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Posted on: March 11, 2020

MEMORANDUM: City of Northampton Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

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As you know, the city has been closely monitoring the rapidly changing situation around the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. On Monday, Mayor David Narkewicz sent a communication to all Northampton residents assuring them that the city is actively managing the situation in concert with local, state and federal health officials, and advising common-sense measures like hand washing and what to do if people are feeling sick as an initial response to expressed public desire for guidance.

Since that time, there have been many developments. Yesterday afternoon, Governor Baker declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts which includes many recommendations for state employees of the Executive Branch. With the predicted rise in the number of confirmed cases, we have seen many large events canceled locally and nationally, both in the public and private sectors. Mayor Narkewicz and the Director of Public Health have been meeting with key staff to formulate an appropriate response that balances the need to keep people safe while ensuring the continuity of city operations.

At this point, the city is taking additional measures in the hopes to further slow the potential spread of this disease. Mayor Narkewicz is instructing all city personnel to cancel or postpone any of the following types of activity and take the following precautionary measures:

  • Any event with a potential gathering of 100 people or more.  
  • Any event with a potential gathering of 20 or more people likely to attract groups who are at the highest risk, which includes seniors over the age of 60 or people with underlying health conditions.
  • All professional development events outside the city, or inside the city in numbers greater than the above thresholds.
  • Any event that cannot ensure 6 feet of space between attendees either needs to find a suitable space or make teleconferencing options available.
  • Any employee who appears to be ill should be sent home and be given the option to work remotely until symptoms have resolved.

Events that qualify for cancellation under the above order could include city public meetings and hearings that would attract large groups of residents, indoor sporting activities, events at the senior center, public building uses by outside groups, or any other activities where large numbers of people gather for any reason.

Every situation is unique, if you are struggling with any of the above guidelines and the impact on your department feel free to reach out to the Health Department at 413-587-1214.

It is our hope that other organizations in the city will follow our example. Our health and public safety departments have long been local leaders in safeguarding the people of our region, and we are committed to a measured but considerate approach to this quickly changing situation. Additional information will follow as we receive it.

More information about the Coronavirus can be found by visiting: 

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