Mayor Carlo DeMaria instituted new rules governing essential businesses on Monday, but also called for more restrictions in terms of wearing masks, social distancing and installing plexiglass screening at those businesses.
On Monday, Mayor DeMaria and Human Services Director Jerry Navarra announced an executive order that covered new requirements for essential places of businesses to be able to operate.
The order allows essential businesses to move from curbside service to counter service if they so wish, but they will have to take strict precautions to be permitted to re-open in that configuration.
Now, anyone going into an essential businesses for counter service will have to properly wear a mask. Those businesses must also install a plexiglass shield separating the customer from the clerk. Those offering counter service also have to mark lines six-feet apart so that customer adhere to the proper social distancing.
Public Health Nurse Sabrina Firicano said it was a careful balance of providing more protection and allowing some lessening of restrictions for essential businesses.
“It protects both the individual in the businesses and the workers in the establishment,” she said. “It keeps people inside protected so businesses can remain open and people can go in safely…We wanted to figure out what to do so businesses can be opened and also protect customers and workers. You can go in, but you have to wear a mask, social distance and you have to install a shield. It was a balance.”
Councilor Michael McLaughlin said he wanted to see if the City could use its Rainy Day Fund to be able to purchase masks and such for people who want to go out – particularly for the older adults in the community.
“I have spoken with many residents who are unaware of how to get a face covering with their lack of social media it is not as commonly known as for others who are making these items available,” he said. “They have gone to numerous stores and can’t find a mask. I have shared the thought of using household items with them and offered my limited number of masks to residents. For a younger generation it sounds easier than for someone in their golden years to make a face coverings.”
He said by purchasing the masks and distributing them to residents, it can make the new order more easily followed.
“As many have said for years, the Rainy Day Fund is a fund set aside of public money that can be used for unforeseen catastrophic situations that affect residents,” he said. “If this situation is not a rainy day, then I’m not quite sure what the purpose of this fund is for.”
The City also produced a poster that will be widely distributed to all businesses and public areas of Everett. The poster explains the policy and what needs to be done to follow it.