Mass. Grocery Stores Ordered to Limit Capacity to Prevent Spread of COVID-19; Most New Cases & Deaths in 1 Day

Grocery stores in Massachusetts will be limited to allowing less than half their capacity of shoppers after an order sent out by the Mass. Commissioner of Public Health. The move is aimed at limiting the spread of the Coronavirus. Stores will be allowed to have 40 percent of their capacity, according to the order issued on Tuesday, according to a report by WHDH Channel 7. The order from Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel reads, in part:

“Each Grocery store shall limit occupancy to 40 percent of its maximum permitted occupancy level as documented in its occupancy permit on record with the municipal building department or other municipal record-holders in order to provide for in-store social distancing while preserving sufficient access for the public to supplies of food and necessities.”

One Watertown Institution Reopening After COVID-19 Break, Another Scaling Back; Latest Case Numbers

Donohue’s Bar & Grill reopened after two weeks off due to the Coronavirus outbreak. A mainstay in the Watertown restaurant scene will be reopening after a couple weeks off during the Coronavirus outbreak, while a popular local market will be closing for in-store shopping. Over the weekend, J.D. Donohue announced that Donohue’s Bar & Grill will begin serving meals and alcohol for take out and deliver starting on Monday, April 6. “We closed after St. Patrick’s Day to give staff and kitchen staff and myself time to be quarantined,” Donohue said.

Watertown Business Coalition Wants to Know How it Can Help Local Businesses

The Watertown Business Coalition will be gathering information to help the local business community weather the difficult times brought on by the Coronavirus, and it wants to know what areas to touch upon. The group has put together a survey about what subjects should be covered and how they should be presented. See the announcement sent out on Saturday below:

Happy Saturday, Business Community! Please take 1 minute and fill out this quick survey to help inform how we support all of you during this time. Stay tuned for many ways to connect virtually.And of course, Stay Strong Watertown!

Friday is First Day Businesses Can Apply for Paycheck Protection Loans, Part of COVID-19 Stimulus

One of the key form of aid to businesses dealing with the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak begins Friday — the Payroll Protection Program. The program is part of the Federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act, and provides loans not only to businesses, but also non-profits and sole proprietors. The PPP was announced just last week and details are still being ironed out, including where to to to get the loans. Doug Orifice, principal at Arsenal Financial and co-founder of the Watertown Business Coalition, said that he has spent most of the last week pouring over the details of the CARES Act looking for ways it can help small businesses. The PPP may be a big help.

Info on Town Services, Closures & Supporting Local Businesses in the Town Manager’s COVID-19 Update

Watertown Town Hall

The following announcement was provided by Watertown Town Manager Michael Driscoll’s office:

Essential Services Order

Governor Charlie Baker’s emergency order requiring that all businesses and organizations that do not provide “COVID-19 Essential Services” close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers and the public will be extended until May 4th. Businesses and organizations not on the list of essential services are encouraged to continue operations through remote means that do not require workers, customers, or the public to enter or appear at the brick-and-mortar premises closed by the order. This order also prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people until May 4th. On March 31st, The Commonwealth updated the “COVID-19 Essential Services” list, which is based on federal guidance that was updated earlier this week. While these businesses are designated as essential, they are urged to follow social distancing protocols for workers in accordance with guidance from the Department of Public Health (DPH).

Wegmans Looking to Hire 400 Part- & Full-Time Workers

The following announcement was provide by Wegmans Food Markets. The chain has locations in Chestnut Hill, Medford, Burlington, Natick, Westwood and Northborough:

Committed to keeping its doors opened and its shelves stocked during this time of uncertainty, Wegmans Food Markets is hiring for more than 400 part- and full-time positions throughout its six Massachusetts stores. “Even as we look to grow our team, the health and safety of all Wegmans customers and employees remains a top priority,” said Kelly Schoeneck, New England Division Manager. “We are humbled by our amazing employees who continue to show up for their colleagues and our customers every day,” she continued. “At Wegmans, we love what we do, and we love the communities we serve.

Gov. Baker Extends Closing of Non-Essential Businesses, New Cases Up More than 800

Gov. Charlie Baker announced that non-essential businesses would remain closed in Massachusetts through May 4 in an effort to control the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The announcement came before the announcement of the lastest statistics for the impact of COVID-19 in Massachusetts on Tuesday. The Mass. Department of Public Health announced 33 more deaths from the virus, brining the total to 89. Massachusetts has 868 new postive cases for a total of 6,620.