CITY OF WORCESTER

Public Health and Human Services Committee Meeting

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Esther Howland (South) Chamber

Convened: 5:01 P.M.

Adjourned: 6:29 P.M.


Mayor
Joseph M. Petty

 

www.worcesterma.gov

 

Clerk of the City Council
Nikolin Vangjeli

Committee Members

Chairperson Sarai Rivera
Vice Chairperson George J Russell
Councilor Gary Rosen
 

City Hall - 455 Main Street Worcester, Massachusetts


Present Were:Chairperson Councilor Sarai Rivera Councilor George J Russell Councilor Gary Rosen
 
Also:UMASS Vice President of Health Policy and Public Programs Jeanne Shirshac Commissioner of Health and Human Services Matilde Castiel Director of Housing and Health Inspections Amanda Wilson Deputy City Solicitor Jennifer Beaton Deputy City Clerk Stephen AJ Pottle, clerk
 
1.

Approval of the Minutes

1a.

Order- That the City Council Standing Committee of Public Health and Human Services hereby approves the minutes of the Public Health and Human Services Committee meeting on October 7, 2020.

View Agenda
2.

Public Participation

2a.

In order to ensure the continuation of active public engagement, the City of Worcester will now use a phone conference line for members of the public to participate in all public meetings. To participate during the public participation phase of City Council, you may call the direct line indicated: Esther Howland Chamber - 415-655-0001 (Access Code: 180 393 4256) or enter the below URL into your web browser. If you would like to raise your hand when in the meeting as a call-in user during public participation you may dial *3.

https://cow.webex.com/cow/onstage/g.php?MTID=e07d7ad89fb44280991eb07e90d3b4d78

Attachments
3.

Miscellaneous Item

3a.

Petition of Nicole LeBlanc request City Manager repeal or amend to update Department of Public Health Regulation X to reflect current administrative oversight. Further, request said regulation to be equivalent to current zoning laws. Further, request said regulations to allow non-profit cat rescues to operate in the city, similar to operations given to Animal Rescue League. # 8e CC September 3, 2019

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Rivera read the item and recognized the following speaker:
1. Nicole LeBlanc, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of the item

Chairperson Councilor Rivera recognized the Deputy City Solicitor, who provided an overview of the cityís regulations relative to kennels and the keeping of animals.

Chairperson Councilor Rivera recognized the Speaker, who discussed the cityís regulations concerning kennels with the Deputy City Solicitor and the Deputy City Clerk.

Chairperson Councilor Russell recognized Councilor Russell, who discussed the cityís regulations concerning zoning for kennels and the appropriate procedural steps to be taken for the petition with the Deputy City Solicitor and the Deputy City Clerk.

Chairperson Councilor Rivera recognized the Deputy City Clerk, who discussed the Board of Healthís regulations and zoning regulations for the kennels with Councilor Russell.

Chairperson Councilor Rivera recognized the Speaker, who discussed the needs for clarity in the writing for cityís regulations relative to kennels and the keeping of animals.

Chairperson Councilor Rivera brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager provide City Council with report concerning the advantages and disadvantages, as well as the feasibility of changing the zoning laws relative to kennels and the keeping of animals to allow for kennels in residentially zoned areas and to include language specific for cats.

Chairperson Councilor Rivera then discussed the point of contact for the Petitioner relative to the communication for the Petition with the Director of Housing and Health Inspections.

Chairperson Councilor Rivera moved for a roll call vote to recommend the item be filed.

Recommend File on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager provide City Council with report concerning the advantages and disadvantages, as well as the feasibility of changing the zoning laws relative to kennels and the keeping of animals to allow for kennels in residentially zoned areas and to include language specific for cats.

4.

Discussion Item

4a.

Discussion concerning COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and the city's planned responses, its impact, prevention measures and vaccine distribution.

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Rivera read the item and recognized the UMass Memorial Staff Person, who presented information relative to the weekly highlights of COVID-19 in the city, including information as to the effect that testing at colleges has on the positivity numbers in the city, information relative to the average age of individuals who are contracting COVID-19 and best practices for providing vaccinations for individuals who are contracting COVID-19.

Chairperson Councilor Rivera recognized Councilor Russell, who brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Clerk include the presentation relative to the Weekly Highlights of COVID-19 in Worcester, Mass. In the minutes of the January 26, 2021 Public Health and Human Services Committee meeting.

Chairperson Councilor Rivera recognized the Commissioner of Health and Human Services, who discussed how the rollout of the vaccinations for COVID-19 is being controlled by the State of Massachusetts, as well as the cityís role in providing vaccinations to the public.

Chairperson Councilor Rivera brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager meet with Equity Task Force at State level as a means of advocating for modifying the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccination within the city so as to provide vaccinations in as equitable a way as possible.

Chairperson Councilor Rivera recognized Councilor Rosen, who discussed the vaccination process, including the prioritization process for the senior population, as well as how the city can receive as many vaccines as possible for distribution with the Commissioner of Health and Human Services.

Chairperson Councilor Rivera brought forth the following Chairmanís Order: Request City Manager work with UMass Memorial to provide City Council with information relative to demographics of who is contracting and being hospitalized by COVID-19 so as to inform the process for vaccinating individuals in an equitable way.

Chairperson Councilor Rivera recognized Councilor Russell, who discussed how to ensure the areas of the city that are contracting COVID-19 are vaccinated as efficiently as possible with the Commissioner of Health and Human Services.
Chairperson Councilor Rivera, Councilor Rosen and the Commissioner of Health and Human Services discussed the prioritization process for providing individuals with the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as utilizing available COVID-19 data to provide the vaccine for the community members in an equitable way.

Chairman's Orders

Request City Clerk include the presentation relative to the Weekly Highlights of COVID-19 in Worcester, Mass. In the minutes of the January 26, 2021 Public Health and Human Services Committee meeting.

Request City Manager meet with Equity Task Force at State level as a means of advocating for modifying the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccination within the city so as to provide vaccinations in as equitable a way as possible.

Request City Manager work with UMass Memorial to provide City Council with information relative to demographics of who is contracting and being hospitalized by COVID-19 so as to inform the process for vaccinating individuals in an equitable way.