ATTLEBORO, Mass. (WPRI) — Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux tells 12 News he will close city hall for 10 days following Thanksgiving due to a projected spike in coronavirus cases in the community, including among employees.
Heroux said there are currently 19 cases among city employees, 10 of which have tested positive and nine are pending results. The positive cases have closed down offices for cleaning and has forced other employees into quarantine.
“It’s very disruptive that we need to do this,” he said. “We are here to serve the public and we have all different types of city services that we provide and it’s very disruptive.”
Generally speaking, Heroux said it appears city employees are contracting the virus outside of work.
“I think the surge we are seeing right now is a result of several things,” he said. “I think it’s complacency, people are indoors more often, the windows are not open, it’s a post Halloween surge and people are getting together.”
That’s why he’s worried for Thanksgiving, and took action to keep residents and employees away from city hall.
“We’re trying to keep as many employees out of the building as possible and have them work remotely,” Heroux said.
He’s urging everyone to take the pandemic seriously, because it’s far from over.
“We’re doing a lot worse now than we were two-to-three weeks ago, or a month ago,” he said of the city as a whole. “Things are not going well here.”
Heroux said it is in everyone’s best interest to be smart during Thanksgiving, and the same rules should be applied during other upcoming holidays, including Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
City hall will close at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 25 and will reopen on Monday, Dec. 7 at 8:30 a.m.