SOMERVILLE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The city of Somerville has delayed Phase 3 Step 1 of the reopening plan. It was supposed to begin on Monday but has been put on hold indefinitely because of a rising number of coronavirus cases in Massachusetts.
“We are watching as the virus rages and businesses are shut back down in states that ignored clear warnings that they were opening too quickly. We are also watching state and local data head in the wrong direction. At the same time, testing and contact tracing concerns and challenges continue to rise. This is a dangerous mix,” Mayor Joe Curtatone said in a statement. “Pressing pause on this next phase is painful, but necessary as we strive to protect our residents and give ourselves a fighting chance of getting our kids back into schools.”
This means both indoor and outdoor public gatherings are still limited to no more than 10 people. Businesses like performance venues, gyms, movie theaters, cultural centers will remain closed.
However, the city is allowing gyms to have outdoor fitness classes and group activities for up to 25 people.
“Even outdoors, these fitness activities will only be safe if everyone -- patrons, staff, and owners -- fully commits to following all safety and hygiene requirements. I cannot stress enough how important face coverings, social distancing, hand washing, not sharing equipment, and surface disinfection are to enabling us to resume some normal activities while keeping the risk of spreading this deadly virus lower,” Doug Kress, Director of Health and Human Services, said in a statement.. “It’s really up to us whether we control COVID-19 or it controls us. So we must stick to the routine we all know: stay home if you feel even mildly unwell, always wear a face covering in public over your mouth and nose, wash your hands, cover your coughs and sneezes, and clean high-touch surfaces often.”
The city will give another update on Phase 3 in two weeks on Aug. 17.
WBZ NewsRadio's James Rojas (@JamesRojasWBZ) reports