Rising COVID-19 cases have prompted Worcester city officials to close municipal buildings to the public through mid-January and tell workers to go remote.
City Manager Edward Augustus Jr., who himself contracted the virus, billed the announcement Wednesday as a “precautionary measure.”
“We all have a role to play and City Government must lead by example in mitigating the risk of exposure and further community spread of the COVID-19 virus,” Augustus said in a statement.
Worcester’s city hall, senior center, public library, public works and parks offices and 25 Meade St., which houses the city’s inspectional services and its public health and fire prevention division, will be closed to the public from Dec. 24 through Jan. 11. Limited in-person services will be available by appointment only, including marriage licenses, and the library will offer curbside pickup.
“While we will be operating the business of the City differently, we are working to ensure that there are no interruptions to essential services and daily Government operations,” Augustus said. “We expect to return to an appointment-based system in early to mid-January, after the holiday, but will assess the situation and make responsible decisions based on Public Health data.”
Worcester was among the record-breaking 187 cities and towns in the state’s high-risk “red” zone for coronavirus transmission last week, according to the Department of Public Health. The city had an average daily incidence rate of 90.5 per 100,000 residents over the 14-day period ending Dec. 12, and a positivity rate of 6.4%.
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