Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Information

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  • Updates & Alerts

  • What is
    COVID-19?

  • Protect Yourself & Others

  • Vaccines & Testing

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The novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is a new virus that emerged in 2019. 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.

People with COVID-19 can experience a wide range of symptoms, and some don't experience any symptoms at all. Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. According to the CDC, people with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

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 or your local emergency facility 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 complications from COVID-19. We all must take precautions 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.

  • Bookmark the City’s coronavirus webpage for local updates: somervillema.gov/COVID.
  • 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.

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.

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.

Social gatherings with family and friends outside of your immediate household should be avoided. Locally, gatherings remain limited to no more than ten people until further notice. 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.

Refer to the latest guidance from both the CDC and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health before traveling. 

  • Domestic Travel - Fully Vaccinated
    • According to the CDC, fully vaccinated people can travel within the U.S. without getting tested for COVID-19 or quarantining, as long as they continue to take precautions while traveling: wearing a mask, avoiding crowds, socially distancing, and washing hands frequently.
    • A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 
  • Domestic Travel - Not Fully Vaccinated
  • International Travel - Fully Vaccinated
    • According to the CDC, fully vaccinated people can travel internationally with some testing requirements and recommendations outlined here. The international destination may have additional requirements, so be sure to review before making travel plans. 
    • Fully vaccinated people should continue to take COVID-19 precautions while traveling. 
    • A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 
  • International Travel - Not Fully Vaccinated

 

Masks & Face Coverings

In most cases, yes. On April 27, 2020, 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.

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.

 

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.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information: Visit SomervilleMA.gov/CovidVaccine

 

COVID-19 Testing

  • 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 77 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

Upcoming COVID-19 Mobile Testing Dates

Please check back later for more dates.

“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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Contact tracing is an important tool to slow the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19. If you test positive, a public health nurse will call you and ask who you've recently been in close contact with. A close contact is considered anyone you've been within 6 feet of for a total of 15 minutes or more. Those contacts will then be notified of their exposure to COVID-19 so they can quarantine or isolate to stop further transmission of the virus. 

If a local contact tracer is trying to reach you, you will receive a call from "City of Somerville" or "Health and Human Services." Please answer the call! Your information will be kept confidential. A contact tracer will never ask for your social security number or financial information, share your name with your close contacts, or share your information with immigration officials or ICE. 

The City of Somerville is in a modified version of Phase 3, Step 1 of the Reopening Massachusetts plan.

Closed Effective April 5, 2021

  • Indoor theaters and performance venues, including concert halls
  • Movie theaters
  • Bowling facilities, arcades, and gaming spaces
  • Indoor event spaces (meeting rooms, ballrooms, private party rooms, social clubs)
  • All City buildings 
  • Library buildings (contactless services offered)
 

Open Now

On Hold Until Further Notice

Construction

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

Healthcare

  • Emergency care
  • Routine preventative care
  • Telehealth

 

Business

 

  • Barber shops (with added safety measures)
  • Car dealerships
  • Car washes
  • Childcare facilities
  • Day camps
  • Day spas
  • Driving ranges
  • Grocery stores
  • Funeral homes
  • Gyms
  • Hair salons (with added safety measures)
  • Hotels (no events)
  • Indoor recreation
  • Lab facilities
  • Manufacturing
  • Massage therapy
  • Motion picture, television, streaming productions
  • Nail salons
  • Offices (25% capacity)
  • Pet grooming
  • Pharmacies 
  • Restaurants (indoor and outdoor dining with added safety measures, takeout, delivery)
  • Retail (25% capacity)
  • Tattoo parlors

 

  • Bars
  • Entertainment venues
  • Theaters

Community

  • Community gardens 
  • Houses of worship (25% capacity or 100 visitors, whichever is less)
  • Museums
  • Parks
  • Playgrounds
  • Recreation and outdoor areas (athletic fields and courts, boating, etc.)
  • School buildings
  • Youth sports
 

In Somerville, both indoor and outdoor private gatherings remain limited to a maximum of 10 people until further notice. 

Because COVID-19 is less likely to be transmitted in outdoor settings, the City of Somerville has updated its COVID-19 guidelines to allow some outdoor performances to resume, both in public and private spaces, such as parks, plazas, or restaurant outdoor dining areas. If approved by the City, some outdoor professional performances can take place both in public and private spaces, such as parks, plazas, or restaurant outdoor dining areas. Outdoor performances that may cause moderate aerosol spread, including theater, comedy, and spoken word performances, will be allowed under guidelines previously established for outdoor performances. Activities like singing and playing wind instruments that may cause significant aerosol spread are not currently allowed. Crowd size is capped at 25 people or at the approved venue capacity. Learn how to apply to have an outdoor performance. 

All activities must follow City and State health and safety guidelines and existing permitting procedures, and organizers must complete a health and safety plan (HASP). Performers and event organizers will be responsible for enforcing mask wearing, social distancing of both performers and audience, crowd size, and other safety guidelines during the performance. For more information and to apply for a permit/license:  

For businesses wanting to have outdoor performances: Visit www.somervillema.gov/citizenserve and upload your request under your existing license.

For individuals and organizations wanting to have an outdoor performance in a public park: Go to the website www.somervillerec.com to make a facility reservation request. You will need to create an organization account with a user name and password. Once an account is created you can:

  1.  Log in
  2.  On the home page click on the link that says “Click here to make a Facility/Field Reservation Request”
  3. View the calendar and openings
  4. Choose your facility location, dates, and times
  5. There is a “notes” section in which you can add additional information such as lights, concessions, etc.
  6. Submit the request
  7. Keep in mind there are fees for the use of fields and boathouse

Once we receive the request, we will confirm with you either by email or phone based on the nature of the request. Keep in mind there are times when we have to wait to receive the high school events/sports requests before we can confirm.

For buskers/street performers or organizations wanting to have an outdoor performance in a public square or plaza: Email [email protected] or call 617-625-6600 ext. 5600. 

  • 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 Public Library offers contactless pickup and printing services. Learn how it works here.

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.

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.

Starting March 15, 2021, Somerville residents can drop off yard waste, electronic waste, and tires at the DPW yard at 1 Franey Rd. Household hazardous waste cannot be dropped off, but residents can sign up to have it picked up on a designated collection day. 

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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Help for Survivors of Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault

Immigrant Resources

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Upcoming Events

Virtual & Call-In Spanish Q&A on the COVID-19 Vaccine

Somerville residents and workers are invited to join a virtual (online and phone) COVID-19 Vaccine Q&A in Spanish hosted by the Somerville Office of Immigrant Affairs, Somerville Public Schools, The Welcome Project, and Cambridge Health Alliance.

Programs & Initiatives

Sign reads, "Closed. We Will Return."

SomervilleMA/COVIDBizHelp aims to be a place for businesses to access resources, information, and support in this difficult time.

City Hall icon on a tablet and phone

93 Highland Ave. may be closed, but City Hall is hard at work. Join our virtual town halls, listening sessions, & more from the comfort of your home.

COVID-19 vaccine sticker

The vaccine is being provided free of charge to all individuals, regardless of insurance or immigration status.