Hi. This is Mayor Mike Cahill with a Tuesday evening update. As I am sure you know, Governor Baker announced yesterday that certain sectors of our local and state economy can now reopen once they comply with the state’s COVID-19 workplace safety standards. This applies immediately to the construction and manufacturing sectors, as well as to houses of worship. Next Monday, May 25th, hair salons, barber shops, pet groomers, and car washes will be eligible to open, and retail will be eligible to conduct online and phone business for curbside pickup.
Please note that while these will all be eligible to reopen, some now and some next week, no business or house of worship will be required to reopen. Any who do not feel ready can choose to remain closed. Detailed information on workplace safety standards, as well as information on what can reopen in each phase of the state’s four phase reopening plan is available on the state website – www.mass.gov This plan will include our economy and many other areas of community life, such as parks, beaches, libraries, summer school and other programs, recreation, child care, youth sports, and more.
At present, Beverly City Hall and other municipal buildings will remain closed to the public as we make preparations for the safety of our staff and the public when we do reopen. Since the state prohibition against gatherings of more than ten people remains in effect, all city public meetings and hearings will continue to be conducted remotely until further notice. This includes City Council and School Committee meetings.
To update you on some local data, to date 538 Beverly residents have tested positive for COVID-19, while 75 of our friends and neighbors have been taken from us by this virus. Please join me in keeping them and their loved ones in our thoughts and our prayers tonight.
With this said, please know that our shared efforts to slow the spread of this virus have been working. Consistent with the state data, our new confirmed cases appear to have slowed. And our hospitalization rates are declining. In Beverly Hospital, the COVID-19 inpatient census exceeded 40 people on April 8th. That number surged to a high of 62 on April 28th, then hovered around 50 inpatients per day being treated for the virus through May 13th. As of today, the hospital’s COVID-19 inpatient census is 30 people.
Medical experts suggest that our collective efforts in Massachusetts have to date cut the infection rate and the death toll by anywhere from 1/2 to 2/3. Thank you, everyone, for your commitment to everyone’s health these past two plus months.
This is why our state has been able to begin to reopen our economy and our communities. Our ability to continue on this path relies directly on our own actions going forward. So please, it is just as important today to keep a physical distance, to wear our face coverings, wash our hands, stay home from work when we feel sick, and for that matter to stay home whenever we can, as it was important when we began this journey together over two months ago.
This virus still spreads very efficiently – often actively spread by people who have no symptoms – so please stay vigilant. Everyone’s health is your responsibility, and your health is everyone’s responsibility. That goes for all of us. Today is an encouraging day. AND, today is a day to recommit to thinking of community first and continuing to be the compassionate, loving people we have always been here in Beverly. Be well and stay healthy. Thank you, All.