North Andover Health Department
Community and Economic Development Division
FOOD SAFETY DURING A POWER OUTAGE
The biggest food safety concern during a power outage is the condition of potentially hazardous food such as meats, eggs, dairy products, cooked vegetables, and cut fruit/melons. Potentially hazardous foods are perishable foods that are usually moist, non-acidic and must be refrigerated and kept at a temperature below 41 degrees Fahrenheit (°F) for safety.
If you lose electricity for more than 4 hours you want to be careful with potentially hazardous foods in your refrigerator. Once any potentially hazardous food goes above 41°F, harmful bacteria may begin to grow putting you and your family at risk for a food borne illness. The food in your freezer will last longer, but you should still use caution and evaluate this food. If the food in your freezer was above 41°F for any period of time, harmful bacteria may begin to grow and refreezing this food when the power comes back on does not kill bacteria.
Here are some tips to help you make an informed decision regarding your food once power is restored.
When you first lose power, note the time so you can track how long your food will last. Power outages of 2 hours or less are not considered hazardous to food that was held properly when the outage began.
Avoid opening refrigerators and freezers. When unopened, a refrigerator can keep food safely cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer can hold the temperature for up to 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full) when the door remains closed.
Always discard foods that are in the process of being cooked but haven’t reached their final cooking temperature and cannot be fully cooked without power.
Keep appliance thermometers in the refrigerator and freezer at all times. When the power is out, an appliance thermometer will always indicate the temperature in the refrigerator and freezer.
Never taste food to determine if it is safe! Each item should be evaluated separately. If an appliance thermometer was kept in the freezer, read the temperature when the power comes back on. If the appliance thermometer stored in the freezer reads 40 °F or below, the food is safe and may be refrozen. If a thermometer has not been kept in the freezer, check each package of food to determine the safety. Remember you can’t rely on appearance or odor. If the food still contains ice crystals, it is safe to refreeze. Refrigerated food should be safe as long as power is out no more than 4 hours and the refrigerator doors have remained closed. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and leftovers) that have been above 40 °F for 2 hours. And remember: when in doubt, throw it out!
For more information on saving and discarding foods, please visit the link below https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/refridg_food.html
In an effort to reduce in-person interactions during this time of international and local pandemic, Town Clerk, Trudy Reid, is encouraging residents to vote by mail for the June 2, 2020 Annual Town Election. The state legislature is for the first time allowing Early Voting by Mail for the local election.
It can take up to three weeks to request by mail and receive a ballot under normal circumstances even if all transactions occur within North Andover. Due to COVID-19, the process is even slower. Therefore, it is important to request your ballot as soon as possible if you plan on voting by absentee ballot or early voting. The deadline to request a ballot by mail is Monday, June 1st noontime. Returned ballots must be received no later than 8 PM Tuesday, June 2nd – Election Day.
On the Spring Annual Town Election ballot this year will be four candidates for two Selectman seats, as well as three candidates for two School Committee seats, and singular candidates for the Housing Authority and Greater Lawrence Technical School Representative. To view a sample of the ballot, click here
There are two ways to vote by mail. An absentee ballot (click here) or early voting (click here). Either one will be accepted but must include your original signature, and can be submitted by mailing it to the Town Clerk’s Office, 120 Main Street, North Andover, MA 01845, emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org or applications may also be deposited in the North Andover Business Mail Box located in front of Town Hall.
To check your voter registration status, please click here
If you are new to town, recently turned 18 or you have never registered to vote before, you may do so online with a valid MA driver’s license, or download the form here and mail or email to the addresses listed above. The last day to register to vote for the June 2nd Annual Election is Friday, May 22nd.
Town of North Andover Updates on COVID-19 response
CONNECT WITH US: Text COVIDNA to 67283
April 13, 2020 UPDATE
Current case count: 87
Recovered and out of isolation: 40
COVID-19 Related Deaths: 2
The Town of North Andover is devastated to report our first COVID-19 related deaths. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the two North Andover residents who have passed away from COVID-19.
Both of the deceased patients were elderly with pre-existing medical conditions.
We continue to urge you to practice social distancing, only leave your home for passive exercise and essential business, and to use good handwashing and other recommended procedures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
The State is encouraging residents to wear masks when they leave their homes. Here are some helpful tips to properly use personal protection equipment and how to make your own mask.
Town Meeting has been rescheduled until June 16.
Town Election is rescheduled until June 2nd and voting by mail and by absentee ballot is encouraged.
The Affordable Housing Trust and Board of Selectmen voted to allocate $100,000 for an Emergency Rental Assistance Program. The program will provide up to $1,000 of rental assistance per month for a total of up to 3 months to residents that are unemployed, furloughed or have had a significant decrease in income due to COVID-19. Information regarding details of the program along with the application can be found at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wJMGyIm0cYpECRUcJJYYL6Wg6ypthyx2/view. You may also request information by emailing email@example.com or calling the Town Manager’s office at 978-771-0837.
The Town is sponsoring the North Andover COVID-19 Small Business Relief Grant, which allows eligible small businesses to apply for a grant that will cover one month of rent or a mortgage payment for the business, up to a maximum of $3,000. Learn more and apply here: www.northandoverma.gov/covidbizrelief
The Town or North Andover is inviting residents to participate in the #NAFromADistance Drawing / Video Contest. All children under the age of 14, who reside in North Andover, are eligible to submit artwork entries to the drawing contest. North Andover families, teens 14+, and adults are eligible to participate in the video contest. The theme of the contest is “What does Social Distancing Look Like to You?” Show us how your family is having fun and staying safe! All submissions must adhere to the Town of North Andover Social Media Policy . The contest will be open from Friday, April 10, 2020 at 8:00am until Friday, April 17, 2020 at Noon. Interested participants can submit their entries by posting them on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube with the hashtag #NAFromADistance. Please note, in order to submit your social media entry your privacy settings must be set to “public.” There will be four winners of $100 gift cards.
Social distancing has been shown to be the most proven method of preventing the transmission of COVID-19, but this can also be an issue for individuals who communicate primarily through face to face interactions, such as seniors. Please take a look at some tips and guidance for Seniors, in regard to social distancing by clicking on this link Seniors, Social Distancing and COVID-19.
Covid-19 is easily transmitted from person to person and concerns have arisen over virus transmission in apartment complexes, condominiums and multi-unit buildings. The North Andover Health Department would like to provide you with tips and suggestions for both staff and residents, to work in unison to keep the property safe. Please read our Guidance for Apartment Complexes, Condo Associations and other Multi-unit Living Facilities.
Most updated resources for Town businesses can be found here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CaOzgHC0eb-Yal5yOHtggKBDC_Ig7osctuG5xc-pclo/edit
Meals are available for pick up or delivery on Monday, Wednesday and Friday only. Families may take two days worth of meals. You will be asked to provide a confirmation number, people MUST pre-register for meals so that we have enough. Please pre-order your meals here: http://www.northandoverpublicschools.com/departments/food-service-menus/community-meals-during-school-closure or by calling 978-208-6070 the day before. Mondays meals should be called in on Friday by 12:00 pm.
Meal pick up is at the High School. If you pre-order food for pick-up, but become under isolation or quarantine, please call and we will assist you in arranging for a no-contact delivery instead.
Monday, April 20, 2020 is a holiday, therefore, meals WILL NOT be distributed on Monday, April 20, 2020. There will be meal distribution on Tuesday, April 21, Wednesday, April 22 and Friday, April 24.
The COVID-19 hotline will still be available at 978-208-6070. Messages left on this line are sent directly to Town staff and will be answered during regular business hours.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has provided the following information
for all residents:
Many of the things you do to help prevent colds and the flu can help protect you against other respiratory viruses, including COVID-19:
Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Clean things that are frequently touched (like doorknobs and countertops) with household cleaning spray or wipes.
Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Use a tissue or your inner elbow, not your hands.
Stay home if you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
There are currently no vaccines available to protect against this novel coronavirus infection.
We continue to encourage social distancing. Please see our Social Distance Guidance here. The best way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 is to avoid large crowds and stay home with your families. This is of the utmost importance. Please join us in stressing this to your neighbors and friends. We do understand that at some point you may need to go to a potentially crowded or busy establishment, such as a grocery store. We encourage you to follow our Tips to Shop Safely during COVID-19, found here.
The best source of guidance and recommendations is the DPH website:
Updated COVID-19 FAQS are available here.
We will continue to monitor this situation and will distribute necessary information and guidance.
Melissa Rodrigues, Esq.
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