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City of Holyoke Issues Updated and Enhanced Guidance for Retail Closures

Posted on March 18, 2020


COV Order #3: Updated Order on Retail Closures to the Public


The City of Holyoke is taking appropriate steps to protect the public health and well-being of the community. Of particular concern is limiting the opportunities for indoor congregation of persons, which aids the spread of infection. On Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 the City of Holyoke issued COV Order #2 to close retail operations to the public when particular thresholds are met, as an emergency public health measure. COV Order #3 supersedes and replaces prior COV Order #2, enhancing and clarifying the Cities’ actions to achieve these outcomes, by ordering the following:


  1. All retail establishments, regardless of size or occupancy load, shall limit their occupancy to no more than 10 people (of both employees and members of the public) at any one time. If occupancy load is currently under 10 persons, that limit must be complied with.


  1. Structures classified as “covered malls” per Section 402 of the Massachusetts Building Code, 9th Edition (CMR 780) and all entertainment facilities tied to such structures shall remain closed to the public. Retail establishments connected to common ways in indoor malls which have individual, public access to the exterior may remain open as long as they close their access to indoor mall common ways and follow all other directives herein. “Closed to the Public” shall mean the facility is not allowing entry of the public to its indoor facility, but does not apply to employees or deliveries. Escorted access of the public will be permitted to any medical or governmental facilities which require access through common ways.


  1. All retail establishments must follow social distancing guidelines issued by the US Centers for Disease Control, Massachusetts Department of Public Health and/or the local 10-10-10 social distancing policy guideline. Furthermore, retail establishments are strongly encouraged to curtail all commercial activity to pick-up or delivery actions only.


The following directives and exemptions shall be observed:


  • For purposes of COV Order #3, retail establishments will be considered establishments which provide for the sale of physical goods. Provision of personal services, which include but are not limited to medical care, banking centers, hair salons and other professional services are not encompassed at this time unless restricted by directive #2 above.


  • Retail establishments that offer sales of grocery, pharmacy, medical supplies, pet food or supplies, or take-out food goods are exempt from this order. Per the Food Code, off-premise liquor sales are considered grocery sales. Establishments will qualify for these exemptions only if their business was engaged in these activities prior to March 17th, 2020.


Regardless of whether or not your establishment falls within the scope of the Order, all persons are urged to maintain social distancing whenever possible to continue to wash hands, use hand sanitizer and exercise proper respiratory etiquette. Enforcement will err on the side of public health precaution in order to avoid congregation of people and slow down the spread of COVID-19 within our community.


This order shall take effect as of 5:00PM on Wednesday, March 18th, 2020 and will last until the duration of the City public health emergency declaration unless otherwise terminated by the City of Holyoke.


For updated information on the City of Holyoke’s Coronavirus response, including its 10-10-10 social distancing policy guideline, please refer to Questions pertaining to this order can be sent to

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