Update from Town Manager Julie Jacobson
Last week, Governor Baker announced that all remaining State COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted effective May 29th. He also announced that he will rescind the State of Emergency June 15th.
Thus, effective May 29th, all industries will be permitted to open, all industry restrictions will be lifted, and capacity will increase to 100% for all industries. All industries will be encouraged to follow CDC guidance for cleaning and hygiene protocols.
Also effective May 29th, the gathering limits order and the State’s face covering order will be rescinded. The Department of Public Health will issue a new face covering advisory effective May 29th consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated guidance. Face coverings will still be mandatory for all individuals on public and private transportation systems (including rideshares, livery, taxi, ferries, MBTA, Commuter Rail and transportation stations), in healthcare facilities and in other settings hosting vulnerable populations, such as congregate care settings. Face coverings will also remain required indoors for staff and students of K-12 schools and early education providers. Non-vaccinated individuals are advised to continue wearing face masks and to continue distancing in most settings. The advisory will also recommend fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear a face covering or social distance indoors or outdoors except for in certain situations.
Just three weeks ago, the State announced that full reopening was not scheduled until August 1st. Given the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions effective May 29th, the Town is working to plan for certain events and programs this summer which may be limited due to the time it takes to organize and implement these programs and events. We are pleased to announce that we will present our Summer in the Park Concert Series beginning in July. We will announce the schedule very shortly. We will also reinstall the basketball nets for May 29th and work to schedule some indoor and outdoor recreational programs as we are able on short notice. We plan to reopen the Senior Center on June 14th for limited hours, gradually phasing back in to full opening as we are able to plan for and implement programs and events at this facility.
As a reminder, Town Hall fully reopened to the public during normal business hours on May 10th. Also on May 10th, the Library reopened to the public Monday through Friday 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The Drive-Through Kiosk will remain open until June 11th.
We will keep the community apprised of the any additional changes due to the revised State reopening schedule.
While we are looking forward to Covid restrictions being lifted in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts earlier than anticipated, we encourage all residents and businesses to remain cognizant of Covid health and safety protocols and advisories. Please continue to take precautions to protect your family, friends, neighbors and patrons. While the number of weekly Covid positive cases in the Town of Auburn and the State have decreased significantly, we need to work together – and take individual responsibility – to continue that trend. Moving forward, our “new normal” may look slightly different from the pre-pandemic era, but will nonetheless be a welcome and positive sign of a recovering economy.
Julie A. Jacobson