Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Information

Please check this page regularly. It is updated on an ongoing basis. Last updated 11/17/2020 - 8:39am

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    COVID-19?

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  • Symptoms, Testing, & Medical Info

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Novel coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) is a virus that recently emerged in December 2019 in China. Like the flu, it primarily affects the lungs. While some cases can be mild, some persons may develop more serious complications, and in some cases the virus can be fatal. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) strongly advises that community members prepare and take preventive steps. Please read through these pages for information and guidance. The City Emergency Response Team has been activated and is working in coordination with MA Department of Public Health (DPH) and other State, regional, and community partners on a rapidly evolving response.

  • COVID-19 is a new respiratory virus. Most people will recover on their own, but some people can develop pneumonia or other life-threatening symptoms and require medical care or hospitalization.
  • The MA Department of Public Health updates the number of confirmed cases in the state daily here. The MA Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) also created a COVID-19 ArcGIS Online dashboard. This dashboard is continuously updated and captures information about current COVID-19 case counts, cases by age, cases by county, hospital status, hospital bed status, death tolls, and deaths by age. Users should refresh the dashboard on a daily basis as enhancements are continuously being added.
  • As new information emerges from across the globe, please remember that the risk of COVID-19 is not at all connected with race, ethnicity, or nationality. Stigma will not help to fight the illness. Seeking and sharing accurate information during a time of heightened concern is one of the best things we can do to keep rumors and misinformation from spreading.

People with COVID-19 can experience a wide range of symptoms. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. According to the CDC, people with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

Please seek medical attention immediately if you are experiencing these emergency warning signs for COVID-19:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or difficulty waking
  • Bluish lips or face 

Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: Notify the operator that you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a cloth face covering before medical help arrives.

Check your symptoms for COVID-19 online

Thumbnail preview of the Buoy symptom checker

Buoy Health’s online 24/7 tool is free for Massachusetts residents and uses current COVID-19 guidance from the CDC and Massachusetts Department of Public Health to help users check their symptoms and connect with the next appropriate health care resource. This tool does not replace emergency medical care, but it may be used as a support for residents during the COVID-19 outbreak to connect them with appropriate health care resources if they display coronavirus symptoms. Visit buoy.com/mass to learn more and use the tool.

You can also call 2-1-1 to learn more about COVID-19 prevention, symptoms, testing, and treatment.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure. Seek medical advice if you have symptoms and think you may have been exposed.

Older people (age 65 and up), people who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility, and people of all ages with severe underlying health conditions seem to be at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness. The CDC advises that it is “extra important” that persons with higher risk take action to help prevent exposure to the virus, and that all of us take actions to limit the spread in order to protect ourselves and those most vulnerable to complications.

The underlying conditions identified as increasing risk include but are not limited to:

  • Heart, kidney, or liver disease
  • Lung disease
  • Moderate to severe asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Immune deficiency, or persons taking medications that suppress immune function
  • High blood pressure
  • Severe obesity

For more information, see the CDC’s guidance on People Who Are at Higher Risk for Severe Illness.

The CDC offers guidance for higher risk populations including:

  • Stay home if possible.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others (stay 6 feet away, which is about two arm lengths).
  • Keep away from people who are sick.
  • Stock up on supplies.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched services.
  • Avoid all cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
  • Call your healthcare professional if you have concerns about COVID-19 and your underlying condition or if you are sick.

COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.
  • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
  • Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
  • Maintaining good social distance (about 6 feet) is very important in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

It is important to know that people can spread the virus even if they don't have any symptoms.

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about this virus. CDC recommends people practice frequent “hand hygiene,” which is either washing hands with soap or water or using an alcohol-based hand rub. CDC also recommends routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces.

Stay Healthy & Stay Alert

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus yourself and to avoid spreading it to others. The virus is thought to spread from person-to-person, typically between people in close contact through respiratory droplets, which are produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. COVID-19 may also be spread by people who are not visibly showing symptoms. 

The CDC recommends the following to protect yourself and others from COVID-19:

  • Always wear a face mask or cloth face covering when in public (unless you have a medical reason not to wear a face covering, which includes disability).
  • Practice social distancing: Always stay at least six feet away from anyone you don't live with. (If two people extend their arms and their hands can almost touch, they are too close.)
  • Clean your hands often. 
    • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 
    • If you are unable to wash your hands, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Cough/sneeze into a tissue. Dispose of used tissues immediately into a trash can. If you don’t have a tissue, cough/sneeze into the crook of your elbow, not your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. 
  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Try to isolate yourself as much as possible from other members of your household.
  • Monitor your temperature. (A fever is 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.) Remain home if you have a fever, except to get medical care.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth. Stay home when you are sick. Learn more at cdc.gov/COVID19

Prepare a two-week emergency kit and complete an emergency checklist in case you need to quarantine at home. An emergency kit is a collection of items you may need in an emergency. An emergency checklist helps you gather information you may need in an emergency. Kits generally include essentials such as food, water, medicine, power sources, paperwork, and other items to cover a 3-day period. With COVID-19, it is recommended to prepare a 2-week supply. Here are few links with suggestions for your kit and checklists:

  • Somerville Quarantine Shopping List (PDF)
  • Mass.gov Build an Emergency Kit
  • CDC Emergency Kit and Checklist for Families
  • CDC Personal Health Preparedness
  • Mass.gov/KnowPlanPrepare includes interactive family tasks and videos
    Items to keep in a preparedness kit include prescription medications, first aid essentials, toiletries, hand sanitizer, and personal health information.
  • Gather supplies that will be helpful if you or a household member needs to recover from COVID-19 at home. The same kind of supplies you might need if you have the flu will be helpful if you develop flu-like COVID-19 symptoms that are mild or moderate enough for you to recover at home. Items such as cold medicines, Tylenol, tissues, decongestant, a thermometer, and thermometer covers are helpful. Should anyone develop vomiting or diarrhea, an anti-diarrheal medicine and fluids that can quickly rehydrate and restore electrolytes such as Pedialyte, electrolyte water, broth or broth-based soups, or Gatorade (though be careful of the high sugar levels in Gatorade if using for children) are also helpful. To help stop the spread of germs, a disinfectant cleaner or wipes is also advised.

Do not hoard. While it is advisable to plan and prepare for your general emergency needs and possible quarantine, it is detrimental to overall public health if individuals hoard more resources than they need. For example, if one person hoards hand sanitizer or face masks that they can’t possibly use up alone, others may not have access and then may be more likely to spread germs to everyone, including the hoarder, making the risk of the virus spreading greater for all.

Consider offering to help any elderly neighbors or others who may need assistance in preparing. There have also been news reports of persons of Asian backgrounds experiencing incidents of discrimination due to COVID-19 news. No one should face discrimination or mistreatment based on a public health situation. Viruses do not discriminate.

  • Bookmark the City’s coronavirus webpage for local updates: somervillema.gov/Coronavirus.
  • Sign up for City alerts or check your subscription to be sure you are signed up to receive alerts via every method you can receive: phone, email, texts. Call 311 if you need assistance subscribing. 
  • Check for updates from Somerville Public Schools as appropriate.
  • Sign up for real-time text updates about COVID-19 in Massachusetts: Text the keyword COVIDMA to 888-777. State and public health officials will send short messages and links to information directly to your mobile device. Users can subscribe to the Spanish-language service by texting COVIDMAESP to 888-777.
  • Check reliable news sources frequently. See the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Massachusetts Department of Public Health, or other official government sites for updates. It’s important to get information from official websites to help stop rumors and misinformation from spreading and potentially putting yourself and others at risk.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers provide paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19 between April 1 and December 31, 2020. 

The FFCRA applies to most employers with fewer than 500 employees. Employers with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for an exemption in limited circumstances. Employers that employ healthcare providers or emergency responders may also elect to exclude such workers from eligibility for this leave. 

  • The FFCRA provides up to 80 hours of fully- or partially-paid sick leave to eligible employees who are unable to work for specified reasons related to COVID-19. 
    • Time off can be used if you have COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19, are quarantined, under a shelter-in-place order, or need to care for a loved one who has COVID-19. Employees can also take time off to care for children whose schools have been closed in most circumstances. 
    • Part-time employees are entitled to emergency paid sick leave based on the average number of work hours in a two-week period.
  • The FFCRA also provides up to 10 additional weeks of partially paid family leave for employees who are unable to work because they must care for their child whose school is closed or whose child care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19.

Additionally, under the Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law, most employees in the state also have the right to earn and use up to 40 hours of job-protected sick leave per year to take care of themselves and certain family members. If you’re eligible for both FFCRA leave and Massachusetts earned sick leave, employees may choose to take FFCRA leave first and save Massachusetts earned sick leave for later use.

For more information:

  • Click here to read through the provisions of the FFCRA. 
  • Click here for more FFCRA informational resources from the Department of Labor, including fact sheets, webinars, and informational posters in multiple languages.

Click here for more information about employee rights and employer obligations in Massachusetts during this pandemic.

As City of Somerville businesses begin to reopen, it is important that all workers and employers know how to protect themselves to prevent the spread of COVID-19. All businesses in the State of Massachusetts must meet these safety requirements in order to reopen, and Somerville has established some additional protections for certain industries. 

The minimum safety requirements for businesses in Somerville include:

Highly recommended safety practices for businesses in Somerville include:

Know your rights as an employee during COVID-19. If you have a concern about the safety of your workplace during COVID-19, you can file a complaint with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office online. Your complaint may concern issues such as:

  • Cleaning/disinfection
  • Hygiene
  • Failure to display Compliance Attestation poster
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Requiring symptomatic employees to work
  • Retaliation
  • Social distancing

The Attorney General’s Office has also published Frequently Asked Questions in multiple languages regarding the rights of workers and employers during COVID-19.

 

Social Distancing

The goal of “social distancing” is to slow the spread of COVID-19 by limiting the number of people that infected people interact with. Slowing the spread of COVID-19 is necessary for preventing the healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed.

  • Social distancing should be practiced by everyone in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. This means limiting the interactions you have with others outside of your household. Avoid gatherings and keep 6 feet between you and others when possible.
  • Quarantines are for people or groups who are thought to have been exposed to the coronavirus. Quarantines during this pandemic last at least 14 days because symptoms of infection typically begin two to 14 days after exposure to the virus.
  • Isolation is for people who have been infected by the virus. The goal of isolation is to keep infected people away from healthy people to help slow the spread.

According to the FDA, there is no evidence of food, food containers, or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19. Like other viruses, it is possible that the virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on surfaces or objects. For that reason, it is important to wash your hands after handling food packaging, after removing food from the packaging, before you prepare food for eating and before you eat.

When ordering takeout and delivery, remember that it is important to limit person-to-person interactions. If ordering delivery, see if there is an option to pay and tip online and ask the delivery person to leave the food at your door. If ordering takeout, keep at least 6 feet between others and avoid busy establishments. Wash your hands and/or use hand sanitizer before and after.

According to the CDC there is currently no evidence to support the transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Therefore, prior to preparing or eating food it is important to wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and to practice the 4 key steps for food safety: clean, separate, cook, and chill.

According to the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA), there is currently no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19. 

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

The biggest grocery-related risk is contact with other people and with high-touch areas like shopping carts and basket handles, so it’s important to practice social distancing while in the grocery store, avoid touching your face while shopping, and wash your hands thoroughly when you return home.

Wash your hands again after you unload your groceries, and clean kitchen surfaces like countertops, cabinet handles.

Wash your fruits and vegetables under running water. Do not use cleaning products on your food.

According to guidance from official health agencies, there is no need to disinfect mail or packages, but you should wash your hands thoroughly after handling them.

The WHO currently states the likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low, and the risk of contracting COVID-19 from a package that has been moved and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.

Similarly, the CDC reports that although the virus can survive for a short period on some surfaces, this coronavirus is thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets, which is why social distancing is so important. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods, and there have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods.

Yes, but wear a face covering and continue to practice social distancing by staying 6 feet from others and avoiding gathering with people outside of your household.

In Somerville, indoor and outdoor gatherings remain limited to no more than 10 people until further notice to slow the spread of the coronavirus. When outside, everyone should practice social distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from others and wearing a face covering. 

The MBTA has implemented updated cleaning protocols and adjusted some operations procedures to protect riders and employees. Learn more here. Guidance for riders includes:

  • Wear a face covering. Face coverings are required to be worn at all times on public transit, including on MBTA vehicles, in stations, and at stops. Children under the age of 2 and people with health conditions that make it difficult or impossible to wear face coverings are exempt. 
  • Try to avoid public transportation during peak hours. Find live crowding information for some busier bus routes online and in the Transit app
  • As in all public settings, maintain social distance from others if possible.  
  • Stay home if you’re feeling ill. 
  • Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean areas that are frequently touched with sanitizing spray or wipes.

Stay up to date on service updates at mbta.com/alerts.

Massachusetts has issued a Safer-at-Home advisory statewide to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Residents should only leave their homes for essential tasks and permitted work and activities. If you do need to travel, be sure to take steps to help prevent getting and spreading COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases. 

  • Traveling out of MA: A number of states and countries have issued travel restrictions and advisories, which may change rapidly. Even nearby states may have requirements for visitors from Massachusetts, including a 14-day quarantine upon arrival or providing proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test. Be sure to research guidelines specific to your destination before traveling. Your destination may offer free testing upon arrival; please consider using those sites if possible or contacting your healthcare provider for a test. Learn more from the State here, or visit the CDC COVID-19 Travel page.
  • Traveling into MA: Please review detailed information at mass.gov/MAtraveler. Effective August 1, 2020, all visitors and returning residents entering Massachusetts are required to take the following steps:
    • Complete a Massachusetts Travel Form prior to arrival. Exemptions apply for visitors from lower-risk states designated by the Department of Public Health or in limited circumstances outlined here.
    • Quarantine for 14 days upon arrival OR or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered within 72 hours prior to your arrival in Massachusetts. If your COVID-19 test result has not been received prior to arrival, you must quarantine until you receive the negative result.

Please ensure you read through the full guidance before embarking on out-of-state travel.

 

Masks & Face Coverings

In most cases, yes. On April 27, Mayor Curtatone and the Board of Health issued an order requiring face coverings in public places to slow the spread of COVID-19. Everyone over 2 years old must wear a clean face covering, such as a fabric mask, scarf, or bandana, over their mouth and nose in all indoor and outdoor public spaces in Somerville.

You can use anything that covers your nose and mouth, including dust masks, scarves, and bandanas.

  • Persons who cannot wear a mask or face covering for medical reasons, which includes disability, are exempt from this order. Medical exemptions will be allowed based on the honor system. You do not need to carry a doctor's note. 
  • Face coverings should not be placed on children younger than 2 years old, on anyone who has trouble breathing, or on anyone who cannot remove the covering without assistance. 
  • Finally, medical-grade surgical masks or N-95 respirators must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders.

The CDC advises wearing a simple cloth face covering over your nose and mouth in public as an additional public health measure. It is now understood that the virus can spread between people who are interacting in close proximity even if neither person is showing symptoms. Wearing a cloth face covering can help reduce the risk of spreading the virus to others. However, wearing a face covering is not a replacement for social distancing. Social distancing remains the most effective way to slow the spread of the virus, so it is still important to remain at least 6 feet away from people who are not part of your household, even when wearing a face covering.

Face coverings may be any clean cloth that covers your nose and mouth, including scarves or bandanas. Simple face coverings can be made quite easily with things you already have in your home. 

The CDC also offers several simple options that can be sewn or made without sewing. Cotton bandanas or T-shirts can be cut or folded to fashion a face covering. Multiple layers of fabric with a tight weave will be most effective. To check your fabric, hold it up to the light to see how much light comes through. Try to choose a fabric that lets less light through.

The CDC recommends that face coverings

  • Fit snugly against the side of your face
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops 
  • Use multiple layers of fabric
  • Allow for breathing without restriction 
  • Be machine washable and dryer safe 

For more quick and easy ways to make a cloth face covering, check out the following video tutorials: 

The City continues to source masks and distribute them to our most vulnerable residents as they’re available. 

As a reminder, the face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are crucial supplies that must continue to be reserved for health care workers and other medical first responders.

Make sure to wear a face covering that covers your nose and mouth and that you can still breathe through. Don't wear a face covering if under two years old.

Face coverings or masks must be worn in all public indoor and outdoor spaces in Somerville. Persons who cannot wear a mask or face covering for medical reasons, which includes disability, are exempt from this order. Medical exemptions will be allowed based on the honor system. You do not need to carry a doctor's note.

Indoors - Face coverings or masks must be worn in all indoor public spaces. All open businesses must display signs reminding anyone entering that they need to be wearing a face covering. Face coverings must also be worn inside when in public common areas of multi-unit residences or commercial buildings such as entrances and public hallways. 

Outside - Face masks/coverings must be worn in or at all public spaces such as parks, sidewalks, streets, paths, squares, or outdoor commercial areas such as parking lots and outdoor premises of retail locations. Joggers and cyclists must adhere to the order along with pedestrians. 

On Public Transportation & in Ride Shares - In accordance with the statewide order, MBTA customers over the age of 2 must wear face coverings when using the MBTA, including when in an enclosed or semi-enclosed transit stop or waiting area. Face coverings are also required in taxis and ride shares. 

While face coverings can help control the spread of COVID-19, it’s important to remember it is an extra protection in addition to social distancing to help reduce transmission of the virus. Facial coverings do not make it safe for people to start congregating.

Yes. A face covering must be worn whenever you are in a public space in Somerville, including when you are running or cycling. Remember to also stay at least 6 feet from others while exercising outdoors. Consider changing your route, schedule, or activity if maintaining social distance is challenging.

The CDC now recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public based on new evidence that people without obvious symptoms can spread the coronavirus. It is now understood that the virus can spread between people who are interacting in close proximity even if neither person is showing symptoms. Wearing a cloth face covering can help reduce the risk of spreading the virus to others in addition to other measures like social distancing and frequent hand washing. Additional guidance can be found on the CDC’s website.

After use, immediately place your face covering in the laundry (or garbage if using a disposable mask). Be careful not to touch your mouth, nose, or eyes. When removing your mask or face covering. Wash your hands immediately after use.  

It is important to keep your face covering clean. Cloth face coverings should be cleaned frequently, ideally after each use, and can be cleaned and dried with your other laundry. Cloth face coverings can also be hand washed with detergent and water in the sink if needed. Cloth face coverings should be fully dry before using again.

Yes. The Somerville order requiring face coverings in public only applies to individuals older than 2 years old. Anyone who cannot wear a face covering for a medical reason, including disability, is also exempt from the requirement. Additionally, a face covering should never be put on someone who cannot remove it. Medical exemptions will be allowed based on the honor system. You do not need to carry a doctor's note.

Officials also understand it may be challenging for everyone to comply at all times, especially young children. Parents and caregivers are asked to make a good faith effort and do their best to help kids acclimate to wearing face coverings in public settings. Enforcement will focus on public education wherever possible. However, persons who can comply with the order and are showing willful disregard for the requirement may be subject to a written warning or $300 fine.

First, remember that face coverings may be any clean cloth that covers your nose and mouth, including scarves or bandanas. Simple face coverings can be made quite easily with things you already have in your home.

If you don’t have anything at home that works as a face covering or you are having trouble buying a face covering, the City of Somerville will be distributing 100,000 civilian three-ply masks with a focus on getting masks to people most vulnerable to COVID-19.

Masks are being delivered to senior residences and public housing buildings as supplies are available. Community Police Officers are also bringing masks along on their usual beats to provide to those who need them.

The City of Somerville is also collecting donations of homemade cloth masks, which are washable and reusable, to give out to residents in need.

If you see someone in public without a face covering it could be due to an underlying health issue. Please do not make assumptions about others. The Police and City officials will be educating members of the public about the face covering requirement and enforcing the requirement when necessary. Please leave monitoring and enforcement to public officials.

Starting on Wednesday, April 29, everyone over the age of two is required to wear a face covering or mask when in public. We understand wearing face coverings may take some getting used to, especially for younger children. The fines are a last resort for the people who can comply with the order and refuse to do so. We ask that parents and caregivers make a good faith effort and do their best to help kids acclimate to wearing face coverings in public settings.

If your children are not excited about wearing a face covering, consider trying one of these tips:

  • Explain that wearing a face covering is important to help keep their neighbors and community safe. There is a lot that is out of our control during this pandemic, but we can all do our part to wear a face covering to help keep our community safe. 
  • For kids that are worried about wearing a face covering, try practicing wearing face coverings at home first to get them more comfortable with the idea. 
  • Make it fun - Have your child choose or decorate their face covering to make it something that feels more personalized and positive. Show pictures of other kids wearing masks. Encourage them to make a face covering for a favorite doll or stuffed animal. 
  • Model good behavior - Set a good example by always wearing your own face covering when in public.
  • Set clear boundaries - Empathize with them, but stay firm in the rules.

Symptoms & Testing

People with COVID-19 can experience a wide range of symptoms. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. According to the CDC, people with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

Please seek medical attention immediately if you are experiencing these emergency warning signs for COVID-19:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or difficulty waking
  • Bluish lips or face 

Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: Notify the operator that you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a cloth face covering before medical help arrives.

Check your symptoms for COVID-19 online

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Buoy Health’s online 24/7 tool is free for Massachusetts residents and uses current COVID-19 guidance from the CDC and Massachusetts Department of Public Health to help users check their symptoms and connect with the next appropriate health care resource. This tool does not replace emergency medical care, but it may be used as a support for residents during the COVID-19 outbreak to connect them with appropriate health care resources if they display coronavirus symptoms. Visit buoy.com/mass to learn more and use the tool.

You can also call 2-1-1 to learn more about COVID-19 prevention, symptoms, testing, and treatment.

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Older people (age 65 and up), people who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility, and people of all ages with severe underlying health conditions seem to be at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness. The CDC advises that it is “extra important” that persons with higher risk take action to help prevent exposure to the virus, and that all of us take actions to limit the spread in order to protect ourselves and those most vulnerable to complications.

The underlying conditions identified as increasing risk include but are not limited to:

  • Heart, kidney, or liver disease
  • Lung disease
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Immune deficiency, or persons taking medications that suppress immune function
  • High blood pressure

Risk for more severe symptoms increases starting at approximately age 50 and continues to climb with age.

The CDC offers guidance for higher risk populations including:

  • Stock up on supplies
  • Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others
  • When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact, and wash your hands often.
  • Avoid crowds as much as possible
  • Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel
  • During a COVID-19 outbreak in your community, stay home as much as possible.

For more specific guidance, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html.

  • Check for Emergency Warning Signs: Anyone who has emergency warning signs of COVID-19, including trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, or bluish lips or face should seek medical attention immediately. Call 911 and notify the operator that you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a cloth face covering before medical help arrives. 
  • Contact your medical provider: Persons experiencing COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, or other symptoms should contact their medical provider to discuss testing and treatment options.
  • Check your symptoms online: If you think you might have COVID-19, you can check your symptoms for free online at www.Buoy.com/mass.  This website, created by a partnership between the state and Buoy Health, will connect you with the appropriate health care resource based on your symptoms and risk factors for COVID-19. This tool does not replace emergency medical care, but it may be used as a support for Massachusetts residents during the COVID-19 outbreak to connect them with appropriate health care resources if they display coronavirus symptoms.
  • Isolate safely: Persons experiencing COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, or other symptoms should contact their medical provider and follow these CDC guidelines
    • Stay at home except to get medical care
    • Separate yourself from other people and pets in your home
    • Monitor your symptoms. Seek immediate medical help if you have trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, or bluish lips or face. 
    • Call ahead before attending medical appointments to let them know that you may have COVID-19. 
    • Wear a face covering if you are around other people or pets, even at home 
    • Cover your coughs and sneezes
    • Wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds
    • Avoid sharing personal household items like dishes, cups, utensils, towels, and bedding
    • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces in your home every day.
  • Get Tested: COVID-19 tests are available to all Somerville residents for free, regardless of health insurance or immigration status. You do not need to be symptomatic to receive a test. To schedule an appointment, see “Where can I get tested for COVID-19” below.

COVID-19 Testing

If you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 or you develop symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, fever, difficulty breathing), call your healthcare provider first. They will advise you on what to do next.

COVID-19 tests are available to all Somerville residents for free, regardless of health insurance or immigration status. You do not need to be symptomatic to receive a test. 

Assembly Square
Cambridge Health Alliance offers a COVID-19 testing site at 133 Middlesex Avenue (near the former Kmart) in Assembly Square. Appointment slots are limited and cannot be booked more than five days in advance. See below to schedule a test:

    • All CHA patients with symptoms: Please call your primary care center first.
    • CHA patients without symptoms: Call 617-665-2928 or make an appointment on MyCHArt
    • Non-CHA patients with symptoms: Please call your regular doctor first. If you have had a medical evaluation and still want to schedule a test, call 617-665-2928.
    • Non-CHA patients without symptoms: Call 617-665-2928.

Mobile Testing Sites in Somerville
The mobile testing unit will accept patients by appointment at roaming locations. You must call one of the phone numbers below to make an appointment during regular City Hall business hours (Monday-Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. -  4:30 p.m.; Thursday, 8:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.; Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.). Please leave a message if no one answers. Staff members may be receiving a high volume of calls and will return your call as soon as possible. 

  • English: 617-682-0583
  • Spanish: 617-398-7770
  • Portuguese: 617-684-5625
  • Nepali:  617-735-5553
  • Haitian Creole: 617-625-6600 ext. 2622

“Stop the Spread” Testing in Everett and Chelsea

The State is offering testing nearby in Everett and Chelsea, among other locations across the Commonwealth. If you’re not able to get an appointment in Somerville at a time that will work for you, consider one of these sites as another option. Some locations require appointments, and some offer walk-up testing. Learn more here.

Other Testing Sites in Massachusetts

This MEMA interactive map shows COVID-19 test sites in Massachusetts. It also includes a downloadable list of test sites. All information is sourced from site operators and healthcare providers. Information continues to evolve quickly, so contact a site before you visit.

A number of states and countries have issued travel restrictions and advisories, which may change rapidly. Be sure to research guidelines specific to your destination before traveling. Learn more from the State here, or visit the CDC COVID-19 Travel page.

If you have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider and monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. If you have been directed to quarantine or self-monitor because of a possible COVID-19 contact, follow this guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

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At this time, scientists are not sure if people who recover from COVID-19 are immune from the disease. Until more is known, continue to take all the recommended steps to protect yourself and others (staying home as much as possible, washing your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds, staying at least 6 feet from others when you go out, wearing face coverings in public settings).

 

Isolation & Quarantine

  • Social distancing should be practiced by everyone in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. This means limiting the interactions you have with others outside of your household. Avoid gatherings and keep 6 feet between you and others when possible.
  • Quarantines are for people or groups who are thought to have been exposed to the coronavirus. Quarantines during this pandemic last at least 14 days because symptoms of infection typically begin two to 14 days after exposure to the virus.
  • Isolation is for people who have been infected by the virus. The goal of isolation is to keep infected people away from healthy people to help slow the spread.
  • Establish a room (and a bathroom if possible) which only the quarantined person can use.
  • The quarantined person should not leave home at all, except for urgent medical care. If urgent care is needed, they should wear a surgical mask at all times while outside of the home. Do not take buses, subways or ride shares like Uber or Lyft. Use a personal vehicle or call an ambulance to get to the provider’s location. And call ahead to your provider so they can be ready.
  • All household members should practice strict personal hygiene. That means washing your hands frequently with soap and warm water. When you cough or sneeze, use a tissue every time. Then wash your hands.
  • Do not share plates, glasses, cups, or utensils. Wash all these items in a dishwasher or with dishwashing liquid and warm water.
  • Wipe down frequently used surfaces with a household disinfecting cleaner – especially if they’ve come in contact with bodily fluids like spit, mucus, urine, feces, or vomit.
  • Do not allow visitors in your home.
  • All household members should monitor their own health and call their healthcare provider if they develop symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath).
  • The CDC has provided a list of recommendations for how to best care for someone at home which can be found on the CDC website.
     

If you are self-quarantining, the CDC recommends the following:

  • Stay away from others as much as possible. If possible, designate a specific “sick room” in your apartment for the person with symptoms. The person with symptoms should clean high touch surfaces in their “sick room” on a daily basis. 
  • If a separate bathroom is not available for the infected person, surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected after use. The CDC recommends that a caregiver wear a mask and wait as long as possible after the sick person has used the bathroom before cleaning. 
  • Limit contact with pets. 
  • Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with others in your home. 
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw used tissues in a lined trash can. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Learn more from the CDC about what to do if you are sick.

 

Contact Tracing

Contact tracing in an important tool to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus. In short, public health staff identify the close contacts of people with COVID-19 and notify those close contacts of their exposure to the disease. A close contact is considered anyone you’ve been within 6 feet of for 15 minutes or more. Those close contacts may then be encouraged to get tested and quarantine or isolate to stop further transmission of the virus. 

In Massachusetts, the Commonwealth and Partners In Health have created the COVID-19 Community Tracing Collaborative. The Community Tracing Collaborative works with local boards of health to trace the contacts of everyone who’s tested positive for COVID-19. 

Contact tracers will only ask you for 1) names and phone numbers of people identified as your close contacts, and 2) if you need additional resources during your recovery. They will never ask for a social security number or health insurance information. They will not share your name when speaking with close contacts, and they will not share your information with immigration officials or ICE. 

Here’s what to expect: 

  1. Connecting on the phone: The MA COVID team will call everyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who has been exposed to the disease. The number calling will either be: 833-638-1585 or 857-305-2728. Your phone should say the call is from “MA COVID Team.” Calls will be made daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. It is important to answer the call.
  2. Identifying close contacts: During the phone call, a Case Investigator will ask you for a list of all the people and places you were within 6 feet of during the 48 hours prior to your symptoms. For those who do not have symptoms, include all contacts 48 hours prior to your diagnosis. The Case Investigator will also ask for the phone numbers of any people you identify so that they can be reached and notified about their exposure. 
  3. Accessing resources: The Case Investigator will also discuss any needs you may have for this time period and may connect you with a Care Resource Coordinator, who will help you get the support you need.
  4. Calling close contacts: The MA COVID Team will call your contacts to tell them they have been exposed to the disease and talk them through next steps. They will not release your name. 
  5. Ongoing support: A Case Investigator and/or the Somerville Board of Health will check in on you regularly to monitor your symptoms and needs. 

Learn more about the initiative here

According to the State, if you receive a phone call from the MA COVID Team, the number calling will either be: 833-638-1585 or 857-305-2728. Your phone should say the call is from “MA COVID Team.” Calls will be made daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The MA COVID Team will never ask for your social security number or health insurance information. If you’re more comfortable, you can wait for the MA COVID Team to leave a message and call them back.

 

Mental Health & Wellbeing

Visit our Mental Health and Wellbeing page for information about:

  • How to access mental health services or helplines from home
  • How to manage your stress about COVID-19
  • What you should do if you feel unsafe in your home
  • How to access recovery services
  • And more

Guidance and Resources for...

The Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has provided a COVID-19 communications cardto help hard of hearing and Deaf individuals and patients communicate with hospital staff, medical personnel, first responders, and service providers.

Older people (age 65 and up), people who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility, and people of all ages with severe underlying health conditions seem to be at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness. The CDC advises that it is “extra important” that persons with higher risk take action to help prevent exposure to the virus, and that all of us take actions to limit the spread in order to protect ourselves and those most vulnerable to complications.

The underlying conditions identified as increasing risk include but are not limited to:

  • Heart, kidney, or liver disease
  • Lung disease
  • Moderate to severe asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Immune deficiency, or persons taking medications that suppress immune function
  • High blood pressure
  • Severe obesity

For more information, see the CDC’s guidance on People Who Are at Higher Risk for Severe Illness.

The CDC offers guidance for higher risk populations including:

  • Stay home if possible.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others (stay 6 feet away, which is about two arm lengths).
  • Keep away from people who are sick.
  • Stock up on supplies.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched services.
  • Avoid all cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
  • Call your healthcare professional if you have concerns about COVID-19 and your underlying condition or if you are sick.

On May 18, the State released “Reopening Massachusetts,” a four-phase plan to reopen the Massachusetts economy and ease social restrictions while minimizing the health impacts of COVID-19. See more information about the State's plan here. Effective November 6, some businesses and activities are required to close or stop at 9:30 p.m. in compliance with the statewide Stay at Home Advisory.

Somerville is largely aligned with the State reopening plan, with a few modifications and some added City-required safety measures to better protect public health in our dense urban environment. The City will continue to review all guidance for future phases to ensure businesses and establishments can reopen safely and sustainably. 

 

Open Now

On Hold Until Further Notice

Construction

  • Phase 1 & 2 of Somerville’s construction plan, including critical municipal and utility projects as well as private construction
  • Phase 3 & 4 of Somerville’s construction plan

Healthcare

  • Emergency care
  • Routine preventative care
  • Telehealth

 

Business

  • Grocery stores, pharmacies
  • General retail (40% capacity)
  • Childcare facilities
  • Barber shops (with added safety measures)
  • Car dealerships
  • Car washes
  • Day camps
  • Day spas
  • Funeral homes
  • Hair salons (with added safety measures)
  • Hotels (no events)
  • Lab facilities
  • Manufacturing
  • Massage therapy
  • Nail salons
  • Offices (25% capacity)
  • Pet grooming
  • Restaurants (indoor and outdoor dining with added safety measures, takeout, delivery)
  • Tattoo parlors
  • Gyms

 

  • Bars
  • Theaters
  • Entertainment venues
  • Indoor recreation

Community

  • Parks
  • Houses of worship (25% capacity or 100 visitors, whichever is less)
  • Community gardens 
  • Recreation and outdoor areas (athletic fields and courts, boating, etc.)
    • Note: One basketball hoop is open in each ward, and basketball courts are open for general recreation use,  but games and scrimmages are prohibited.
  • Youth sports
  • Museums
  • Schools

May 18

  • Construction phase one, primarily large municipal and utility projects (only with approved safety plans)
  • Hospital and medical care facilities for high-priority preventative care visits
  • Houses of worship with a ten-person limit

May 25 

  • Curbside retail and remote order fulfillment
  • Additional healthcare providers as defined by the State plan
  • DCR parks, with appropriate social distancing practices and passive uses

June 1 

  • Offices - work from home strongly encouraged; businesses should restrict workforce to less than 25% maximum occupancy
  • Pet grooming by appointment only
  • Car washes - only exterior car washing allowed
  • Manufacturing 
  • Laboratory and life science facilities
  • Construction phase two, primarily residential and commercial construction (only with approved safety plans)
  • Recreation and outdoor areas, notably athletic fields and courts, boating, and outdoor gardens. Basketball courts are open for general recreation use but hoops are blocked while games and scrimmages are prohibited.
  • Hair salons and barbershops by appointment only and with added safety measures).

June 8

  • Retail at up to 40% in-store capacity
  • Hotels (no event spaces) upon submittal of City-required safety plans
  • Outdoor restaurant dining
  • Day camps & childcare facilities
  • Preventive healthcare & patient visits
  • Car dealerships
  • Funeral homes
  • Driving ranges
  • Flight schools
  • Minor home improvements

June 18

  • Ice rinks with additional safety protocols, only open for organized youth leagues and youth programs at limited capacity 

June 22

June 26

  • Latta Pool at Foss Park with new safety guidelines and protocols; scroll down to “Guidelines for Community Pools” to learn more

June 29

  • Playgrounds

July 1

  • Dilboy pool with new safety guidelines and protocols; scroll down to “Guidelines for Community Pools” to learn more
  • Kennedy School pool with new safety guidelines and protocols; scroll down to “Guidelines for Community Pools” to learn more
  • Water play areas: Social distancing rules in effect. In parks where the water play area attracts crowds that fail to observe social distancing measures, the feature may have to be turned off.

September 8

The following are eligible to open with added safety measures:

  • Fitness facilities & health clubs
  • Motion picture, TV, streaming productions
  • Martial arts & dance facilities
  • Non-athletic instructional classes

All residents are advised to continue to stay home as much as possible and leave only for essential trips and permitted work. The following guidance remains in effect locally:

  • No gatherings of more than 10 people 
    In Somerville, indoor and outdoor gatherings remain limited to a maximum of 10 people until further notice. 
  • Be Home by 10 p.m.
    In accordance with the statewide Stay at Home Advisory, all residents should stay home with their household (not with guests) between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., with exceptions for essential activities such as going to work, grocery shopping, pharmacy and medical visits, or taking a walk. 
  • No “contact” sports games
    Team sports that could lead to physical contact may not be played. Scrimmages, organized games, and tournaments are not allowed for contact sports;  activities must be limited to no-contact drills and training exercises. Contact sports are those where ordinary play puts players into contact or close proximity to one another, including basketball, football, baseball, soccer, field hockey, and lacrosse. Games are permitted during Phase II only for no-contact sports where ordinary play allows for social distancing (e.g., tennis and other racquet sports), but inter-team games or tournaments are not allowed.
  • No team sports
  • Outdoor visits to nursing homes/assisted living centers
    Effective June 3, the Commonwealth issued new guidance allowing for scheduled outdoor visits at nursing homes, rest homes, and assisted living facilities to allow for scheduled outdoor visits with safety guidelines in place. A resident who is suspected or confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 cannot be visited, but a resident who has recovered from COVID-19 may be visited. Visits must be limited to no more than two individuals. As much as possible, long-term care facilities should continue to use alternative electronic methods for communication between residents and visitors. Indoor visits may be permitted in compassionate care situations. 
  • No playdates
    Parents should avoid playdates for children.
  • Maintain social distance and wear face coverings.
    Stay at least 6 feet from others and wear a face covering in public settings.
  • All City buildings
  • All libraries (contactless pickup begins July 6)
  • All gyms and health clubs
  • All theaters, entertainment venues, social clubs

Businesses and spaces allowed to be open and operating include (but are not limited to): 

(Please note, many businesses have closed voluntarily, so it’s helpful to check before you head out.)

  • Animal shelters
  • Auto supplies
  • Auto repair
  • Bakers
  • Banks, Credit Unions, Financial Institutions, Insurance Companies
  • Bike supplies and repair shops
  • Building supply stores
  • Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes.
  • Butchers
  • Car dealerships 
  • Check cashing services
  • Childcare facilities
  • Community gardens
  • Convenience stores
  • Counseling services
  • Day camps
  • Dentists 
  • Dry cleaners
  • Food banks and pantries
  • Funeral homes
  • Gas stations
  • General retail (curbside pickup and remote fulfillment) 
  • Grocery stores (or any store selling primarily food items)
  • Hair salons and barbershops (by appointment only and with added safety measures).
  • Hardware stores
  • Healthcare providers (hospitals, clinics, urgent care, doctors, home health aides, etc.)
  • Houses of worship
  • Hotels, motels, shared rental units and similar facilities
  • Internet/Cable Service provider retail locations
  • Laundromats
  • Liquor stores
  • Manufacturers of medical or other essential supplies for addressing COVID-19
  • Massage therapy
  • Medical cannabis dispensaries
  • Mental Health Providers
  • Mobile phone stores
  • Nail salons
  • Occupational therapy providers
  • Pet food and supply stores
  • Pharmacies
  • Physical therapy providers
  • Professional services (when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities and critical sector services or where failure to provide such services during the time of the order would result in significant prejudice)
  • Retail stores that sell essential goods such as medical supplies or cleaning products
  • Specialty Food Stores
  • Tattoo parlors
  • Veterinary care providers
  • The following guidelines are required to keep patrons, the general public, and restaurant workers safe.
  • Masks are required at all restaurants, indoors and outdoors, unless seated.
  • Patrons must observe social distancing before entering, and after leaving, the outdoor seating areas.
  • Seating must be separated by at least 6 feet. Restaurants cannot adjust their approved seating plans for tables and chairs.
  • Alcohol must not be served to suspected intoxicated patrons, or anyone under the age of 21.
  • No recorded or live music is allowed in any outdoor seating areas.
  • We urge you to call ahead to make a reservation.

The City operates two pools: the indoor Kennedy School pool at 5 Cherry St. and the outdoor Dilboy Pool at 324 Alewife Brook Parkway. Both are scheduled to open Wednesday, July 1. The state operates the Latta Pool at Foss Park at Broadway and McGrath, which will open Friday, June 26. All have new COVID-19 safety guidelines and protocols, including:

  • Outdoor pools are open to all.
  • The indoor pool at the Kennedy School will be available to youth leagues and camps, and family swim will be available with restrictions. Only one parent/guardian allowed per household to adhere to the indoor limitations.
  • Pool attendees must socially distance (remain at least 6 feet apart from persons who are not members of your household) on the pool deck, when in the water, and in restrooms. Locker rooms and changing areas will be closed.
  • Except when in the pool itself, face coverings must be worn at all times by persons age 2 and older. Persons unable to wear a mask for medical or disability reasons are exempt. Face coverings cannot be worn in the pool itself for safety reasons, and swimmers should maintain social distancing in the water.
  • Pools will have decreased occupancy.
  • Pool hours will be staggered to allow for cleaning. New pool hours will be posted on www.somervillerec.com and, once they are set, will be available by calling 311.
  • Swimming lessons will not be offered.

Information About City Services During Building Closures

All Somerville City buildings are closed to slow the spread of COVID-19. See below for more information about City operations during the shutdown. For other questions, contact 311.

Please note: We are currently accepting marriage applications from Somerville residents only. If you plan to get married in the next 14 days, we cannot accommodate you. City Hall is closed and our staffing is limited due to social distancing protocols. Please be aware that you can apply anywhere else in Massachusetts as long as they can accommodate you and you're physically getting married in Massachusetts. You can also apply out-of-state, but that state’s rules will apply. Just remember that wherever you apply is the place that will maintain your marriage record and provide you with certified copies.

What You Need to Know Before You Get Started

Any couple can get married as long as both people are not closely related. In Massachusetts, that generally means that you can’t marry your parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, sibling, step-parent, step-grandparent, step-child, step-grandchild, parent-in-law, grandparent-in-law, child-in-law, grandchild-in-law, sibling’s child, or parent’s sibling.

If you or your partner are under the age of 18, you’ll need to get a Court Marriage of Minor Order (also known as an “age waiver”) from your local probate or district court.

Your marriage license expires 60 days from the day you apply, so make sure you plan accordingly. You can apply in any municipality in Massachusetts and get married anywhere in Massachusetts, but you can’t get married out of state with a Massachusetts license.

You don’t need a medical certificate or blood work to get married.

You can choose to change or keep your surname when you get married, but you can’t change your first or middle names. To change your surname, simply enter it on the Notice of Intention of Marriage.

If you’re divorced, you don’t need to submit your divorce papers, but your divorce must be finalized when you apply for the marriage license. In Massachusetts, divorces generally become final 90 days after the judge signs the Final Judgment. Other states have different time periods.

Apply for a Marriage License

We are currently accepting marriage applications from Somerville residents only, in a way that minimizes your face-to-face interaction with city employees. Plan on the process taking two to three weeks before you receive your marriage license.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. There are three forms you and your partner will have to fill out. They’re all available online. Fill them out online OR print them and fill them out with a black pen as clearly as you can. If you’re not sure how to answer a question, leave it blank. If you don’t have a wedding date, place, or officiant, leave them blank. Don’t sign any of the forms yet.
  2. Return the forms to us along with a legible copy of a valid government-issued photo ID for each of you. For a driver’s license, we just need the front. For a passport, we just need the page with your name and picture. Include an email address and phone number, and return them to us in one of three ways:
    • Email them to [email protected];
    • Drop them in the black drop box just outside the School Street entrance of City Hall; or
    • Mail them to the Somerville City Clerk, 93 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA, 02143.
  3. Some time in the next 10 days, someone from the City Clerk’s Office will schedule a time for you both to come to City Hall to sign everything and pay the $50 marriage license application fee.
  4. You both must be wearing masks when you arrive, and you’ve got to bring your own pen (black ink only), the same photo IDs you copied, and a $50.00 check or money order payable to the City of Somerville. We will not accept cash or credit/debit cards.
  5. In our presence, you’ll both affirm under oath that all the statements are true and there are no legal impediments to your marriage, then you’ll sign the forms.
  6. We’ll then email you a draft marriage certificate. You’ll both carefully proofread it, and let us know if everything is exactly right. Correcting even a minor mistake after the fact will cost $50 and require submitting an affidavit.
  7. Once we’ve received your OK, we’ll wait 3 days (legally required), then mail the marriage license to you. Congratulations—you’re on your way!

Get Married!

The marriage must be solemnized within 60 days of your application. Any of the following people may perform the ceremony:

  • Priest
  • Minister
  • Rabbi
  • Another religious official
  • Justice of the Peace
  • Anyone with a one-day designation from the Secretary of State’s Office. Note that you’ll need to submit this designation with your solemnized license for your marriage to be valid.

You don’t need a witness if a Justice of the Peace performs the ceremony. Some religions do require witnesses, so make sure you check beforehand.

Yes. Please go to https://www.somervillema.gov/payonline and follow the prompts.

 

Libraries

Somerville Libraries is now offering contactless pickup for limited items at all branches. The first step is to place items you’d like on hold using your Minuteman Account. Next, wait for an email or phone call confirming that your items have been successfully placed on hold and ready to be picked up. Then, you’ll schedule your own time to go and grab your items. Learn all about how this will work here.

The Library is not charging fines on late returns for the foreseeable future.

  • For the Central and East branches: All returns should go in the book drops, which remain open 24/7. Library staff will be emptying them on a regular basis, and there are no late fees for the foreseeable future.
  • The book drop at West @ TAB is currently closed; items may be returned to a staff member during scheduled pickup hours only (Monday-Friday: 9:30am - 12:30pm and 2:15pm - 5:45pm).

If you have further questions about library transactions, please email [email protected].

 

Parking

Yes, you can submit an application for a parking permit online, by mail, or via secure dropbox at the Parking Office, 133 Holland Street. Residential parking enforcement will resume December 1, 2020.

Constituents may pay their parking tickets online or via the pay by phone automated system (1-844-807-9069) with a debit or credit card during the shutdown.

Constituents may appeal their parking tickets online up to 21 days from the issue date. All in-person hearings are automatically scheduled after 35 days if the ticket is not paid or appealed during the first 21 days. However, all scheduled in-person hearings have been postponed until further notice due to COVID 19. Until the shutdown ends, constituents, whose hearing was scheduled, may submit their appeal via email to [email protected], or may contact 311 to request to be added to the reschedule a hearing list. Hearing officers will review online and e-mail appeals during the shutdown on a limited basis. Once normal operations resume, we will contact the constituents that would like in person hearings..

 

Construction

To restart projects, all contractors must submit a Jobsite Hazard Analysis and prepare a Site Specific Safety Plan (example here) with a particular focus on COVID safety in accordance with state and federal guidelines on COVID spread prevention. Required measures include, but are not limited to, providing all workers and staff on site with proper personal protective equipment (PPE), handwashing facilities and supplies, social distancing protocols, safe site access, and other measures. Once safety plans are approved, projects will be allowed to restart.

 

Public Works

Yes. Trash, recycling, TV/monitors, and white good items (large appliances) will be collected on its regular schedule during the shutdown. Our contractor Simple Recycling has resumed curbside collection of textile recycling. You can now put out Simple Recycling pink bags on your normal trash day for pick up. If you need pink bags please call Simple Recycling at 866-835-5068 or put in a request at simplerecycling.com.

The DPW yard will be closed to the public, so constituents will not be able to bring any waste items like electronic recycling or yard waste to 1 Franey Rd. 

New, missing, and damaged trash and recycling cart reports will be addressed once the shutdown is over in the order they were received.

 

Treasury

Tax, excise, and water bills may be paid online via electronic check or with a debit or credit during shut down. Electronic check payments on tax and water bills are free but there will be a 2.95% fee on debit/credit payments. There is a $0.50 fee on electronic checks and 3.20% fee on debit and credit payment on excise bills. Of course, as in the past, these bills may also be paid by mailing in the payment in the envelope provided. Send checks or money orders only, never cash:

Treasurer/Collector
93 Highland Ave.
Somerville, MA 02143

Yes. If there is a special request for an expedited MLC, this office will make every effort to accommodate the request. If there is an MLC emergency, both an e-mail to [email protected] and a voice mail on the treasury line x-3500 is advisable. We will also be processing certificates of good standing. If there is an issue with a cert of GS, e-mail the treasury office.

Yes. Treasury will be sending checks to vendors via the normal weekly process. Vendors must contact the department with which they did business to address any concerns regarding outstanding invoices.

 

Water and Sewer

If you need a final water reading for property sale, please fill out the "Request a Final Water Bill" form in your browser or PDF viewer and email the completed PDF to [email protected]. Due to office closures, final bills will be emailed or mailed to you. Payment will need to be mailed to the Treasurer's Office at City Hall or placed in the lockbox mailbox outside of City Hall.

Treasurer/Collector's Office
City Hall
93 Highland Ave.
Somerville, MA 02143

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