The city’s health department works with local businesses.

The Wellesley Health Department has launched a program designed to promote safer workplaces and ease COVID-related fears for local businesses, their employees and customers.

“Mask signs help reinforce the city’s mask advisory, medical mask supplies support enhanced safety protocols, and personal visits give merchants the opportunity to connect with health officials, ask questions and share their concerns,” the city said in its description of the program.

According to Alta Strada manager Guy Neil, these are “key ingredients” that have kept his restaurant operating during the COVID pandemic and especially during the recent omicron surge.

For Alta Strada manager Guy Neil (showing the mask sign) and his staff, providing a safe dining experience for customers is the restaurant's top priority.

“We had challenges here and there, but felt a huge sense of support from our guests and neighbors and of course the town of Wellesley who are helping our efforts to keep everyone safe,” he said in the press release. . “It’s our first priority as we strive to provide a comfortable and fun dining experience.”

A $2,000 grant from the Community Fund for Wellesley, a Foundation for MetroWest endowment fund, enabled the Department of Health to purchase 12,500 medical-grade masks in early January. The mask ambassadors (volunteers and staff) distribute them to all merchants. Most businesses in Wellesley have already received the supplies, but traders who still need them can contact the Department of Health directly.

“We have had such positive feedback on this campaign,” said Vivian Zeng, senior environmental health specialist. “When confidence is low, workers are stressed and business slows, so having the opportunity to connect with our traders, share the latest safety guidelines and offer positive support makes a big difference.”

For Maugus restaurant owner Charlie Papakonstantinou, these efforts have helped his small restaurant bend but not break. “Times have been really tough, but with guidance from the Department of Health and Vivian, Maugus is up to date on state and federal COVID-19 requirements. It has made our dining experience safe and we are very grateful that we can continue to serve our valued customers.

Get the free masks

To protect yourself and others, the Department of Health encourages the wearing of surgical or medical grade masks where possible to provide more protection. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone over the age of 2 wear the most protective mask possible that fits well and that you can wear consistently. Visit the CDC’s website to learn more about the types of masks and the level of protection they provide. Every household in Wellesley can now order up to four home COVID test kits, free from the federal government. Kits ship in seven to 12 days via the US Postal Service. Learn more and place orders at www.CovidTests.gov.