Arrigo, Hanton discuss COVID-19 with Council

During a crisis situation that has gripped the City of Revere, the state, the nation, and the world, Mayor Brian Arrigo, Director of Revere’s COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Emergency Response Team Kim Hanton, and Board of Health Chair Dr. Nathalee Kong discussed the city’s efforts in responding to the virus that has resulted in a global pandemic.
The Response Team, being led by Hanton, was set up to address public information, outreach to the public, municipal staffing and communication, financial management, logistics, facilities and supplies and contact with the business community.
Arrigo said following Gov. Baker’s declaration of a state of emergency, he wanted to give a formal update to the Council in person. He began by thanking the city “dedicated professionals in public safety and public health and all over, making our response and making sure we are prepared for this international pandemic.” He personally thanked Hanton and Kong “for being invaluable in this process” and noted the cooperation of Dr. Dianne Kelly, superintendent of Revere schools, who had a plan in place for the virtual teaching of Revere students and the distribution of school meals to students during the cancellation of school days in the city.
Arrigo said there has not been a confirmed case of the virus in the city, “yet.”
“Yet is a big word because it is going to happen and we’re prepared for that and we know it is only a matter of time before something does happen,” the mayor told the Council.
“I want to assure people that when it does happen, we are prepared – we have been working tirelessly to make sure we’re prepared for that.”
Arrigo said “the biggest message is to stay home to the best of your ability.”
“We want people to stay home, to know that city services are going to continue and we’re going to do what we can to provide those virtually,” said Arrigo, noting the closure of City Hall and the Public Library and other public buildings.
Arrigo said he was impressed by the number of volunteers in the city who have stepped up to assist residents. “It really is incredible to be the mayor of this city, and it’s incredible to be the mayor of this city during this time when I know everyone steps up, when our resiliency shows and when we step up to the plate.”
Hanton called the current situation “challenging times.”
She said the Emergency Response Team (ERT) was set up “so we could respond to this situation in a methodical and organized way.”
“We put together a case management team, it’s the state and regional coordination – the responsibility of this individual is to pull a team together to respond to information that we receive from the community in regards to presumptive positives, possible contaminations, and that team is out there to really do the legwork and communicate.”
Hanton told the Council that the team receives an updated report from the state on the Coronavirus on a daily basis.
Hanton said the team has an outreach coordinator who oversees the city’s vulnerable population, “the seniors, the disabled, the veterans, the youth, and the immigrants.”
The ERT also has a wellness coordinator “who is working very closely with Revere CARES,” addressing such issues as food assistance, the financial impact on residents, translation and communication for immigrants, and mental health and trauma.
Hanton spoke about “the logistics” portion of the efforts, stating that “it is the team that is prioritizing our supply needs, plans and distribution, and equipment and things that are ongoing on a regular basis.”
Hanton said the team has a business liaison who will be looking to assist local businesses during the crisis. There is also a communication liaison, “who is the point person” for the team.
She said events change so quickly in relation to the Coronavirus that the team is communicating with residents on an hourly basis each day.
Dr. Kong said she echoed the sentiments of Mayor Arrigo and Kim Hanton, stating that they “have done an outstanding job in rising to the occasion and being prepared for and responding to such a fast-moving pandemic.
“This is uncharted territory – we’re in a very unique time in our city, our country, and in the world, so things are happening at a breakneck speed and we’re trying to respond to them as fast as the news comes out to us,” said Kong.
Kong also praised Revere Public Nurse Carol Donovan, “who is a fantastic resource for me.”
Councillor-at-Large George Rotondo, a registered nurse with many years of experience in the medical field, lauded the Mayor Arrigo for its outstanding response to the Coronavirus. In an interview after the meeting, Rotondo said, “We all know Mayor Arrigo is a community leader. 
But nothing better defines a leader than a crisis.
Through these turbulent and fluid times Mayor Arrigo has done a great job of rising to the challenges of the Wuhan Coronavirus known as covid 19.
The next week to month is going to show the fruits of Mayor Arrigo and his team hard work . 
In my opinion as a Nurse and former EMT with 30 years of experience in healthcare Mayor Arrigo has done a great job thus far. 
Moreover it’s our duty as a community to help him and his team help ourselves get through this invisible scrounge. In these days I urge everyone to continue to have good hand hygiene, maintain social distancing, only go out to store and other venues if absolutely needed. Also please impress upon our children that even though they may feel great, that they could get the coronavirus and bring it home and possibly infect  a grandparent or loved one with heart in lung disease that they might or might not know be fatal. Last and most important please look for updates on Revere .org, call 311 with concerns. Good Bless all the people of Revere and God Bless America.”

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