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BY GAYLA CAWLEY| December 2, 2020

LYNN — The city of Lynn easily broke its single-day record for new coronavirus cases on Wednesday.

The 169 new cases reported on Wednesday far surpassed the city’s previous single-day high, Nov. 18, when 117 new cases were reported in a 24-hour period, according to city data.

Mayor Thomas M. McGee attributed the spike to residents gathering last week for Thanksgiving, which he and Public Health Director Michele Desmarais had advised against ahead of the holiday,

“Today, the city of Lynn has the highest number of reported cases in a single day since the COVID-19 pandemic began,” said McGee in a statement. “While the public health department is in the beginning stage of their contact tracing efforts of these new cases, it is highly probable that this spike is directly linked to residents gathering for Thanksgiving last week.

“We all know that this virus can spread very rapidly within our community if the appropriate protocols are not followed. As we continue through the holiday season, I implore all residents to refrain from gathering with people they do not live with, wear a mask, wash your hands, and please stay safe and healthy.”

With Wednesday’s spike, Lynn now has 7,873 cases, 1,321 of which are active, 134 people have died, and 6,418 have recovered from the virus, according to city data.

As of last Friday, the city’s positive test rate had soared to 9.96 percent and it was seeing a daily average of 72.7 new cases per 100,000 residents, according to the state Department of Public Health.

As cases continue to surge in the city, McGee announced on Wednesday that Lynn City Hall, the Department of Public Works, Lynn Public Library, and Police and Fire departments will open to the public by appointment only beginning Monday, Dec. 7.

On-site staffing in those respective buildings will be reduced to 50 percent capacity at any given time. All public safety services, including police and fire, will continue to operate at full-staffing levels and curbside trash and recycling pickup will continue on a normal schedule, according to McGee’s office.

“As we see the number of cases rise throughout Lynn and the commonwealth, it is important that we lead by example and take preventative actions similar to those we are asking the public to take,” said McGee. “This will limit the amount of people in our public buildings, while continuing to carry out essential services for our residents.

“I encourage all businesses in Lynn that are able to efficiently conduct business remotely to continue to do so to stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Residents are encouraged to conduct any urgent City Hall business by phone, email, or through the city website. If residents need to visit City Hall in person, they are asked to call 781-598-4000 to make an appointment with the respective department.

City Hall hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday; and 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday.

Residents should anticipate slight delays in response with some staff working in person and others working remotely, but all offices will remain fully functioning, according to McGee’s office.

Virus spikes were also reported in two other COVID-19 hot spots, Peabody and Revere, on Wednesday.

In Peabody, 170 new cases and an additional death have been reported since Monday to bring the city’s total numbers to 2,454 cases and 210 deaths. As of Wednesday, 1,389 people had recovered from the virus, according to the city’s health department.

Revere reported 53 new cases and two additional deaths to bring the city’s caseload to 2,454 cases and death toll to 114, according to the city website.

Nine new cases were reported in Lynnfield. The town now has 308 cases and 15 deaths, according to the town website.

Numbers remained the same in Nahant (96 cases, six deaths) and were not updated in Marblehead, Saugus or Swampscott on Wednesday.

As of last Friday, Marblehead had 390 cases and 30 deaths, Saugus had 1,195 cases and 45 deaths, and Swampscott had 262 cases and 11 deaths.