City Hall, seen in March not long after closing for coronavirus concerns. (Photo: Marc Levy)

An employee at City Hall tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday, closing the building for a day anew after months of shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The City Manager’s Office received notification late Tuesday of a positive test for an employee who had spent time working in City Hall. “As a result, we have closed City Hall … and, as an extra precaution, closed the Lombardi Building as well,” according to an email that went out to public officials. The Lombardi Building, at 831 Massachusetts Ave., next to City Hall, hosts offices for the Historical Commission, Inspectional Services, License Commission and Weights and Measure, among other services.

“We have spoken with the commissioner of Public Health to ensure all necessary steps are being taken to ensure the safe return of employees when the buildings reopen,” City Manager Louis A. DePasquale said in the email.

Asked about the city manager’s email, councillor Patty Nolan confirmed that she was aware the building was being cleaned, and that staff who had close contact with the employee who tested positive were being told to self-quarantine.

An overnight “enhanced deep cleaning and sanitizing” of the two buildings by an outside vendor will allow their reopening Thursday, said Lee Gianetti, the city’s director of communications and community relations.

City Hall originally closed March 16 because of coronavirus as the city underwent a long period of testing. It reopened last month with new safety measures in place. By June 22, as DePasquale updated city councillors on reopening plans, the three municipal buildings – including the annex at 344 Broadway – had been open for three weeks by appointment only, with everyone coming in logged for contact tracing purposes under state guidelines.

“We’re transitioning to a different model,” said assistant city manager for fiscal affairs David Kale at the time, in his role guiding some of the city’s efforts to handle the coronavirus crisis.

Meetings have continued to be held remotely, through video conferencing software. A 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday meeting of the Ordinance Committee would go on with discussion of the returned Affordable Housing Overlay petition, Councillor Dennis Carlone confirmed. Televised.


This post was updated July 8, 2020, with additional information from Lee Gianetti, the city’s director of communications and community relations.

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