SWAMPSCOTT, MA — Swampscott went one step forward than state officials, issuing a stay-at-home order for residents that takes effect at noon Thursday.
The order was issued Wednesday in a joint meeting of selectmen and the board of health and is aimed at slowing the spread of the new coronavirus. The order comes on top of the stay-at-home advisory Gov. Charlie Baker issued earlier this week.
There were 1,838 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 15 deaths from the virus in Massachusetts as of Wednesday.
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Swampscott Public Health Director Jeff Vaughn said the order "requires" residents to stay at home and limits gatherings of any size outside of homes. Residents can leave their homes fo tasks "essential to health and safety," including obtaining supplies to work from home. They can also leave for grocery store trips and for outdoor activities, as long as they follow social distancing guidelines.
"We here on the local level have a responsibility to do everything that we believe is necessary," Swampscott Town Administrator Sean Fitzgerald said during the virtual public meeting. "Helping people understand that they should stay at home, that they should keep their families at home, and minimize the risk of transmission is paramount to our collective welfare."