By SCOTT JACKSON
Health Commissioner Ruth Jones on Tuesday said residents cannot let their guard down and need to keep taking steps to stop the spread of COVID-19 with Quincy seeing an uptick in cases in recent weeks and three restaurants now closed after employees tested positive for the virus.
“I think people need to be responsible. They have to wear masks and wear them correctly so that their nose and mouth is covered,” she said, noting she has seen people wearing masks only over their nose or on their chin.
“People need to keep social distancing,” Jones added. “COVID-19 is still here and it is going to be here for a while, so we can’t let our guard down.”
On Tuesday afternoon, city officials said the total number of confirmed COVID-19 in Quincy since March reached 1,391, up 22 since Friday. Of those cases, 1,140 have recovered and 135 have died.
There were 64 active cases in the city as of late Tuesday. Jones said there had been as few as eight active cases in the city earlier this month. The bulk of cases seen in recent weeks have been individuals in their 20s and 30s, she added.
Three restaurants have now closed after employees tested positive for the coronavirus.
Malachy’s Saloon, located at 51 Granite St. in Quincy Center, became the latest to close on Monday. City officials said anyone who visited Malachy’s on any of three occasions, whether they were seated inside or outdoors, should contact the Health Department at 617-376-1286. Those three occasions are July 21 from 2 to 10 p.m.; July 22 before 3 p.m.; and July 23 before 11:30 a.m.
Manet Lunch, located at 1099 Sea St., closed last week after an employee tested positive. Patrons who were there on July 11 from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.; July 12 from noon to 5 p.m.; July 18 from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.; or July 19 from noon to 5 p.m. are asked to contact the Health Department.
The Hofbrau, located at 400 Sea St., also closed last week. City officials said three employees of that restaurant tested positive.
Jones said each restaurant would be closed for two weeks from the last known date of exposure. In each case, she said the restaurant was required to sit empty for 24 hours with windows open to provide ventilation. The space must then be deep cleaned.
In addition to the cases at city restaurant, a parent who attended the Saturday morning commencement ceremony for Quincy High School tested positive for COVID-19. School officials in a statement Sunday said the Health Department had completed contact tracing for individuals potentially exposed to the virus then. Anyone who assisted with a medical emergency during the ceremony was asked to call the Health Department.
“There is a low risk of transmission to the majority of those attending the ceremony,” Kevin Mulvey, the interim superintendent said, because of the precautions that were in place for the event. Everyone inside the stadium was required to wear a mask or face covering, seats were assigned to ensure guests were spaced six feet apart in the stands, and ingress and egress to and from the stadium was staggered.
Mayor Thomas Koch, in his daily update on Monday, said the parent had been feeling ill when they went to the ceremony and urged residents to stay home if they feel unwell, even if they suspect it is only a cold.
“If you’re not feeling well stay home,” Koch said. “Don’t put other people in jeopardy please.”
He also stressed the importance of wearing masks, social distancing and proper hygiene.
“Folks please use good judgement. If you’re out walking or riding your bike at night, you don’t have to wear a mask but if you’re going to be around people, please wear a mask. Wash your hands and do your best to social distance,” Koch said.
“We’ve got to get through this together as a community. I ask for your continued cooperation.”