Mayor Robert F. Sullivan today announced a local state of emergency in the City of Brockton which will enable his office to take decisive action to control the spread of COVID-19. The declaration will also allow the city to request federal reimbursement for costs accrued during the emergency response.
“City departments and our local partners have been working collaboratively for weeks to limit COVID-19’s impact on our City and community. Declaring a state of emergency will ensure that we bring every possible resource to the table to protect the most vulnerable among us,” said Mayor Sullivan.
In addition to the declaration, the Mayor closed the Council on Aging and all branches of the Brockton Public Library until further notice. The DW Field Golf Course will also remain closed until further notice and all permits for use of the city’s facilities have been suspended.
While City Hall will remain open, non-essential meetings are cancelled through March 30 and services will be restricted only to those that are essential to serving the public. Residents are encouraged to use the city’s website, brockton.ma.us, to access services and those who visit City Hall will now be required to enter through the side entrance located on the right side of the building. Convenience fees will be waived for all online payments and transactions to encourage the use of online resources.
In response to Governor Charlie Baker’s restrictions on gatherings of 25 or more people, Mayor Sullivan reminded restaurants and bars that on-site consumption of food and alcohol is prohibited through April 6. He noted that the Baker-Polito Administration has created a small business emergency loan fund of $10 million for members of the business community that are impacted by closures. The process for applying for an emergency loan will be available on the state’s website.
In an announcement Sunday night, Governor Charlie Baker closed all schools in the state of Massachusetts through April 6. Brockton Public Schools Superintendent Michael Thomas reminded families that the district has opened four drive-up locations for students to pick up grab-and-go meals. Six more satellite locations will be announced on bpsma.org and via the district’s all call system Tuesday.
“Our goal is to continue to provide meals to every child who relies on our free breakfast and lunch program while the schools are closed for the next three weeks. We are adding locations with the hope that those who have transportation challenges will still have a location in walking distance to their home,” explained Superintendent Thomas.
The district’s transportation provider, First Student, will transport cafeteria workers to the additional satellite locations where they will hand out the meals. By Wednesday, the district expects to have all ten locations open from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. each week day until the schools reopen.
Also during Monday’s press conference, Mayor Sullivan introduced the city’s Interim Executive Health Officer, John McGarry. McGarry, a registered nurse who previously served as a City Councilor (Ward 3 and At-Large) and was the Executive Director of the Brockton Elections Commission for nearly 20 years, will oversee the Brockton Board of Health’s COVID-19 response.
“John McGarry understands what needs to be done to limit the strain on our local healthcare providers because he is a trained medical professional. He understands how to support the people of Brockton during this difficult time because they are his neighbors and longtime friends. During this critical time, I can think of no person better prepared to lead the Brockton Board of Health,” said Mayor Sullivan.