TEWKSBURY — On Monday, Governor Charlie Baker unveiled a four-stage plan to reopen Massachusetts in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic. The four stages, “Phase 1: Start,” “Phase 2: Cautious,” “Phase 3: Vigilant,” and “Phase 4: New Normal,” provide a gradual approach to reopening the state’s economy and loosening social distancing guidelines.
In terms of reopening on the local level, the Town of Tewksbury is looking closely to the state plan for guidance.
According to Assistant Superintendent Steve Sadwick, Tewksbury’s reopening plan currently mirrors the state’s. Sadwick said the town’s primary goal during the reopening process is to provide adequate protection to any employees returning to work, customers, and town residents.
Looking at some of the specifics regarding reopening, Sadwick said the town offices in particular were adding increased safety measures prior to reopening to the public. These measures include the installation of glass separators at service counters, and hand sanitizer dispensing stations.
Throughout the governor’s prior stay-at-home advisory and nonessential business closure order, Tewksbury has kept walking and hiking trails open with the rule that those on them follow social distancing guidelines. Though the facilities at Livingston Street Park as well as other athletic fields have been closed, the governor’s plan indicates they will be able to open in a later part of the phased reopening plan, with exact guidelines for reopening expected to be released at a later date.
Additionally, the process by which youth sports can resume is also currently awaiting exact guidelines from the state.
As businesses and recreational spaces continue to open up, the town is planning to closely monitor the state’s recommendations for social distancing and group gatherings, in order to provide Tewksbury residents with the best recommendations as to how to safely proceed with social interactions. Currently, the state is still recommending social distancing, as well as limiting gatherings to 10 people.
As the reopening process continues and more information becomes available regarding the virus’s spread, this limit is apt to change.
Sadwick noted the town is working to respond to businesses with questions regarding the reopening process. Overall, he is confident the town is prepared for phased reopening.
For more information regarding Tewksbury’s COVID-19 response, visit the town website at: https://www.tewksbury-ma.gov.