Chelsea has the highest rate of COVID-19 infection in Massachusetts. Everyone, STAY HOME, at all hours, unless you must travel for essential reasons such as essential work, essential food, or essential medication.
- Check this page regularly; it is updated on an ongoing basis.
- Sign up for urgent updates via city text, email, and phone alerts.
- Check the City of Chelsea Facebook page.
- Watch live updates from City Manager Tom Ambrosino on Monday nights at 6pm, on Chelsea Community Cable (Channel 22 Comcast) and Facebook Live.
- If you have questions about getting help with rent, food, or other basic needs, call 311 (617-466-4209).
Latest Announcements: May 27, 2020
COVID-19 Status in Chelsea
We are encouraged to announce that the infection rate has slowed in Chelsea and the number of residents restored back to health is on the rise. As of today, there are 1,295 patients who have recovered from COVID-19 and a total of 2,595 confirmed cases. Those who have not yet recovered are strongly encouraged to self quarantine, either at home or at the Quality Inn, and to seek medical care for emergency symptoms. While most people recover from infection, the coronavirus is a serious enemy and we mourn the loss of 148 of our residents. We must continue to do all that we can to keep ourselves and our neighbors safe, through physical distancing, wearing face coverings, frequent hand washing and cleaning, and prompt medical care and quarantine for those who are sick.
City Hall Will Reopen with Limited Services Beginning June 1
Starting Monday, June 1, City Hall will reopen to provide limited services for parking and municipal payments. The controlled opening will use appointments and staggered access to limit indoor occupancy, prevent crowding, and maintain physical distancing.
Most in-person services will require scheduling an appointment by calling 311 (or 617-466-4209 if outside city limits). The City Clerk's Office and Treasury do not require appointments, but will have designated days for residents to visit based on home address.
The City has also extended deadlines for certain payments. Online payments and services continue to be available through the City website at www.chelseama.gov/online-services and are encouraged when possible.
Click here for details on scheduling a visit and payment deadlines.
Update for Emergency Rental Assistance Applicants
The lottery selection for City of Chelsea Emergency Rental Assistance Program will be aired live on June 3 at 6pm through Facebook Live and Chelsea Cable. After June 3, selected applicants will be notified by June 12 and grants will be distributed throughout the month of June.
It is important to note that, because of limited funds, not everyone who applied for rental assistance will be selected. The Department of Planning and Development is working to secure additional funds for a second round of grant distribution, in which case anyone who already applied but was not selected will be considered. The City will share any updates on this when available.
In the meantime, any residents seeking housing resources are encouraged to look into the following options:
- Massachusetts Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) Program RAFT has expanded its eligibility requirements to help people with COVID-19 related job losses or financial hardship. Call the CONNECT Hotline at 617-712-3487.
- Housing Choice Voucher Program and other rental voucher programs Vouchers for low-income families to help pay for housing in the private market. Call the Chelsea Housing Authority at 617-409-5310.
- Public housing You can apply for public housing with the help of the Chelsea Housing Authority at 617-409-5310.
- Searching for affordable housing opportunities You can search listings and learn more about eligibility through the web portals here.
Remember, you are protected by law as a tenant during the pandemic. Your landlord cannot evict you, move your belongings, or shut off your utilities. For questions or legal help, contact Chelsea Collaborative at 617-889-6080 or Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) at 617-603-1807.
Chelsea High School Graduation Activities
Congratulations, CHS Seniors! Families and friends, mark your calendars for the upcoming graduation activities:
- Window and lawn signs for Seniors: May 26-28
- Video and media messages: May-June
- Virtual Senior Awards and Scholarship Night: July 9
- Virtual Graduation: July 12
- Individual Walk-In Graduation: August 4-7
Medical Care for COVID-19 Does Not Apply to Public Charge
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will not consider testing, treatment, or preventative care for COVID-19 as part of a public charge inadmissibility determination. This means that receiving COVID-19 related medical care will not negatively affect your ability to get a green card or make other changes to your non-immigrant status. If you have any questions, you are encouraged to call the Lawyers for Civil Rights hotline at 617-988-0609.
Additionally, here is a video from an attorney at Lawyers for Civil Rights.
More COVID-19 Testing Options for Chelsea Residents
See Your Health and Safety for details.
COVID-19 Symptom Self-Checker
If you think you may have COVID-19, use this self assessment from the CDC.
- sore throat
- runny nose or nasal congestion
- muscle aches
- shortness of breath
- loss of smell
IF YOU HAVE EMERGENCY SYMPTOMS, CALL 911 RIGHT AWAY. Emergency symptoms include: chest pain or pressure, dizziness or confusion, or bluish lips or face.
COVID-19 testing is a free service for Chelsea residents to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus. To be tested, you do not need to be a patient of the clinic, you do not need health insurance, and your immigration status does not matter.
If You Have Symptoms or Have Been in Close Contact with Someone Sick with COVID-19:
Beth Israel and MGH both offer testing for people who are sick or have been in contact with someone sick. Walk-ins are accepted but appointments are strongly encouraged. When making an appointment, let the clinic know if you need respiratory care due to a preexisting condition or severe respiratory symptoms.
Anyone Who Lives in Chelsea:
The East Boston Neighborhood Health Center offers testing to Chelsea residents. Unlike testing at MGH and Beth Israel, this testing is for anyone – you do not need to have COVID-19 symptoms. Appointments are required (no walk-ins are allowed). To schedule an appointment, call 617-569-5800.
Temporary Housing at the Quality Inn to Safely Recover from COVID-19
If you've tested positive for COVID-19 or your doctor has told you that you likely have the virus, you may be able to stay at the Quality Inn in Revere. The Inn is a safe, comfortable place to recover, especially for those who cannot self-isolate at home. Guests are provided with medical care, meals, and hygiene supplies, and there will be on-site healthcare professionals, mental health professionals, and security. To see about availability and eligibility, call 617-819-4528.
Shopping Hours and Medication for Seniors
To protect our seniors, Stop & Shop and Market Basket have shopping hours exclusively for customers 60 and older:
- Stop & Shop: 6:30am-7:30am daily
- Market Basket: 5:30am-7am Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays
Walgreens and CVS provide deliveries for medication. Click here for more information.
Mandatory Face Coverings
This is for everyone's safety. Even people with no symptoms can still carry COVID-19, which means you can infect others by speaking, coughing, or sneezing near others. Wearing a mask helps to prevent you from accidentally passing the virus to others, and it helps to keep you from being infected. Take a look at this flyer for more information.
How to Prevent Infection
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed. Stay home when you can. Other important precautions:
- Wash your hands often:
- BEFORE going to a public space, before interacting with someone else, before eating, or before touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- AFTER being in a public space, touching anything outside your home, blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If there isn't soap and water on hand, disinfect your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, especially with unwashed hands.
- Cough or sneeze into your inner elbow, or cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue. (Throw away the tissue and then wash your hands.)
- Use disinfecting wipes to wipe down things you touch often, like doorknobs, light switches, phones, computers, and laptops. Disinfect thermometers with alcohol or soap and water after every use.
Closures, Restricted Gatherings, and Physical Distancing
Governor Baker has issued an Emergency Order through May 18 that limits indoor or outdoor gatherings to no more than 10 people. It is also recommended to leave home only when necessary and to keep a six foot distance from others when outside your home ("social distancing").
Closed Public Spaces, Institutions, and Businesses
- Parks and playgrounds
- Tennis courts, basketball courts, and athletic fields
- Schools and daycare facilities
- Nonessential retail
- Restaurants (takeout or delivery only)
- Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) - by appointment only
If you have plans to travel, there may be restrictions for traveling to your destination. Check the CDC travel guidance for location-specific recommendations: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html
If you have left the state, Governor Baker requires that you self-quarantine for 14 days when you return to Massachusetts.
Advice about pets, from HubCats Chelsea.
Stay compassionate, help others, and prevent stigma. Consider offering to help any elderly neighbors or others who may need assistance in preparing. No one should face discrimination or mistreatment based on a public health situation. Viruses do not discriminate.
This is a difficult time. If you need to talk to someone, there is help:
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides crisis counseling during times of disaster. Call their Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990.
- Students can speak with a social worker through Chelsea Public Schools by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, school, and preferred method of contact. You should receive a response in 24 to 72 hours.
- For emergency crises, call the Boston Emergency Services Team (BEST) at 1-800-981-HELP. They can dispatch clinicians to come to you, if needed.
- If you have suicidal thoughts, call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 (1-888-628-9454 for Spanish speakers).
Other Official Public Health Resources:
WHAT TO DO IF YOU NEED FOOD
There is help. With the service and hard work from local and national organizations, faith institutions, and volunteers, you have options if you need food. Here’s what you need to know.
If you are sick and need food:
Do not wait in line for food. Call 311 (617-466-4209).
If you are 65 years or older:
Contact the Chelsea Senior Center for grocery deliveries. Call 617-466-4377 or 617-466-4370.
If you have children who need food:
Your children can receive free breakfast and lunch Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Pick-up is 11:30 am-1pm at these locations (pick the location closest to your home):
- Early Learning Center
- MCB Complex
- Williams School
- Clark Ave School
- Voke Park
If you are not sick and need food:
- Monday-Friday: Hot lunches and kids lunches at 11:30am at Salvation Army (258 Chestnut Street)
- Monday-Friday: Pop-up food pantries for grocery pick-up. 11am-1pm at rotating locations. Click here for details.
- Tuesdays and Thursdays: Grocery pick-up 10am-12pm at the Salvation Army (258 Chestnut Street)
- Tuesdays and Thursdays: Grocery pick-up at 5pm at the Chelsea Collaborative (318 Broadway)
- Thursdays and Fridays: Mass General Hospital Food For Families Pantry (151 Everett Avenue). Available 2X per month to MGH patients by referral. Please call 617-887-3575
- Saturdays: Meals available 8:30am-1pm at Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church (201 Washington Avenue, Chelsea). You can also register to receive a monthly bag of groceries by appointment 1 time/month. Please call 617-884-4278
Pandemic-EBT, or P-EBT, is a federal benefit from SNAP during the COVID-19 epidemic. It provides $5.70 per child per day for every day school is closed to help pay for food during this time. You are eligible if you have school aged children who qualify for free or reduced price school meals (your immigration status does not matter). You will receive a letter in the mail in May about your P-EBT benefits. If you do not get a letter by late May, contact Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline at 800-645-8333 (TTY 800-377-1292).
Help Paying Rent
You can call 617-425-6700 to see if you are eligible for financial support through the Massachusetts RAFT (Residential Assistance for Families in Transition) Program.
Massachusetts law prevents all evictions and foreclosures during the COVID-19 pandemic (except for evictions based on behavior that puts health and safety at risk). If you cannot pay rent during this time, your landlord cannot evict you, move your belongings, or shut off your utilities. If your landlord does try these things, call the Chelsea Police at 617-466-4855. For questions or legal help, contact Chelsea Collaborative at 617-889-6080 or Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS) at 617-603-1807. Click here for more information.
The State Department of Public Utilities has suspended any residential gas and electric shut-offs during the state of emergency, which means utilities like heat and water should stay on during this time.
Chelsea One Fund
The Chelsea One Fund is a donation-based fund to provide checks to Chelsea residents who need financial help during this time. Funds are distributed in order of applications received and are dependent on donations. Click here to apply.
The Neighborhood Developers' CONNECT Hotline is a service for residents of Chelsea, Revere, and Everett to help in:
- Applying for SNAP "Food Stamp" benefits
- Applying for unemployment benefits
- Applying for RAFT emergency rental funds
- Free tax preparation
- Technology assistance, such as with internet
- Questions about stimulus checks (Economic Impact Payments, or EIP)
Call 617-712-3487 to request help.
The Attorney General currently prohibits debt collectors from filing new lawsuits against Massachusetts consumers, visiting their homes or places of work, repossessing their car, or requiring them to leave their homes or have in-person contact. Call 617-727-8400 if you experience aggressive debt collection or predatory lending during this public health emergency.
Unemployment and Sick Leave
If you are unable to work because you are sick with COVID-19, you may be eligible for paid sick leave. Click here for more information.
Free or Low-Cost Internet
Many service providers currently offer free or low-cost internet services for low-income households or Residents in HUD-assisted housing (i.e., public housing, housing choice voucher/section 8, affordable housing). Click here for more information.
Loans for Small Businesses During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Learn more about:
- The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
- SBA Debt Relief
- Economic Injury Disaster Loans
- The Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance
- Express Bridge Loan Program
Information and Resources for Small Businesses from the Chelsea Business Foundation.
Price gouging is when a business unfairly increases prices due to sudden high demand. The Attorney General’s office has prohibited price gouging on essential items. Click here to submit a complaint.
Reusable Bags Temporarily Not Allowed
To prevent contamination, Governor Baker has temporarily banned customers from using their own reusable bags in stores. Stores should use their own bags.
Your business cannot be evicted during this time. Massachusetts law prevents all evictions – including of small businesses – during the COVID-19 pandemic. See "Tenant Rights" above for more information.
Chelsea Public Schools
Schools are closed for the end of the school year, as ordered by Governor Baker. Chelsea Public Schools will continue with remote learning. Visit www.chelseaschools.com for more information. Online resources for teachers and parents are available at CPS Educational Digital Resources.
Chelsea Community Schools
Community programs offered by Chelsea Community Schools will be cancelled until further notice. If you are currently enrolled in a class, you will be given a credit for the fee paid to use towards a future class later this year. For organizations using the community school facilities at the Williams or Clark Avenue Schools, your organization can request a refund or credit towards future space to use by December 2021. To learn about the ongoing virtual activities, visit the Chelsea Recreation and Cultural Affairs website.
Due Dates for Tax Bills, Excise Bills, Water and Sewer Bills, and Parking Tickets
The due date for ALL city payments and applications due March 10 or later has been extended to June 1. This includes:
- real property tax bills
- personal property tax bills
- applications for property tax exemptions
- parking stickers applications and renewals
- parking tickets and parking ticket appeals
- excise tax bills
- water and sewer bills
There will also be a grace period for late payments. Payments made after June 1 but on or before June 29 will be accepted without penalty or interest. Payments made on or after June 30 will incur a full month of interest. Payments can be made online at Online Services or by mail. For questions, call 617-466-4209.
Parking Permit Renewals
The renewal period for residential parking stickers has been extended until June 1. You can renew online through chelseamapermits.rmcpay.com.
Weddings at City Hall
Couples wanting to get married should wait until City Hall opens again to apply. If you have already applied for your marriage license and need to pick it up, please call 617-466-4050 to make arrangements.
Library Cards and Fines
The Chelsea Public Library will not charge any fines for overdue items until June 30th and no item is due until July 1. If you do not have a library card but want to access online resources (movies, audiobooks, online learning), read about how to apply for a card online.
All MBTA services are running on a reduced schedule until further notice. It is strongly encouraged to wear masks while using public transit. Visit the MBTA website for information on MBTA's services and protocols during this time.
One Chelsea Fund
Chelsea residents face an incredibly difficult time right now. Many need urgent help. The One Chelsea Fund was created to distribute funds to help cover basic needs. If you can, please consider donating to the One Chelsea Fund through United Way. None of the dollars raised will go to any organization. Your gift will go entirely to families and will be distributed as $250 payments to households.
Diaper Drive for Families in Need
Chelsea Community Connections and the City of Chelsea are working together to distribute diapers to families in need. If you would like to donate to the Diaper Drive, you can do so at the Chelsea Community Connections donation page. Your gift will ensure our youngest Chelsea residents have their basic needs met.
Call for Volunteers
The Chelsea Pandemic Response Team is looking for volunteers. Learn more and sign up.
It is important to maintain blood supply during the pandemic for all patients who need it. Healthy people willing to donate blood are encouraged to contact the Red Cross and make an appointment.