The city of Revere, Massachusetts, which has had 6% of coronavirus tests return positive over the last two weeks, suspended the local high school's graduation along with all city-sponsored events until its virus metrics improve, its mayor said Thursday.
Revere is currently among the state's top coronavirus hot spots, with the second highest rate of positive coronavirus tests in Wednesday's weekly report from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
“Until our data improves, we will have to make difficult decisions,” Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo said at a news conference.
The Fall Festival has been suspended along with the Aug. 11 graduation at Revere High School. City officials said gatherings are to blame for the alarming trend. Contact tracing showed one Revere resident infected 20 friends and family members after being at several gatherings.
"Our goal is to roll back some things and prevent more drastic measures," Arrigo said.
Students will also 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.
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The city will kick 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 it does not get any worse and force more restrictions on businesses. At First Lady Hair Braiding, located on Broadway Street in Revere, they just reopened and are already nervous they will 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.