SOMERVILLE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The city of Somerville will not enter Phase Three of its economic reopening plan for at least two more weeks.
While statewide COVID-19 case numbers have been holding steady in Massachusetts, Mayor Joe Curtatone said Friday new virus case numbers are "start[ing] to tick up modestly in metro area counties."
"Couple this with growing concerns over the adequacy of the State’s contact tracing effort, which is essential to safe reopening, and the only prudent response is to press pause for the time being," said Curtatone.
This marks the second time Somerville has rescheduled its move into Phase Three. After Gov. Baker said Phase Three could begin across the state on July 6th, Somerville and Boston both delayed their transition for a week.
"We all know how small confirmed case-increases can quickly become exponential with this virus," said Curtatone, "so we want to, at a minimum, see new 7-day and 14-day rolling averages ideally decreasing but holding steady ... and evidence of promised contact tracing improvements before we take this next step. We are holding Somerville to a higher, safer standard.”
In a statement, the city said Somerville’s planned Phase 3 Step 1 business reopening is now on hold until at least Monday, August 3.
Phase 3 Step 1 businesses that will be able to reopen include large indoor venues and activities "generally considered to be at high risk for viral spread" such as movie theaters, gyms, cultural centers, performance venues, and indoor gatherings.
(Photo: Facebook.com/Joe Curtatone)