Revere, among the state’s top coronavirus hot spots, is implementing stringent restrictions and offering free testing in an attempt to get the city’s growing number of cases under control.
Officials blame the outbreak on a rise in social gatherings as contact tracing shows a Revere resident infected 20 friends and family members after going to several events recently.
“Until our data improves, we will have to make difficult decisions,” Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo said at a news conference Thursday.
The city, which has had 6% of coronavirus tests returned positive over the last two weeks, suspended its high school graduation along with all city-sponsored events until its virus metrics improve, the mayor said.
Revere has the second highest rate of positive coronavirus tests in the state, according to Wednesday’s weekly report from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Free testing is being offered at Revere High School Friday from 7 to 11 a.m. and Saturday from 3 to 8 p.m.
A community hit particularly hard during the pandemic is taking strict new steps after an uptick in cases.
“Our goal is to roll back some things and prevent more drastic measures,” Arrigo said.
Students will learn remotely until cases go down. The school committee will formalize its decision at its Monday night meeting and continue to work on reopening plans.
The city kicked off a weekend of action on Friday to sound the alarm. The goal is to raise awareness about the positive test rate and encourage more people to get tested at the free site located at Revere High School.
Arrigo said he hopes things do not get any worse, which could force more restrictions on businesses.
At First Lady Hair Braiding, located on Broadway in Revere, they just reopened and are already nervous they might get shut down again.
“We have bills to pay. I would not be too happy about it, but if it’s in regard to our safety, then we are going to have to take precautions again,” manager Rose Sampony said.
There has been a spike of cases in Revere, with a positive test race nearly three times the state average.