Special to the Journal
Nearly one year after the COVID-19 pandemic forced widespread closures of schools, businesses and gathering spaces, Mayor Brian Arrigo outlined the comprehensive strategy that will support a safe and responsible return to school and the next phase of reopening for Revere’s local economy. The strategy is a result of cross departmental efforts driven by the city’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Team.
“There’s a lot to be hopeful about today, most significantly our ability to vaccinate our educators and public schools staff who are preparing to welcome back our students for in-person instruction for the first time in a year,” Mayor Arrigo said. “I want to stress that as we move forward in reopening, we are not returning to normal. Together with our community we are defining a ‘new normal’ that includes remaining vigilant, following public health guidance and taking a measured and gradual approach to ensure the progress we’ve achieved isn’t reversed.”
Revere’s responsible reopening strategy includes:
• Vaccination of all Revere Public Schools educators and staff. The Revere Board of Health will offer a vaccination clinic for hundreds of Revere Public Schools teachers, administrators and staff as early as next week, with additional details to be made available in the coming days. For the first time since March 2020, Revere students will begin returning to school buildings for in-person instruction starting next week.
• Vaccination of eligible residents. In addition to options through local pharmacies, health centers and Mass Vax sites, the Revere Board of Health will continue to offer vaccination clinics as supply allows, including through four upcoming second dose clinics. The Board of Health also continues to work with Revere Housing Authority for on-site clinics as well as making visits to vaccinate homebound residents. The City expects to announce additional vaccination options in the coming days.
• Continued mobile testing in areas of disproportionate impact. In partnership with Mass General Brigham, the City’s mobile testing van will continue to offer walk-up, self-swap testing in multiple neighborhoods through the month of March.
• Continuing to support Revere businesses in ensuring compliance and recovery. The City’s Economic Development department continues to provide technical assistance and support to small business owners, including most recently through a $250,000 pilot grant program for restaurants. Applying learnings from last summer, the team is continuing to build out capacity to support a greater number of restaurants to offer outdoor dining in 2021 and will be working with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council to evaluate and expand its array of business recovery initiatives. This weekend, Revere’s COVID health inspectors will also increase oversight at restaurants as they operate at 100 percent capacity while continuing to ensure a minimum distance of six feet between parties, maximum group size of six, and maximum dining duration of 90 minutes.
• Reopening public fields and courts and encouraging outdoor activity. The Revere Department of Parks and Recreation reopened the city’s basketball courts this week and will continue to monitor activity while providing masks and reinforcing current public health guidelines. Today at 4PM, Revere High School basketball team members will take advantage of the good weather and recently reopened courts at Harry Della Russo Stadium for outdoor practice as they prepare to begin their season. Athletics for high school students resumed on March 1.
• Resuming socially-distanced, in-person programming for Revere seniors. Today Senior Center staff hosted the Council of Elder Affairs Board for its first in-person meeting since March 2020 to discuss reopening and senior programming plans for Spring.