Please Note: As of March 23, 2020 this page is no longer supported. For current information on the COVID-19 situation in Reading, with supporting information for residents and businesses, please click here.
March 23, 2020 Governor Baker Issues two-week stay-at-home order and closes all non-essential in-person businesses
BOSTON — Today, Governor Charlie Baker issued an emergency order requiring all businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” to close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers and the public as of Tuesday, March 24th at noon until Tuesday, April 7th at noon. These businesses are encouraged to continue operations remotely.
Order Pertaining to Personal Care Services and Recommendation for Non-Essential Retail Establishments
(READING, MA - March 21, 2020) Effective Monday, March 23, 2020, per order of the Town of Reading 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 April 6, 2020.
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 April 6, 2020. 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.
Town Playgrounds, Fields, and Athletic Courts Closed
Board of Health orders closures to prevent spread of Covid-19 - March 19, 2020
(READING, MA) – Per order of the Board of Health, in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19, ALL Town basketball courts, tennis courts, playgrounds, and athletic fields/ complexes will remain closed. Studies have shown that the virus can live on surfaces for several days creating a potential health risk since the Town does not disinfect these types of facilities. Also personal sporting equipment and sports balls could pose a risk and extreme caution should be exercised.
PARKS AND TRAILS WILL REMAIN OPEN SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING:
- Families are welcome to play in the parks (not in playgrounds) and use trails, but please do not engage in sports or activities that require physical or shared contact.
- Practice social distancing and keep a 6-foot distance from others while playing in parks and using trails.
- Wash your hands frequently.
This is a very difficult and stressful time, but we are a strong community, and by staying positive and working to support each other, we will get through this together.
Update as of Wednesday, March 18, 2020
As of March 18, 2020, the Town of Reading has one presumptive positive case of COVID-19. The Health Department and Town officials are working with State officials to communicate with those who may have had close contact with this presumptive case to reduce any spread of illness.
Close contact includes those who have spent a period of more than 15 minutes at a time within 6 feet of the person, and/or had contact with respiratory secretions. Officials have contacted individuals believed to be within close contact with the presumptive positive case.
Please review our town Covid-19 webpage (below) for more information, FAQ’s, and more guidance.
For quick links from the CDC, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the Town of Reading please scroll down.
Statement from the Board of Health regarding Covid-19 for Tuesday, March 17, 2020
To date, there have been no positive or presumptive positive cases reported to the Town of Reading.
The Board of Health is issuing the following to businesses:
All business owners must report to the Health Agent, Laura Vlasuk (firstname.lastname@example.org) if any employee is believed to have been exposed or to have contracted Coronavirus (COVID-19). We can provide guidance for safety and reporting procedures.
Statement from the Board of Health Regarding Covid-19 for March 13, 2020
The Reading Board of Health continues to monitor the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation in our local community. As organizations in our community have taken steps to prevent the spread of the virus, we fully support and reinforce those measures, which include: social distancing, closures, and enhanced hygiene protocols.
We ask residents and local business owners to remain vigilant and take precautionary measures to prevent the spread of this virus, including:
● Frequent hand washing
● Avoid touching your face
● Cough or sneeze into a tissue
● Disinfect and clean surfaces that are frequently used
● Avoid large gatherings of people
● Stay home if you feel sick, and contact your healthcare provider
Residents, community organizations, and local business owners can find more COVID-19 prevention and preparedness information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/index.html, frequently asked questions: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/2019-ncov-factsheet.... local information on the Town of Reading, Massachusetts Coronavirus webpage: https://www.readingma.gov/public-health-services/news/information-on-nov....
The Board of Health continues to be in contact with community organizations, town officials, and state authorities as we monitor this situation, and will update the community as necessary.
Town of Reading Coronavirus (COVID – 19) Update as of March 4, 2020
Town launches webpage dedicated to Coronavirus with information for residents and businesses
(READING, MA) – Over the past several weeks, town officials have been monitoring the spread of Coronavirus (COVID – 19) as it moved from China and across the globe. On January 23, 2020 the town created a central location under Public Health for related information, and since then there have been many conversations and informal planning sessions among town staff. On this past Monday, March 2, in response to the latest information released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Town activated a formal Emergency Operations Center (EOC) where all town departments, the school and light departments, and Austin Prep participated in the first of what will be ongoing planning and response meetings for the foreseeable future. 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.
“In addition to the information we have received and reviewed from the Centers for Disease Control, Department of Public Health, our local Public Health Department and Town Departments we are speaking with our regional partners in other communities. Through this process we will be in a stronger position to respond if a local response is needed,” said Fire Chief/Emergency Management Director Greg Burns.
Yesterday we featured a new button on the Readingma.gov homepage for Coronavirus information, with direct links to the CDC COVID-19 page, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) Coronavirus page, printable fact sheets for home and workplaces, numerous other links and documents for residents and businesses to take proactive precautions.
“We are at a low-risk situation currently but we don’t know what the future holds. At this stage we suggest that all residents and businesses become familiar with the literature provided through these links, wash your hands frequently and work with your employer to be able to stay home if you are sick. If residents don’t feel well they should contact their own health care provider or medical facility,” said Town Manager Bob LeLacheur. “Town services are not currently impacted and we will be sure to advise the community should that situation change.”
You can visit Reading’s dedicated Coronavirus webpage here: https://www.readingma.gov/public-health-services/news/information-on-novel-coronavirus-outbreak.
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.
Please subscribe to Public Health alerts to receive notifications whenever the page is updated.
See below for additional information:
Centers for Disease Control Resources:
- CDC webpage for Coronavirus
- CDC webpage for Preventing Spread in Communities
- CDC Interim Guidance on Mass Gatherings
- CDC Frequently Asked Questions
- CDC Guidance for Businesses and Employers
- Guidelines for Evaluating and Reporting Persons Under Investigation for COVID-19
Massachusetts Department of Public Health Resources:
- Massachusetts Department of Public Health webpage for Coronavirus
- Details on Massachsuetts State of Emergency and related guidance -
- Link to week Stay-At-Home advisory and closure order of all non-essential in person business operations.
- March 19, 2020 Statement from the Superintendent of Schools - One presumptive positive case in Reading.
- Covid-19 Business Support and Resources Letter
- School Department Remote Learning Website
- March 11, 2020 Guidance from the Reading Public School Department - includes cancellations and other updates.
- Reading Public Library Cancels Programs and Public Meetings Friday, March 13-April 17
- Letter from Town Moderator Foulds regarding Town Meeting
|Board of Health Statement March 16, 2020||289 KB|
|Town Manager Statement March 16, 2020||34.39 KB|
|CDC Fact Sheet on Coronavirus||277.92 KB|
|First Presumptive Case in Massachusetts 03-02-2020||497.24 KB|
|Stop the Spread of Germs Printable Sheet||89.17 KB|
|MDPH Novel Coronavirus Fact Sheet||212.52 KB|
|Reading School Department Coronavirus Message 02-29-2020||301.72 KB|
|Town Playgrounds, Fields, and Athletic Courts closed||146.86 KB|
|Board of Health Order Pertaining to Personal Care Services||104.16 KB|