceased.  The Health Department is also monitoring an additional 12 probable cases.

The Town has received an order of facial coverings, and is planning a drive-up distribution event to occur in August as a supplement to home-delivery distribution that occurred in June.  Residents who are in need of a facial covering sooner than August, and are age 60 or older or at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19, may contact the Elder Services Department by calling 978-664-5600.

Residents are reminded that a state and local declaration of emergency remain in effect.  For the state’s “Safer at Home” Advisory, please click here:  https://www.mass.gov/news/safer-at-home-advisory

Resources and guidance for businesses may be found here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-resources-and-guidance-for-businesses

The next update is anticipated to be posted on July 30, 2020.

July 1, 2020

As of Tuesday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has notified the Town of North Reading of 200 cases of COVID-19 in North Reading including 137 residents and 63 patients at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center.  184 cases have recovered, and the Health Department continues to monitor 2 cases.  13 confirmed cases including 12 at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center, and 1 suspected case, are deceased.  The Health Department is also monitoring an additional 7 probable cases.

The Town has received an order of facial coverings, and is planning a drive-up distribution event to occur in August as a supplement to home-delivery distribution that occurred in June.  Residents who are in need of a facial covering sooner than August, and are age 60 or older or at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19, may contact the Elder Services Department by calling 978-664-5600.

Residents are reminded that a state and local declaration of emergency remain in effect.  For the state’s “Safer at Home” Advisory, please click here:  https://www.mass.gov/news/safer-at-home-advisory

Flint Memorial Library is now accepting returns and item requests. Requests can be made via the online catalog at https://mvlc.ent.sirsi.net/client/en_US/northreading at any time or by phone by calling (978) 664-4942 (x1) between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM Monday through Thursday, and between 10:00 AM And 1:00 PM on Friday.  At-home resources may be found on the library website: http://flintmemoriallibrary.org/at-home/ .  

North Reading Town Hall and the Edith O’Leary Senior Center are open by appointment only.  Town Departments may be contacted at the phone numbers listed below, or by visiting www.northreadingma.gov .

Fields are available for limited use by permit for certain activities.  Interested parties should contact Parks and Recreation at 978-357-5216 for more information.  Recreation programs are listed online and available for registration at this link:  https://northreadingma.myrec.com/info/default.aspx .  Currently they are offering, tennis, golf, outdoor yoga and summer enrichment programming.  All programs meet the State and local COVID-19 guidelines.

Resources and guidance for businesses may be found here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-resources-and-guidance-for-businesses

The next update is anticipated to be posted on July 9, 2020.

June 11, 2020 at 8:00 PM

The Department of Elder Services is overseeing an outreach effort to 1,221 households with residents age 70 and over as reflected in the Town census.  This initiative includes the distribution of informative door hangers and two facial coverings per household.  Deliveries will be made by Elder Services staff and volunteers starting on Friday, June 12th.  Town officials have placed an order for facial coverings to be made available for larger distribution to residents who are at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19.  Details regarding this distribution will be announced as soon as the order is received.

Flint Memorial Library is now accepting returns and item requests. Requests can be made via the online catalog at https://mvlc.ent.sirsi.net/client/en_US/northreading at any time or by phone by calling (978) 664-4942 (x1) between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM Monday through Thursday, and between 10:00 AM And 1:00 PM on Friday.  At-home resources may be found on the library website: http://flintmemoriallibrary.org/at-home/.

Playgrounds located at Ipswich River Park, Kidspot, and Clarke Park reopened earlier this week.  Residents are reminded to follow posted guidelines, practice social distancing, and to bring hand sanitizer for their visit to the park.  Restroom facilities remain closed, and picnic facilities are not available at this time.  Playgrounds at North Reading Public Schools remain closed.

Fields are available for limited use by permit for certain activities.  Interested parties should contact Parks and Recreation at 978-357-5216 for more information.  Parks and Recreation continues to formulate potential summer programming in accordance with state guidelines, and information will be released once the planning of potential programming is complete.

Residents are reminded that a state and local declaration of emergency remain in effect.  For the state’s “Safer at Home” Advisory, please click here:  https://www.mass.gov/news/safer-at-home-advisory

Resources and guidance for businesses may be found here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-resources-and-guidance-for-businesses

As of Thursday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has notified the Town of North Reading of 197 cases of COVID-19 in North Reading including 134 residents and 63 patients at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center.  180 cases have recovered, and the Health Department continues to monitor 3 cases.  13 confirmed cases including 12 at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center, and 1 suspected case, are deceased.

June 4, 2020 at 8:00 PM

Town officials continue to review and distribute guidance from the state “Reopening Massachusetts” initiative as it is released.  For more information about this initiative, please click here:  https://www.mass.gov/info-details/reopening-massachusetts

North Reading Parks and Recreation is reviewing state “Phase II” guidance issued today, June 4th.  More information regarding expanded use of local fields and recreational amenities will be released once it is available.  Parks and Recreation is also formulating potential summer programming in accordance with state guidelines, and information will be released once the planning of potential programming is complete.

Flint Memorial Library will begin accepting returns and requests for pickup beginning Monday, June 8th.  More information will be posted at http://flintmemoriallibrary.org/.  At-home resources may be found by clicking here: http://flintmemoriallibrary.org/at-home/ .

Residents are reminded that a state and local declaration of emergency remain in effect.  For the state’s “Safer at Home” Advisory, please click here:  https://www.mass.gov/news/safer-at-home-advisory

Resources and guidance for businesses may be found here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-resources-and-guidance-for-businesses

As of Thursday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has notified the Town of North Reading of 195 cases of COVID-19 in North Reading including 132 residents and 63 patients at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center.  171 cases have recovered, and the Health Department continues to monitor 10 cases.  13 confirmed cases including 12 at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center, and 1 suspected case, are deceased.

May 28, 2020 at 8:00 PM

As of Thursday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has notified the Town of North Reading of 190 cases of COVID-19 in North Reading including 127 residents and 63 patients at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center.  148 cases have recovered, and the Health Department continues to monitor 28 cases.  13 confirmed cases including 12 at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center, and 1 suspected case, are deceased.

May 21, 2020 at 8:00 PM

As of Thursday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has notified the Town of North Reading of 183 cases of COVID-19 in North Reading including 119 residents and 64 patients at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center.  99 cases have recovered, and the Health Department continues to monitor 70 cases.  13 confirmed cases including 12 at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center, and 1 suspected case, are deceased.

The following public park and recreation facilities are open, with social distancing restrictions in effect, requiring individuals to be six feet or more away from each other and in groups of no more than 10 people:

  • Ipswich River Park – walking paths, boat launch, and fishing areas only
  • Arthur Kenney – track only
  • Eisenhaure Pond Park – walking paths and fishing area only
  • Clarke Park – walking path and fishing area only

The following park amenities are anticipated to reopen on a staggered basis on Tuesday, May 26th, with state guidelines in effect:

  • Athletic fields
  • Tennis courts
  • Skate park
  • Basketball courts
  • Street hockey rink

Specific guidance will be posted on site, however general state guidelines may be found here:  https://www.mass.gov/doc/parks-open-space-and-outdoor-education-best-practices-5-18-20/download.  Restrooms, picnic areas, and playground facilities will remain closed. 

May 19, 2020 at 8:00 PM

Town officials have been reviewing the report of the Massachusetts Reopening Advisory Board and various state guidance documents to better understand the impact on North Reading. Additional detail about “Reopening Massachusetts” may be found here:  https://www.mass.gov/info-details/reopening-massachusetts

Much like our understanding of the virus itself, the associated guidelines and restrictions continue to evolve.  The public’s patience is greatly appreciated.  The following is an update for the community:

  • North Reading Town Hall remains operational but will remain closed to the public and for public meetings through at least May 31, 2020.  Residents are reminded that many financial transactions may be conducted online here:  https://www.northreadingma.gov/tax-collector-treasurer/pages/bills-and-payments and the fee for these services has been suspended.  There is also a drop-box for the Tax Collector’s Office located at the main entrance to the Town Hall.  Other services may be accessed via the Town website at www.northreadingma.gov, by email, or by calling Town Hall offices and leaving a message.  Further information regarding appointments for in-person non-essential services will be released at a later date.
  • Flint Memorial Library and its Activity Room will remain closed to the public through at least May 31, 2020.  Please visit http://flintmemoriallibrary.org/ for more information about online resources.  Library staff are evaluating the potential to offer curbside book pickup in the near future, and more information will be released as soon as it is available.
  • Edith A. O’Leary Senior Center remains closed to the public through at least May 31, 2020.  Further information regarding opportunities for in-person appointments will be released at a later date.  For assistance, please call 978-664-5600 or email mprenney@northreadingma.gov .
  • The following facilities remain the only public park and recreation facilities that are open, with social distancing restrictions in effect, requiring individuals to be six feet or more away from each other and in groups of no more than 10 people:

Ipswich River Park – walking paths only

Arthur Kenney – track only

Eisenhaure Pond Park – walking paths only

Information regarding the reopening of additional park amenities in accordance with state guidelines will be released as it becomes available.

  • North Reading Parks and Recreation has cancelled all in-person programming and permits for organized field use through May 31st.  The 2020 Summer Barbecue and Concert series has been cancelled, however “pop-up” style events will remain an option if such events are permissible later in the summer.  Programming options for the summer are being reviewed and will be released once further state guidance has been received.
  • Town officials including North Reading Public Schools representatives have discussed preliminary plans for a potential North Reading High School commencement event in late June, and anticipate receiving additional guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and/or Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in the coming days.  Additional details will be released by North Reading Public Schools once they are available.

May 14, 2020 at 7:30 PM

As has been reported over the past week, the Reopening Advisory Board convened on April 28th by Governor Charlie Baker is anticipated to release guidance for Massachusetts on May 18th.  While Town officials including North Reading Public School officials have been evaluating what the coming weeks might look like for North Reading business, municipal services, school events, civic activities, and recreation, many decisions regarding how these facets of our community will reopen cannot be made until after the May 18th report and guidance is released.    Information about the state Reopening Advisory Committee may be found here: https://www.mass.gov/orgs/reopening-advisory-board.  The community’s continued cooperation and understanding is greatly appreciated, and it is our hope that more North Reading-specific information will be able to be released after May 18th.

For a copy of a related Public Service Announcement from the North Reading Board of Health, please click here: https://www.northreadingma.gov/health-department/news/public-service-ann...

Many of the operating changes and restrictions in effect in North Reading were set to expire effective May 18th.  While preparations have been underway for the past few weeks to potentially reopen some facilities and services, in light of the fact that state guidance will not be released until May 18th these changes have been extended as follows:

  • North Reading Town Hall remains operational but will remain closed to the public and for public meetings through at least May 31, 2020.  Residents are reminded that many financial transactions may be conducted online here:  https://www.northreadingma.gov/tax-collector-treasurer/pages/bills-and-p... the fee for these services has been suspended.  There is also a drop-box for the Tax Collector’s Office located at the main entrance to the Town Hall.  Other services may be accessed via the Town website at www.northreadingma.gov, by email, or by calling Town Hall offices and leaving a message.  Further information regarding appointments for in-person non-essential services will be released after May 18th.
  • Flint Memorial Library and its Activity Room will remain closed to the public through May 31, 2020.  Please visit http://flintmemoriallibrary.org/ for more information about online resources.  Further information regarding any changes to Library services will be released after May 18th.
  • Edith A. O’Leary Senior Center remains closed to the public through May 31, 2020.  Further information regarding opportunities for in-person appointments will be released after May 18th.  For assistance, please call 978-664-5600 or email mprenney@northreadingma.gov.
  • The following facilities remain the only public park and recreation facilities that are open, with social distancing restrictions in effect, requiring individuals to be six feet or more away from each other and in groups of no more than 10 people:

Ipswich River Park – walking paths only

Arthur Kenney – track only

Eisenhaure Pond Park – walking paths only

State guidance will be reviewed once it is issued, and any changes to park restrictions will be released after May 18th.

  • North Reading Parks and Recreation has cancelled all in-person programming and permits for organized field use through May 31st.  Further information regarding long-term plans will be released after May 18th.

As of Thursday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has notified the Town of North Reading of 170 cases of COVID-19 in North Reading including 107 residents and 63 patients at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center.  88 cases have recovered, and the Health Department continues to monitor 68 cases.  13 confirmed cases including 12 at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center, and 1 suspected case, are deceased.

As was stated on Tuesday, May 12th, to align with the state’s weekly reporting of community case levels statewide on Wednesdays, future updates regarding case information in North Reading will be released weekly on Thursdays.  Please note that the state’s numbers often include cases prior to notice having been sent to the Town, and the numbers may not match.


May 14, 2020 at 8:00 AM

Town officials, along with representatives of North Reading Minit and Militia, have been evaluating options for the observance of Memorial Day in light of the continuing public health emergency.  While circumstances require that the traditional Memorial Day parade and ceremonies on the Town Common as well as ceremonies at the Town’s cemeteries not be held this year, planning has been underway for alternate observances.  No in-person public assemblies will occur.

The Minit and Militia will perform ceremonies at the Town’s cemeteries in advance of Memorial Day.  While those ceremonies will not be open to the public, audio and video will be recorded for broadcast on Memorial Day.  Wreaths will also be laid at various memorials in Town, and the Department of Public Works will be placing flags at the graves of veterans buried in Town cemeteries.

Additionally, the Town’s Department of Veterans Services and North Reading Minit Militia with the assistance of NORCAM are assembling a video ceremony which will be broadcast by NORCAM and available for viewing online on Memorial Day. 

Finally, residents are encouraged to recognize Memorial Day at their homes in the following ways:

  • Hang an American flag at your home
  • Place a light in your window Sunday, May 24th through Monday, May 25th
  • Decorate your front door and yard in red, white, and blue

If you are able to decorate early, please consider submitting photographs of your decorations to nrvets@northreadingma.gov on or before May 18th for potential inclusion in the Memorial Day video ceremony.

May 12, 2020 at 4:00 PM

As of Tuesday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has notified the Town of North Reading of 170 cases of COVID-19 in North Reading including 107 residents and 63 patients at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center.  70 cases have recovered, and the Health Department continues to monitor 86 cases.  13 confirmed cases including 12 at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center, and 1 suspected case, are deceased.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the deceased.

To align with the state’s weekly reporting of community case levels statewide on Wednesdays, future updates regarding case information in North Reading will be released weekly on Thursday beginning this Thursday, May 14th.  Please note that the state’s numbers often include cases prior to notice having been sent to the Town, and the numbers may not match.

May 8, 2020 at 4:00 PM

As of Friday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has notified the Town of North Reading of 165 cases of COVID-19 in North Reading including 103 residents and 62 patients at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center.  68 cases have recovered, and the Health Department continues to monitor 84 cases.  12 confirmed cases including 11 at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center, and 1 suspected case, are deceased.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the deceased.

Hillview Golf Course re-opened to the public on Thursday, May 7th.  Tee-times must be booked and paid for in advance by calling 978-664-4435.  Golfers should review COVID-19 social distancing and other guidelines in effect prior to going to the course, and may do so by clicking here: http://www.hillviewgc.com/covid-19-rules

At their meeting of Thursday, May 8th, the Board of Health extended the local order restricting the number of persons in essential business establishments through the duration of the local Public Health Emergency Declaration.  The order may be viewed by clicking here: https://www.northreadingma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif3591/f/news/boh_order_restricting_number_of_persons_revised_may_8_2020.pdf

May 5, 2020 at 6:00 PM

As of Tuesday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has notified the Town of North Reading of 152 cases of COVID-19 in North Reading including 93 residents and 59 patients at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center.  63 cases have recovered, and the Health Department continues to monitor 76 cases.  12 confirmed cases including 11 at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center, and 1 suspected case, are deceased.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the deceased.

May 1, 2020 at 6:00 PM

As of Friday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has notified the Town of North Reading of 139 cases of COVID-19 in North Reading including 83 residents and 56 patients at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center.  54 cases have recovered, and the Health Department continues to monitor 76 cases.  8 confirmed cases, and 1 suspected case, are deceased.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the deceased.

April 28, 2020 at 9:00 PM

As of Friday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has notified the Town of North Reading of 135 cases of COVID-19 in North Reading including 80 residents and 55 patients at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center.  52 cases have recovered, and the Health Department continues to monitor 78 cases.  Four confirmed cases, and one suspected case, are deceased.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the deceased.

Following the issuance of the April 24th order by the Health Department, representatives of the Health Department have participated in several telephone meetings with representatives of Meadow View and MDPH regarding the impact of and response to COVID-19 at Meadow View.  During those meetings, Meadow View has informed the Health Department that it is implementing steps identified in the Health Department order.

In light of the Governor’s extending of the non-essential business closure and the extension of the stay-at-home advisory, the following changes regarding Town of North Reading operations have occurred:

  • North Reading Town Hall remains operational but closed to the public and for public meetings through May 17, 2020.  Many functions have been transitioned to remote locations.  Residents are reminded that many financial transactions may be conducted online here:  https://www.northreadingma.gov/tax-collector-treasurer/pages/bills-and-payments and the fee for these services has been suspended.  There is also a drop-box for the Tax Collector’s Office located at the main entrance to the Town Hall.  Other services may be accessed via the Town website at www.northreadingma.gov, by email, or by calling Town Hall offices and leaving a message.
  • Flint Memorial Library and its Activity Room are closed to the public through May 17, 2020.  Please visit http://flintmemoriallibrary.org/ for more information about online resources.
  • Edith A. O’Leary Senior Center remains closed to the public through May 17, 2020.  For assistance, please call 978-664-5600 or email mprenney@northreadingma.gov .
  • The following facilities are the only public park and recreation facilities that are open, with social distancing restrictions in effect, requiring individuals to be six feet or more away from each other and in groups of no more than 10 people:
    • Ipswich River Park – walking paths only
    • Arthur Kenney – track only
    • Eisenhaure Pond Park – walking paths only
  • It is the Town’s desire to keep these facilities open, however that is only possible if social distancing is being respected.  Families are asked to understand that their or their child’s visit to the park is welcome and encouraged, but either planned or coincidental group visits are detrimental to the Town’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.  In order to reduce the opportunity for transmission of the COVID-19 virus, all other Parks and Recreation Department, and School Department, parks, fields, play structures, and recreational amenities are closed through May 17th.
  • North Reading Parks and Recreation has cancelled all in-person programming and permits for organized field use through May 17th.

Previous updates may be found below.

April 24, 2020 at 9:00 PM

As of Friday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has notified the Town of North Reading of 128 cases of COVID-19 in North Reading including cases at Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center.  Fifty cases have recovered, and the Health Department continues to monitor 74 cases.  Three confirmed cases, and one suspected case, are deceased.  Due to a discrepancy in the state reporting system, the number of positive cases at Meadow View was announced as 59 on April 23rd.  The number of cases being monitored was 54, and is now 52 with the passing of two patients.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the deceased.

The North Reading Board of Health will be asked to review and potentially ratify an order regarding the COVID-19 situation at Meadow View at a meeting the week of April 27th.

April 23, 2020 at 7:00 PM

Test results indicate that as of April 23rd, 59 patients and 17 employees at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center in North Reading have tested positive for COVID-19.  There are currently 86 patients at Meadow View, which is licensed for 113 beds.  The Town is informed that the patients that have tested positive are overall asymptomatic at this time, with three patients showing symptoms.

On March 12th, the Health Department met with management of Meadow View to discuss COVID-19, provide guidance, and review their plans. Upon learning of two COVID-19 positive employees on April 10th followed by a COVID-19 positive patient on April 14th, the North Reading Health Department ordered all patients and employees at Meadow View to be tested.  Meadow View requested test kits from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) on April 14th.  The Town also concurrently requested expedited testing by the National Guard through MDPH beginning April 14th.  Test kits were delivered on April 18th, and testing was performed by Meadow View’s staff on April 19th without requiring National Guard assistance.  Test results from the kits submitted on April 19th were received yesterday, April 22nd.

Town personnel including public health and public safety officials participated in a conference call between MDPH and Meadow View this morning regarding Meadow View’s response to this situation.  The Town was informed that Meadow View is informing family members and moving patients among rooms to separate positive from negative patients, and MDPH advised that they would work directly with Meadow View regarding this separation of patients.  Meadow View and MDPH indicated that they will coordinate regarding potential supplemental staffing at Meadow View as needed.

The Town’s understanding is that many of these cases have been reflected in the weekly state-issued municipal case information for North Reading released Wednesday, April 22nd, which reflected a total case count of 119 (up from 66 on April 21st).  An updated case count will be issued by the Town tomorrow, Friday, April 24th.

April 21, 2020 at 4:30 PM

As of Tuesday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has notified the Town of North Reading of 66 cases of COVID-19 in North Reading. Forty-six cases have recovered, and the Health Department continues to monitor 18 cases.  One confirmed case, and one suspected case, are deceased.

April 17, 2020 at 4:00 PM

As of Friday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has notified the Town of North Reading of 60 cases of COVID-19 in North Reading. Twenty-five cases have recovered, and the Health Department continues to monitor 33 cases.  One case is deceased.  The Town has also been notified of a death that is a suspected but unconfirmed case, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the deceased.   The second deceased case met the criteria for a higher risk of severe illness as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

April 17, 2020 at 9:00 AM

On Thursday, April 16th, the Board of Health approved an order effective Saturday, April 18th at 12:00 noon requiring that facial coverings, such as a fabric mask, scarf or bandana, be worn over the nose and mouth as follows:

  • By all members of the public entering any essential business as defined by Governor Baker’s COVID-19 Executive Orders, including, but not limited to, grocery stores, farm stand stores, pharmacies, home improvement stores, banks, ice cream manufacturers/dairies, government agencies, liquor/beer/wine stores, convenience stores, and the like.
  • By all members of the public entering a restaurant or drive-thru for the purpose of picking up food for take- out or medication.
  • By all employees of all essential businesses open to the public.
  • By all food/goods delivery personnel when delivering the food/goods to the customer if there is a person-to-person exchange.
  • By any resident or member of the general public, including workforce, entering or exiting a residential or commercial building complex of greater than one (1) unit while in common areas and communal spaces.  Social distancing must be exercised in these spaces in accordance with CDC guidelines as well.

The facial covering does not have to be a surgical mask or N-95 respirator, which should be left for medical professionals and first responders.  Please click the following link for information on making a cloth facial covering: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

Additionally, all persons are required to properly dispose of all gloves, facial coverings and other personal protection equipment or other potentially virus-contaminated items in appropriate disposal bins.

For the full text of the Board of Health order, please click here: https://www.northreadingma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif3591/f/news/boh_order_requiring_facial_coverings_final.pdf

An update regarding the number of cases of COVID-19 in North Reading will be released later today.  Previous updates may be found below.

April 14, 2020 at 8:00 PM

As of today, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has notified the Town of North Reading of 52 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Reading. Nineteen cases have recovered, and the Health Department continues to monitor 32 cases.  One case is deceased.

Previous updates may be found below.

April 10, 2020 at 7:00 PM

As of today, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has notified the Town of North Reading of 45 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Reading. Seventeen cases have recovered, and the Health Department continues to monitor 27 cases.  One case is deceased.

Previous updates may be found below.

April 9, 2020 at 12:00 noon

The May 5, 2020 Annual Town Election has been postponed to Tuesday, June 23rd from 12:00 noon to 6:00 PM.  For more information, please click here: https://www.northreadingma.gov/town-clerk/pages/2020-town-election-information .

April 8, 2020 at 4:00 PM

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, the Select Board has made the following modifications to billing issued by the Town:

  • Real estate and personal property taxes due May 1st are now due June 1st, 2020.
  • Real estate and personal property taxes due May 1st, after credit is given for the preliminary tax payments previously made, are now due June 1st, 2020.
  • Any preliminary tax requiring a third quarter preliminary installment payment due May 1st is now due June 1st, 2020.
  • Taxes assessed for omitted property (G.L.c.59, §75) or incorrectly valued property (G.L.c.59, §76) due on May 1st are now due June 1st, 2020.
  • Applications for exemption of taxes due April 1st are now due June 1st, 2020.
  • Payment of interest and other penalty in the event of late payment of any excise, tax, betterment assessment or apportionment, water rate, or other charge added to a tax for any payments with a due date on or after March 10, 2020 is waived as long as payment is made by June 30, 2020.

Previous updates may be found below.

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April 7, 2020 at 8:00 PM

As of today, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has notified the Town of North Reading of 35 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Reading. Thirteen cases have recovered, and the Health Department continues to monitor 21 cases.  One case is deceased.

On Monday, April 6th, the Board of Health approved an order regarding essential business in North Reading effective April 8th as follows:

  • Limiting customers in stores as follows:
    • Walmart & Stop and Shop - 50 customers or less
    • Ocean State Job Lot - 25 customers or less
    • Dollar Tree, CVS, Walgreen's, Hardware Stores, Liquor Stores, Convenience Stores and other essential businesses - 10 customers or less.
  • Establishments subject to this order must provide one individual at the main entryway to the establishment during all hours the establishment is open to the public who shall be responsible for keeping count of patrons and preventing entry by greater than the number of customers stated herein.
  • All essential businesses are encouraged to utilize curbside pickup.
  • Restaurants offering takeout are limited to no more than 10 customers in the restaurant at a time.
  • For the full order, please click here: https://www.northreadingma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif3591/f/news/boh_order_restricting_number_of_persons.pdf

The Town was advised today of a disruption in the supply of meals provided by the Mystic Valley Elder Services (MVES) “Meals on Wheels” service.  As a result, many clients did not receive their meal today, however the Town has been told that all clients had previously been provided five frozen meals.  The Town is informed that MVES has identified an alternate supplier for meal delivery, which will resume tomorrow.

The following are additional reminders:

  • Individual residents in need of assistance at home are encouraged to reach out to “In This Together: 01864” at https://sites.google.com/view/inthistogether01864/home .  The Town has established a human service hotline at (978)-357-5300 for residents who prefer to call Town Hall.  Please leave a message if your call is not answered and your call will be returned.
  • The following facilities are the only public park and recreation facilities that are open, with social distancing restrictions in effect, requiring individuals to be six feet or more away from each other and in groups of no more than 10 people:
    • Ipswich River Park – walking paths only
    • Arthur Kenney – track only
    • Eisenhaure Pond Park – walking paths only
  • It is the Town’s desire to keep these facilities open, however that is only possible if social distancing is being respected.  Families are asked to understand that their or their child’s visit to the park is welcome and encouraged, but either planned or coincidental group visits are detrimental to the Town’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • In order to reduce the opportunity for transmission of the COVID-19 virus, all other Parks and Recreation Department, and School Department, parks, fields, play structures, and recreational amenities are closed through May 3rd.

For more information about COVID – 19 from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, please click here: https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

Previous updates may be found below.

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Please click here to read a letter from the Town Administrator and Public Health Director regarding the first COVID-19 related death of a North Reading resident:

https://www.northreadingma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif3591/f/news/letter_announcing_deceased_case_4-3-2020.pdf

Previous updates are below.

March 31, 2020 at 8:00 PM

To date, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has notified the Town of North Reading of 18 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Reading.  Three cases have recovered, and the North Reading Health Department continues to monitor the remaining 15 cases.  The Town has assigned additional Town and other resources to assist the Health Department in investigating the new and potential future cases, and will be notifying close contacts as defined by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control.  Future announcements providing an update of case numbers in North Reading will be issued twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays.  Case investigations will continue to commence immediately, and direct notification of close contacts will continue to occur as soon as possible.

The following are additional updates:

Residents are reminded of the following preventative measures recommended by the state that they should take:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Clean things that are frequently touched
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • Stay at home if you are sick
  • Older adults and those with health issues are urged to avoid large crowds and events. Individuals who live in households with vulnerable people, like elderly parents, should also consider avoiding crowds.

For more information about COVID – 19 from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, please click here: https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

Previous updates may be found below.

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March 28, 2020 at 11:00 AM

The Town has been notified of four additional positive cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Reading as of March 28th to ten.  The Town is investigating these cases and will be notifying close contacts as defined by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control.

North Reading parks including Ipswich River Park and the track at Arthur Kenney Field are open for passive recreation today. The public is respectfully asked to maintain social distancing when visiting park grounds.  Fields and recreational amenities that promote large gatherings such as basketball courts and the street hockey rink, as well as structures with surfaces that could allow for the transmission of viruses such as playgrounds, are closed to public use. Hillview Golf Course is closed.

Residents are reminded of the following preventative measures recommended by the state that they should take:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Clean things that are frequently touched
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • Stay at home if you are sick
  • Older adults and those with health issues are urged to avoid large crowds and events. Individuals who live in households with vulnerable people, like elderly parents, should also consider avoiding crowds.

For more information about COVID – 19 from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, please click here: https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

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March 25, 2020 at 8:00 PM

The Town has been notified of four additional positive cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Reading to six.  The Town is investigating these cases and will be notifying close contacts as defined by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control.

Today, Governor Baker extended the closure of schools until May 4, 2020.  North Reading Public Schools will be closed until that date.  More information may be found here: https://www.north-reading.k12.ma.us/district/urgent-alerts/no-school-friday-march-13-through-tuesday-april-7-2020-and-covid-19-updates

The following are additional updates regarding municipal services:

  • North Reading parks including Ipswich River Park and the track at Arthur Kenney Field remain open for passive recreation. Fields and recreational amenities that promote large gatherings, as well as structures with surfaces that could allow for the transmission of viruses, are closed to public use.  Permits for organized use have been suspended through May 3rd.  The public is respectfully asked to obey the posted closure notices.
  • North Reading Parks and Recreation has cancelled all programming through May 3rd.
  • Edith O’Leary Senior Center has suspended all programming through May 3rd.  The Center remains accessible via telephone during working hours by calling 978-664-5600 and leaving a message, or via email at mprenney@northreadingma.gov .  The Meals on Wheels program remains operational.
  • Flint Memorial Library is closed through May 3rd, however residents are encouraged to please visit the “Virtual Library” at http://flintmemoriallibrary.org/at-home/ .  Programming and use of the Activity Room has been suspended through May 3rd.
  • Individual residents in need of assistance at home are encouraged to reach out to “In This Together: 01864” at https://sites.google.com/view/inthistogether01864/home .  The Town has established a human service hotline at (978)-357-5300 for residents who prefer to call Town Hall.  Please leave a message if your call is not answered and your call will be returned.
  • The North Reading Food Pantry continues to operate, however clients may see continued changes being made to the way the room is accessed to comply with social distancing best practices.  Your patience and cooperation is appreciated.  For more information about the Food Pantry, click here https://nrfoodpantry.org/ .

Individuals in need of unemployment assistance can access resources here: https://www.mass.gov/topics/unemployment

Residents are reminded of the following preventative measures recommended by the state that they should take:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Clean things that are frequently touched
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • Stay at home if you are sick
  • Older adults and those with health issues are urged to avoid large crowds and events. Individuals who live in households with vulnerable people, like elderly parents, should also consider avoiding crowds.

For more information about COVID – 19 from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, please click here: https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

Previous updates may be found below.

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March 23, 2020 at 7:00 PM

Town officials continue to implement the Town’s response to the situation concerning COVID-19, and are responding using guidance issued by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control, as well as Executive Orders issued by Governor Charlie Baker.

The Town has been notified of a second presumptive positive case and is in the process of investigating the case and notifying close contacts as defined by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control.

The Town offers the following updates for its residents:

  • The Board of Health and Select Board have approved a Local Declaration of Emergency.
  • Non-essential businesses have been ordered to close by Governor Baker.  Please see additional information here: https://www.mass.gov/doc/march-23-2020-essential-services-and-revised-gatherings-order/download
  • North Reading Town Hall remains operational however many functions have been transitioned to remote locations through April 7th.  Residents are reminded that many financial transactions may be conducted online here:  https://www.northreadingma.gov/tax-collector-treasurer/pages/bills-and-payments .   All water/trash and motor vehicle excise payment due dates have been extended to April 6, 2020 with no additional charges.  Other services may be accessed via the Town website at www.northreadingma.gov , by email, or by calling the following numbers and leaving a message so that the call may be returned:
  • Individual residents in need of assistance at home are encouraged to reach out to “In This Together: 01864” at https://sites.google.com/view/inthistogether01864/home .  The Town has established a human service hotline at (978)-357-5300 for residents who prefer to call Town Hall.  Please leave a message if your call is not answered and your call will be returned.
  • Edith O’Leary Senior Center has suspended all programming through April 13th.  The Center remains staffed and accessible via telephone during working hours at 978-664-5600 or via email at mprenney@northreadingma.gov , however the building is closed for walk-in service.  Appointments may be scheduled in advance when necessary.  The Meals on Wheels program remains operational. 
  • Hillview Golf Course closed on Monday, March 23rd and will remain closed through April 7th.
  • North Reading parks including Ipswich River Park and the track at Arthur Kenney Field remain open for passive recreation. Fields and recreational amenities that promote large gatherings, as well as structures with surfaces that could allow for the transmission of viruses, are closed to public use.  Permits for organized use have been suspended through Tuesday, April 7th.  The public is respectfully asked to obey the posted closure notices.
  • Flint Memorial Library is closed through Tuesday, April 7th, however residents are encouraged to please visit the “Virtual Library” at http://flintmemoriallibrary.org/at-home/ . Programming and use of the Activity Room has been suspended through April 7th.
  • North Reading Police and Fire Departments are operational.  If you are looking to contact the North Reading Fire Department for routine business, please call the business line at 978-664-3112. If you are looking for Fire Prevention or Sprinkler/Fire Alarm Permits or Permit Inspections please call 978-664-6054.  If you arrive, in person, to the Fire station with any sort of emergency, there is a yellow call box at the front door which will connect you directly to dispatch.
  • The North Reading Food Pantry continues to operate, however clients may see continued changes being made to the way the room is accessed to comply with social distancing best practices.  Your patience and cooperation is appreciated.  For more information about the Food Pantry, click here https://nrfoodpantry.org/
  • In accordance with the Governor’s order, North Reading Public Schools will be closed through April 7, 2020.  For more information, please visit https://www.north-reading.k12.ma.us/district/urgent-alerts/no-school-friday-march-13-through-tuesday-april-7-2020-and-covid-19-updates
  • North Reading Parks and Recreation has cancelled all programming through Tuesday, April 7th.

Residents are reminded of the following preventative measures recommended by the state that they should take:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Clean things that are frequently touched
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • Stay at home if you are sick
  • Older adults and those with health issues are urged to avoid large crowds and events. Individuals who live in households with vulnerable people, like elderly parents, should also consider avoiding crowds.

For more information about COVID – 19 from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, please click here: https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

Previous updates are below.

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March 20, 2020 at 9:00 PM

The Board of Health approved a Local Declaration of Emergency effective March 19, 2020, and the Select Board will consider a similar Declaration at its Monday, March 23, 2020 virtual meeting.  More information regarding the virtual meeting will be posted online at www.northreadingma.gov.

There have been no additional presumptive positive cases of COVID -19 reported to the Town.


Effective Monday, March 23. 2020, per order of the Board of Health, all services offered to the public which cannot be provided by keeping a distance of at least six (6) feet between individuals are hereby ordered to close until further order.  The prohibition in this order includes but is not limited to: hairdressers, barbers and salons, nail salons, massage services, tanning, laser hair removal, body art, body work, piercing, personal training, fitness centers, and all other business and commercial activities involving the touching of another person.  This order shall apply to all such activities whether comprising all or only a portion of a particular business.  This order does NOT apply to services provided by a licensed health-care provider such as, but not limited to, doctors, dentists, urgent care facilities, physical therapy, speech therapy, or occupational therapy.

Additionally, the Board of Health is encouraging all retail establishments that do not sell essential commodities such as food, medicine or cleaning supplies to consider voluntarily closing until this order is lifted.  The Board of Health is also recommending that all retail establishments that do stay open should only do so if they can assure that customers and employees will be able to maintain social distancing practices consistent with CDC guidelines of six feet of personal separation.   

North Reading parks including Ipswich River Park and the track at Arthur Kenney Field remain open for passive recreation. Fields and recreational amenities that promote large gatherings, as well as structures with surfaces that could allow for the transmission of viruses, are closed to public use.  Permits for organized use have been suspended through Tuesday, April 7th. 
 

Hillview Golf Course is open with social distancing requirements in effect.

North Reading Police and Fire Departmemts are operational.  If you are looking to contact the North Reading Fire Department for routine business, please call the business line at 978-664-3112. If you are looking for Fire Prevention or Sprinkler/Fire Alarm Permits or Permit Inspections please call 978-664-6054.  If you arrive, in person, to the Fire station with any sort of emergency, there is a yellow call box at the front door which will connect you directly to dispatch. 

The North Reading Food Pantry continues to operate, however clients will see some changes have been made to the way the room is accessed to comply with social distancing best practices.  Your patience and cooperation is appreciated.  For more information about the Food Pantry, click here https://nrfoodpantry.org/

Previously outlined service changes remain in effect and may be found below.


March 15, 2020 at 8:30 PM

Town officials continue to implement the Town’s response to the situation concerning COVID-19, and are responding using guidance issued by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control, as well as Executive Orders issued by Governor Charlie Baker.

There have been no additional presumptive cases of COVID -19 reported to the Town.

The Town offers the following updates for its residents:

  • North Reading Town Hall remains operational however walk-in service has been suspended until Tuesday, April 7th.  In-person service may occur in a designated area as necessary by appointment only.  To access Town Hall services, please visit www.northreadingma.gov or call 978-357-5210.  Residents are reminded that many financial transactions may be conducted online here:  https://www.northreadingma.gov/tax-collector-treasurer/pages/bills-and-payments  and the fee for ACH services will be suspended.  Refunds for transactions that occurred after 8:00 PM on Sunday, March 15th will be available.  North Reading Fire, Police, and Public Works departments remain operational.  Trash and recycling collection will occur on Tuesday as scheduled.
  • The North Reading Food Pantry continues to operate, however clients will see some changes have been made to the way the room is accessed to comply with social distancing best practices.  Your patience and cooperation is appreciated.  For more information about the Food Pantry, click here https://nrfoodpantry.org/
  • In accordance with the Governor’s order, North Reading Public Schools will be closed through April 7, 2020.  For more information, please visit https://www.north-reading.k12.ma.us/district/urgent-alerts/no-school-friday-march-13-through-tuesday-april-7-2020-and-covid-19-updates
  • Flint Memorial Library will remain closed through Tuesday, April 7th.  Programming and use of the Activity Room has been suspended through April 7th.  Limited staff will be working to expand and enhance online services, and more information will be released by the Library in the next few days,
  • Edith O’Leary Senior Center has suspended all programming through April 13th.  The Center remains staffed and accessible via telephone during working hours at 978-664-5600 or via email at mprenney@northreadingma.gov , however the building is closed for walk-in service.  Appointments may be scheduled in advance when necessary.  The Meals on Wheels program remains operational.  Elder Services intends to resume limited one-to-one transportation this in the next few days.
  • North Reading Parks and Recreation has cancelled all programming through Tuesday, April 7th.  The Parks and Recreation Wine and Food Social scheduled for March 27th has also been cancelled.
  • While North Reading parks remain open, permits for organized use have been suspended through Tuesday, April 7th.  Certain recreational structures with surfaces that could allow for the transmission of viruses may be closed to public use.

Residents are reminded of the following preventative measures recommended by the state that they should take:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Clean things that are frequently touched
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • Stay at home if you are sick
  • Older adults and those with health issues are urged to avoid large crowds and events. Individuals who live in households with vulnerable people, like elderly parents, should also consider avoiding crowds.

For more information about COVID – 19 from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, please click here: https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

This continues to be an evolving situation, and Town officials have been working hard to sustain core municipal services for our residents.  As the situation continues to evolve, additional changes may be required to the manner in which services are provided.  The public is thanked for its continued patience and cooperation.

Michael P. Gilleberto, Town Administrator

Previous updates are below.

March 11, 2020 at 5:00 PM

On Wednesday, March 11, 2020, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) notified the Town of North Reading’s Board of Health that a North Reading resident, who attended the Biogen conference in Boston, has tested presumptive positive for COVID-19.  The resident was tested for COVID-19 by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health on Saturday, March 7, 2020. 

At this time, the case investigation has indicated that the resident has been in self-isolation and there is no connection to the North Reading Public Schools.  The resident has contact with a child care facility in another community.  The Town of North Reading has notified that community, which will conduct the appropriate investigation and outreach within that community.

The resident is recovering at home, is doing well, and will be monitored and supported by local public health officials.

As of March 11, according to MDPH there are 86 presumptive positive cases of COVID -19 in Massachusetts.  Massachusetts State Public Health Lab results are considered “presumptive positive” and are sent to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for final confirmation.  Six additional cases have been confirmed by CDC as of March 11th.

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March 10, 2020 at 7:15 PM

Although there are currently no presumptive cases of COVID – 19 in North Reading, Town officials continue to closely follow the guidance issued by the state and federal governments.  This evening, Town officials including Health, Police, Fire, Emergency Management, Schools, Parks and Recreation, Elder Services, Human Resources, Flint Memorial Library, and Administration held a planning and response meeting to discuss the impacts of Governor Baker’s declaration of a State of Emergency as well as next steps for the Town of North Reading

Based on the state’s actions cancelling in-person conferences, seminars and other discretionary gatherings scheduled and hosted by Executive Branch agencies involving external parties, residents should expect disruption to discretionary Town and School-sponsored activities, and to non-Town/School sponsored activities scheduled to be held at Town or School buildings over the next 30 days.  Information regarding specific cancellations or postponements will be issued by the activity’s sponsor or host.  It is important to note that Town government and departments remain in operation.

This is an evolving situation, and we will adjust our response as circumstances require.  As has been the case for the past few weeks, Town Officials will continue to update the community as new information becomes available.  The public’s patience and cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Residents are reminded of the following preventative measures recommended by the state that they should take:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Clean things that are frequently touched
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • Stay at home if you are sick
  • Older adults and those with health issues are urged to avoid large crowds and events. Individuals who live in households with vulnerable people, like elderly parents, should also consider avoiding crowds.
  • Think ahead about how to take care of yourself and loved ones if the virus starts spreading in the community.

For more information regarding COVID-19 as issued from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, please click here: https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

Previous updates from the Town of North Reading may be found below.

Michael P. Gilleberto, Town Administrator

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Town of North Reading Coronavirus (COVID – 19) Update as of March 6, 2020

Town officials continue to monitor the situation regarding Coronavirus (COVID – 19).  Officials have been meeting regularly, participating in Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) conference calls, and reviewing updates from MDPH and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

The best way to protect yourself and your family continues to be prevention, including:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Clean things that are frequently touched
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • Stay at home if you are sick
  • Think ahead about how to take care of yourself and loved ones if the virus starts spreading in the community

For a flyer recently issued by MDPH, please click here: https://www.northreadingma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif3591/f/news/flyer_3-2-2020.pdf

Update as of March 2, 2020:

Town officials have been monitoring the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID – 19) for the past several weeks.  In addition to the “Respiratory Illness Prevention” guidelines issued by the Board of Health in February, there have been multiple conversations and planning discussions among Town, including School Department, personnel.  Last week, in response to information released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), multiple departments participated in the first of what will be ongoing planning and response meetings as necessary.  Town officials also participated in a statewide call led by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) on Monday, March 2nd, during which MDPH officials provided cities, towns, and the health care community an update on the virus. During the call, state officials directed participants to CDC and MDPH websites for guidance and updates regarding the virus. 

The DPH webpage at https://www.mass.gov/guides/information-on-the-outbreak-of-2019-novel-coronavirus-covid-19 includes the following:

-Overview

-Information for travelers arriving in the United States

-What is coronavirus?

-How do coronaviruses spread?

-What do we know about the source and spread of COVID-19?

-Prevention

-Treatment

-Guidance and recommendations

-Printable fact sheets

-For more information

For additional information from the CDC, please visit this page: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

For a copy of the Respiratory Illness Prevention guidelines issued by the Board of Health on February 12th, please visit this page: https://www.northreadingma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif3591/f/uploads/public_health_advisory_corona_virus_influenzia_virus_and_the_measles_virus.pdf

The MDPH and CDC websites are updated on a regular basis, and additional local information will be posted on this page as it becomes available.