Mark Ziebarth oath

New Cambridge City Council Member Mark Ziebarth (left) receives the oath of office from Cambridge Mayor Jim Godfrey (right) during the Jan. 4 City Council meeting. Pictured with Ziebarth is his wife, Cathy Lund-Ziebarth. Photo by Rachel Kytonen

The city of Cambridge has reopened City Hall to the public.

During the City Council meeting Jan. 4, City Administrator Lynda Woulfe explained in her staff memo that the COVID-19 infection rate has begun to decline again with a positivity testing percentage of less than 3%. The governor is easing some restrictions and allowed youth sports to begin practicing again on Jan. 4. Gym and fitness studios may open at 25% capacity and group classes resumed on Jan. 4. Starting Jan. 18, elementary schools may choose to operate in an in-person learning model with additional mitigation strategies.

Woulfe said she was looking for direction from the council on the reopening of City Hall and opening Northbound Liquor once again on Sundays.

Following discussion, the council approved a motion to reopen City Hall effective Jan. 5 and reopen Northbound Liquor on Sundays effective Jan. 10.

Northbound Liquor manager Bobbi Mix said due to planned decreased business in January she would like to reopen Northbound for Sunday sales, keeping their winter hours of 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.

She feels that even with reopening on Sundays, the store will be able to keep up with cleaning, stocking and covering shifts.

Woulfe highlighted positives with reopening City Hall as:

• The plexiglass barriers are up at the front counter, providing better protection for front desk staff.

• Staff can respond to questions from people at the front counter again instead of having to go out into the foyer area.

• They have solid disinfecting protocols and sufficient supplies to continue with this protocol.

The one negative Woulfe noted with the reopening of City Hall was that there is a new strain of COVID-19 that is more infectious than the current strain, but doesn’t appear to be more deadly or change the course of the disease.

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