Town of North Andover Updates on COVID-19 response
CONNECT WITH US: Text COVIDNA to 67283
April 27, 2020 UPDATE
Current case count: 156
Recovered and out of isolation: 85
COVID-19 Related Deaths: 7
As a community, we continue to mourn our COVID-19 related deaths. My thoughts, and the thoughts of all of our neighbors, are with families who have experienced such loss.
All of the deceased patients were elderly with pre-existing medical conditions. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and all of our neighbors.
Last week, the Board of Health ordered that all employees in public facing areas of all grocery stores and other food retailers open to the public shall wear a facial covering over their mouth and nose. Click here to view the Board of Health’s order.
On Wednesday, April 29 AFC Urgent Care at 129 Turnpike Street will be conducting COVID-19 Rapid Molecule Testing with same day results. For details or screening- please contact 781-430-8161.
North Andover Employee Spotlight: Please join us in thanking the Food Services Team for their continued dedication to preparing and distributing food to residents of North Andover.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts introduced the Nursing Home Family Resource Line, which connects family members of nursing home and rest home residents with the information and resources they need during the COVID-19 outbreak. The line is staffed from 9 AM – 5 PM, seven days a week. Staff will coordinate across state agencies to help callers find answers to their questions. Families and community members can call the line at (617) 660-5399.
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is Again Accepting New Applications Starting Today (4/27)!
Help is available to prepare for your application (click here for PPP Application). The Town of North Andover is part of a coalition of partners across the Merrimack Valley, including municipalities, banks, and non-profits, that are working together to assist small businesses that were left out of the first round get into the PPP pipeline. We strongly urge our small business community to take FULL advantage of this next round of PPP.
Through a new relationship between Mill Cities Community Investments (MCCI), Reading Cooperative Bank, and Berkshire Bank, businesses that were not able to submit applications in the first round can now be prioritized, but there is an urgency to get this done NOW!
For assistance in submitting your application through this program please reach out to the MCCI contacts below. Phone lines will be monitored around the clock.
English Speaking Contact:
Aaron Lackman (978)254-1427 firstname.lastname@example.org
Spanish Speaking Contact:
Kristin Wallace (978)242-7362 email@example.com
MORATORIUM ON EVICTIONS AND FORECLOSURES DURING COVID-19
Last week, Governor Baker signed a bill establishing a moratorium on non-essential evictions and residential foreclosures. This law provides temporary protections for both residential tenants and small businesses that are unable to pay rent, in an effort to stabilize homes and commercial spaces during the COVID-19 crisis. The law also prohibits proceedings on residential foreclosures during the COVID-19 crisis.
While this bill does not relieve a residential or commercial tenant of their responsibility to pay their rent or mortgage, it does offer protection for those who are unable to make these payments as result of the economic hardships caused by the COVID-19 crisis.
Under this legislation, a landlord cannot file a complaint in court to evict an eligible small business for a non-essential purpose (i.e. a purpose that does not pose a health or safety risk). Eligible small businesses are businesses which operate only in Massachusetts, have 150 or fewer employees, and are not publicly traded. This moratorium will last for either four months following the bill’s signing on April 20, 2020, or until 45 days after the emergency declaration expires (whichever is sooner, and unless extended by the Governor).
The new law does not eliminate or reduce an obligation to pay rent. Businesses that are able to pay rent should continue to do so, and should work collaboratively with their landlords when they are unable to pay rent due.
Under this legislation, landlords may not apply late fees or negatively report to credit bureaus if the tenant sends a timely notice that the non-payment of rent was the result of a financial hardship caused by COVID-19. Evictions may still proceed when a tenant’s lease violation creates a health or safety risk for others.
Eligible small businesses can use the Form of Notice – COVID-19 Hardship – Small Business Tenant and the Documentation of Financial Hardship – Small Business Tenant forms to provide the required notice to their landlord of their inability to pay rent. Access these forms and Emergency Regulations here.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the Town Manager’s office at 978-771-0837.
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.
With the rise in total cases of COVID-19 across the country, it has become common to see individuals at grocery stores and out in public wearing masks and gloves. When used correctly, personal protection equipment or PPE can help protect you and those around you from the COVID-19 virus. Please read our tips and other information regarding the Proper use of PPE.
The Town has also implemented one way walking recommendations around the town common and high school track to encourage social distancing while exercising. Please take a look at our Exercising in Public guidance.
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. You must wear a mask to pick up food. 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.
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.