Somerville Takes Emergency Steps To Stop Coronavirus Spread


SOMERVILLE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone announced a new set of emergency measures on Monday meant to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the city.

Starting Tuesday, gyms, health clubs, theaters, entertainment venues, social clubs, and houses of worship will close through at least April 6, Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone said.

Somerville's playgrounds will also be closed to the public, and fields and courts will only be open for passive use—no team games.

"We declared a local state of emergency," Curtatone told WBZ NewsRadio's Nichole Davis Monday afternoon. "One, to allow us as a municipality to take more decisive action and control of the spread of the coronavirus, and allow us also to request reimbursement from the federal government for emergency response to the crisis."

Curtatone said his administration applauded Gov. Charlie Baker's decision to close restaurants to dine-in service and restrict gatherings to 25 people.

"I felt we needed to take further steps, necessary steps, that we hope other communities in the Commonwealth will model," Curtatone said. "All these efforts are done to avoid widespread transmission of the virus."

The mayor asked parents to keep their children home from daycare and avoid play dates.

"I've also advised anyone 60 years or older to stay at home, because we know experts have warned us that they are more vulnerable to COVID-19," he said.

Curtatone said the city is looking into what city resources can be tapped to help those workers who will be hit by the closings.

"The economic impacts for us are real," Curtatone said. "We have more than 4,000 people working in the food service and accommodations industry, so we are working locally with our state and federal delegation to have support."

Curtatone and Davis spoke more about the economic impact, which the mayor said necessitated a "Roosevelt era level of investment for our cities and towns right now," as well as other steps the city is taking to deal with the crisis. Hear the full interview with Curtatone below.

WBZ NewsRadio's Nichole Davis (@NicholeDWBZ) reports

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(Photo: Getty Images)


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