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Stories include Lynn Police Dept. to begin using body cams, significant storm expected this week, donations for fire victims, & more.
Mayor McGee Announces Return to Modified Phase Two Step Two of Reopening Plan with Several Greater Boston Communities
Mayor Thomas M. McGee is announcing that the City of Lynn is joining the City of Boston and several other Greater Boston area communities in a return to a modified Phase Two, Step Two rollback of the Massachusetts Reopening Plan effective Friday, December 18th. The City of Lynn has seen a drastic increase in COVID-19 cases since Thanksgiving within our community with a percent positivity rate of 12.27% and an average daily incidence rate per 100,000 of 89.19 over the last 14 days as reported in the latest Massachusetts COVID-19 Community Report. Lynn has consistently been categorized as a high risk, red community by the state as we now have over 9,500 reported cases in the City of Lynn since the start of this COVID-19 pandemic.
“We need to take action now to prevent a repeat of what our hospitals and healthcare workers went through back in the spring trying to care for hospitalized COVID patients,” said Mayor Thomas M. McGee. “As we continue to see an uptick in cases since Thanksgiving, unfortunately we anticipate there will be an equal if not greater surge after the December Holidays. I am continuing to advocate for additional financial support at the state level for our small businesses and I hope the State will work to pass the Economic Development Bill which is up for debate right now. Our communities are also desperately in need of a second federal relief bill to get our residents through the remainder of this pandemic.”
The return to a modified Phase Two Step Two is done with the main goal of limiting the sizes of social gatherings and require certain businesses to close which were allowed to open when we transitioned to Phase Three. Gatherings in private and public settings are required to remain below 10 people for indoor settings and 25 for outdoor settings. We need to continue to limit our interactions with people outside of our immediate household and continue to follow the guidelines to limit the level of community spread of COVID-19 within our community.
“It was a very difficult decision, but one that needed to be made,” said Lynn Public Health Director Michele Desmarais. “However, the numbers show that additional action needed to be taken I would encourage everyone to make a concerted effort to continue to wear your mask, social distance and stay home.”
These changes, which go into effect on Friday in Lynn, allow for indoor dining in restaurants to remain open with particular adherence to bar seating guidelines. Ancillary activities such as pool tables, darts, and trivia are prohibited.
Bar seating is permitted provided that:
- Installation of plexiglass or other non-porous surface around the bar separating patrons seated at the bar from the bartender and separating parties seated at the bar; or
- Ensuring the designated active work/service bar area is separated by more than six (6) feet from any patrons.
- Without the installation of plexiglass between the patrons seated at the bar and the bartender, a licensee may propose to pull up a table to the bar, increasing the space between the patrons and the bartender, and seat patrons at the far end of the table not adjacent to the bar.
In order for restaurants to continue with bar seating, they will be required to submit their bar seating plan and receive approval from the Lynn Public Health Director to ensure they are following state regulations by close of business, this Friday, December 18th. That plan should include:
- Photograph of the bar area in the proposed set-up (without patrons;
- Diagram of the bar area (may be hand drawn) identifying the dimensions of the bar, each seat, active work/service area, and any installed plexiglass including location and height;
- Number of seats at the bar pre COVID-19;
- Number of seats at the bar proposed under this bar seating plan;
- Acknowledgement that bartenders must work from a designated active work/service area that must be separated form patrons by a minimum of six (6) feet or enclosed by plexiglass or other non-porous materials and an explanation of how the proposal adheres to this requirement.
- Will the license be pulling up a table to extend the bar and seating patrons at the end of the table (not adjacent to the bar)?;
- Is there a plexiglass separation between the patrons and the active work/service area? If so, provide height and dimensions;
- Is there plexiglass separation between parties sitting at the bar? If so, provide height and dimensions.
The following industries in the City of Lynn are required to close starting Friday, December 18th:
- Indoor fitness centers and health clubs, including gyms using alternative spaces. One-on- one personal training sessions are allowed.
- Indoor non-athletic instructional classes in arts, education & life sciences for persons 18 years and older.
- Indoor recreational and athletic facilities (except for youth 18 and under).
- Indoor recreational venues with potential for low-contact (batting cages, driving ranges, bowling alleys, rock climbing).
- Indoor historical spaces and sites.
- Indoor event spaces (meeting rooms, ballrooms, private party rooms, social clubs). Social clubs may remain open if they are functioning currently as restaurants.