Residents Take Part in Virtual Town Hall

Mayor Brian Arrigo and Dr. Nathalee Kong, chair of the Revere Board of Health, held a virtual town hall meeting during which the two officials responded to questions from residents about the COVID-19 pan­demic.

Bob Marra, chief of staff for Mayor Arrigo’s Office, was the moderator for the April 1 one-hour meeting that also provided an op­portunity for the Mayor to directly update residents on the city’s response to the crisis and advise them on safety precautions.

Shown above, N95 masks and a bandana are two of the suggested
masks that can be worn to protect youself and others

Approximately 70 res­idents participated in the live broadcast that was titled, “A Conversation With Mayor Arrigo and Dr. Kong.”

Arrigo, who participated from the Mayor’s Office at City Hall, began the forum, stating, “My job as mayor is to protect our residents, our first responders and our healthcare workers. It is to make sure that we continue to have a high level of ser­vices to our residents and that we make sure we have the plans in place and we execute the plans to support the individuals that are im­pacted by this pandemic.”

Arrigo praised Dr. Kong “for being an invaluable resource to the city during this very difficult time,” while noting the impor­tance of her medical exper­tise. “Her work over the last month has absolutely saved lives,” said Arrigo.

Kong, who works as a primary care doctor at MGH Revere on Ocean Av­enue, said that COVID-19 “is the illness caused by a new type of coronavi­rus that we started to see back in December of 2019 in Wuhan, China, that has since spread globally.”

Kong said the virus “is highly contagious and spreads through respirato­ry droplets, so coughing, sneezing, and nasal secre­tions from runny noses all count. It can also be spread by touching infected sur­faces and then touching your face. These respirato­ry droplets need to enter our bodies through a mucous membrane like your eyes, nose, and mouth.”

Kong said that every per­son is at risk of getting the virus.

“To put this all in per­spective, this is a scary vi­rus and a scary time, but it’s also important to know that 80 percent of those who are infected, according to data from Italy and China, do not require hospitalization. They are able to get better on their own at home.”

Kong stated firmly, “To take a page out of the May­or’s book, ‘Stay at home – at all costs.’’’

Many questions about Satter House

Marra said that several people had questions about the situation at the Jack Sat­ter House.

“One question generally involves, ‘Why is the con­cern about the Satter House as opposed to other dwell­ings where multiple elderly residents live?”

Arrigo responded, “My heart goes to everyone that is quarantined, everyone that is fighting this virus, and everyone and their fam­ilies who has succumbed to COVID-19.”

“We have had five people from the Satter House pass away due to COVID-19, and that is part of the reason why there is so much atten­tion given to that building. A month ago, when we knew that COVID-19 was coming, I had conversations with leadership in all of the nursing homes and in­dependent living facilities, and our Housing Authori­ty to make sure that folks understood that we were preparing and we wanted to hear their plans for pre­paring. I do have the utmost confidence and respect in the folks at the Jack Satter House who have been able to step up during this in­credibly difficult time.”

Arrigo added that the Board of Health ordered that all Satter House resi­dents would have to remain in their individual apart­ments to prevent further spread of the virus in that building. The order was also put out to other multi-unit buildings, especially those with senior residents.

What is true meaning of ‘Stay At Home’ order?

A man who identified himself as “Dave” asked, “Does ‘Stay At Home’ mean that residents that are not showing symptoms can­not or should not go outside walking or jogging to get exercise?”

Kong responded that the order applies to patients who are not positive from the virus and it applies to patients who do not have symptoms and “means that you should limit your movements outside your home as much as possible.”

“And when you’re out­side, practice social dis­tancing – try to be six feet at least away from the next person.”

No basketball playing at local playgrounds

In response to a question from “Mike” about large groups of residents running and jogging in the city, and some playing basketball at local playgrounds, Arrigo announced that the DPW “ziptied all the basketball rims at our playgrounds.”

Ongoing construction

Marra compiled a ques­tion from residents asking why construction sites in the city are still operating.

Mayor Arrigo said, “Yes, construction sites are still operating. We are follow­ing the guidelines that have been handed down by the Governor around construc­tion, and it’s been made clear by the Governor legal counsel that during a state of emergency, the orders that he provides cannot be superseded by a municipal­ity. We are following those orders.”

Assisting seniors

Responding to a ques­tion, Arrigo said the city has assembled an outreach team focused on assisting seniors with wellness check calls, food, and other neces­sities. Seniors can call 3-1-1 if they are in need of assis­tance.

“Debbie [Peczka] at the Senior Center has done an incredible job and our volun­teers have really stepped up.”

Arrigo said prospective volunteers can go to to fill out a volunteer worksheet.

Notification of COVID-19 cases

“Eliana” asked if resi­dents were going to be no­tified about the location of new COVID-19 cases in the city and where people infected with the virus have traveled.

“There have been a lot of conversations with the state and other municipalities about information sharing,” said Arrigo, “We are lim­ited in what we can share. From my perspective, I think it’s important for us to share the numbers [of pos­itive cases] per day. We’ve been sharing the numbers and we will continue to share them daily because it really shows what kind of impact this has had in our community.”

Questions about testing for COVID-19

“Testing remains a huge frustration for me and most of the medical communi­ty,” said Kong. “Testing has been limited because we just don’t have enough tests.”

Kong said if residents exhibit symptoms of the vi­rus and they are in “a high-risk category”, they could be referred for treatment through their primary care doctor.

“That’s probably the main way any of us can get tested, is through your PCP (primary care physician),” said Kong.

Number of people in supermarkets

Marra compiled the fol­lowing question from resi­dents, “What is being done to make it as safe and pos­sible for people to shop at supermarkets?”

Arrigo replied, “There were new measures put in today in several place,

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