Hi Friends. This is Mayor Mike Cahill with an update on COVID-19, the coronavirus. Last evening, Governor Baker declared a statewide three week closure of all schools, which will effectively extend our Beverly Public Schools closure through at least April 5th. Further, he announced a ban on any gatherings of 25 or more people. The Governor also announced a statewide closure of bars through April 5th, as well as limiting all restaurants and cafes to serving takeout orders only for the same period of time. Please note these changes will be effective immediately in Beverly – starting today – Monday, March 16, 2020.
These measures are necessary as we all have to focus all our efforts now on limiting the spread of COVID-19. And social distancing – staying at least six feet apart, not touching the same surfaces and items, not congregating in groups – is the best chance we have. To this end, playdates and sleepovers would lead to more spread, not less. Climbing on playground equipment, playing pickup games – whether in the park or in your driveway – or tossing a ball around would lead to more spread, not less. This virus appears to be spread in many instances by people who show no symptoms of it – and kids playing together could put the health of their very own loved ones at great risk. I realize this sounds extreme, and it runs counter to everything we value about our children being active and social in traditionally healthy ways.
However, friends, this is a unique time. We don’t – none of us in our lifetimes really have a reference point for this worldwide pandemic. But we do know this – medical and public health professionals and infectious disease experts are telling us that this is what we need to do to interrupt and slow the spread of this virus.
Please keep your loved ones and mine, your neighbors and mine, foremost in your hearts right now. Our collective efforts to slow and stop the transmission of COVID-19 now can save lives. Please understand and respect the urgency of this moment. And please check in with your neighbors, especially our seniors and anyone living alone, while keeping that safe distance – let’s make sure they are doing okay. And that they know we care. We are a loving, caring community. And we will help each other through.