Published November 5, 2020

NORTH READING — As of Tuesday, Nov. 3, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has notified the town of North Reading of 288 cases of COVID-19 in North Reading, including 224 residents and 64 patients at or associated with Royal Meadow View nursing and rehabilitation center; 258 cases have recovered, and the Health Department continues to monitor 16 cases.

Fourteen confirmed cases, including 12 at or associated with Royal Meadow View and one suspected case, have died since the pandemic began seven months ago.

To date, the Health Department has assisted in responding to three staff and four student cases of COVID-19 in North Reading Public Schools, as well as several instances where staff/students have self-reported as close contacts of positive cases.

On Monday, Nov. 2, the commonwealth of Massachusetts issued an advisory and orders that take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 6:

Stay-At-Home Advisory (

• Beginning on Nov. 6, all residents of Massachusetts are advised to stay home between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

• Only leave home to go to work or school, or for essential needs such as seeking emergency medical care, going to the grocery store or pharmacy, picking up takeout food, or receiving deliveries. If you do leave home, practice social distancing by staying 6 feet away from others and wearing a face covering.

• Do not have gatherings in your home with anybody outside your household.

• Comply with all Governor’s orders, including orders requiring face coverings, limiting gatherings and mandating early closure of businesses.

• Practice social distancing and avoid touching surfaces frequently touched by others if you go outside to get fresh air.

• Use remote modes of communication like phone or video chat instead of visiting friends or family.

Limits on Gatherings ( – limits-on-gatherings-):

• Reduced gathering size limit for gatherings at private residences: Indoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 10 people and outdoor gatherings at private residences are limited to 25.

The limit on gatherings held in public spaces and at event venues remains the same. All gatherings (regardless of size or location) must end and disperse by 9:30 p.m.

• Organizers of gatherings must report known positive COVID-19 cases to the local health department in that community and must cooperate with contact tracing. The gatherings order authorizes continued enforcement by local health and police departments and specifies that fines for violating the gathering order will be $500 for each person above the limit at a particular gathering.

• The order outlines certain legal exceptions to the limits, including schools.

Facial Coverings (

• The revised order requires all persons to wear face coverings in all public places, even where they are able to maintain 6 feet of distance from others.

• It allows for an exception for residents who cannot wear a face covering due to a medical or disabling condition, but allows employers to require employees to provide proof of such a condition.

• It also allows schools to require that students participating in in-person learning provide proof of such a medical or disabling condition.

The next Board of Health meeting is Thursday, November 5 at 7 p.m. Information to join the meeting remotely may be found by visiting:

All previous COVID-19 updates may be found by visiting:–-19-information.