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Remarks From Mayor Alex Morse Regarding City Response to COVID-19

Posted on March 13, 2020


“Yesterday I declared a state of emergency in the City of Holyoke.

Beginning on Monday, March 16th City Hall and City Hall Annex will be closed to all public walk-in traffic, but will remain open for City Staff.

Members of the Public seeking City Hall assistance are asked to contact (by phone or email) departments with requests. If departments believe that the request is urgent then the public will be allowed inside by appointment. The City offers many of its services online at, or can easily fulfill requests petitioned via phone call or email.

High-risk sites for vulnerable residents and cross-contamination such as the Holyoke Senior Center, Wistariahurst, and the Holyoke Public Library are being closed to the public immediately. The Senior Center will still deploy a few core services to the elderly population at this time.

The Holyoke Public schools will be closing for two weeks. The tentative plan is to reopen schools on Monday, March 30. All school-related activities and events are canceled during the closure. Students will be able to pick up breakfast and lunch at the front doors of Donahue, Holyoke High School North, Kelly, Lawrence, and Sullivan Schools from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

HG&E remains open to the public, but customers are encouraged to take advantage of online transactions.

Holyoke Housing Authority is curtailing public visits to their administrative offices and encourages tenants to contact offices for an appointment before visiting.

Parks – All sporting and other events are canceled until further notice. Permits will not be issued. Community Field will not be staffed, and the bathrooms will remain closed. The public is discouraged from visiting park facilities.

St Patricks’s Weekend Events – The Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, Road Race and related celebrations in the downtown area have been cancelled for the weekend. All licenses for premise extensions and carps have been retracted. While bars may operate as usual, Fire Code limits will be observed to assure that locations do not become overcrowded and become hot spots for virus spread. The public is advised and encouraged to stay home during this period.

I’ve also requested that all City Boards and Commissions suspend their public meetings for the time being unless they are absolutely necessary, until further notice. The City Council earlier announced that they are cancelling their regular business until further notice and any committee or full Council meetings will be called as necessary.

Thank you all for your patience and understanding during this unprecedented time. We understand that not everyone has the privilege to work from home or take time off, and we are exploring childcare options for parents and families if they are unable to get time off of work. More information to be provided in the coming days.”

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