Town of North Reading Coronavirus (COVID – 19) Information

Updated as of May 21, 2020 at 8:00 PM

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/northreadingma/files/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/northreadingma/files/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.

---

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/northreadingma/files/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.

---

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/northreadingma/files/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.

---

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

---

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.

---

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.

---

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.

---

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

---

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/northreadingma/files/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/northreadingma/files/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.