Statement from the Town of North Andover regarding Merrimack College COVID-19 cases

As you may have seen in the news, over the past week Merrimack College had several students test positive for Covid-19 in one specific dorm (Monican Hall) located on campus.  Town officials and the public health department have been working closely with Merrimack College and the Massachusetts DPH and have determined that these cases are isolated to the college.  

As of today, the town has a total of 76 active cases with 65 of those affiliated with the college.  

“It’s important to note that these cases were caught and the increased chance of spread mitigated by the college’s aggressive testing protocols and their commitment to safety for both the school community as well as the larger town community,” said Melissa Rodrigues, Town Manager.  “Their quick response in closing the affected dorm and implementing their safety plans helped to lessen the impacts and protected all of us.”

We will continue to vigilantly monitor public health data and take steps necessary to keep our community safe.  The Town is currently considered to be a yellow community, but anticipates that these new cases will cause the community to be classified as red under the state’s metrics.

“This is an instance where we have to consider much more than just numbers,” said Melissa Rodrigues, Town Manager.  “As we are considering how to make decisions based on the State’s classifications, we have to think about not just the number of cases, but also the clusters and how isolated these cases may be.  We will be working closely with the State to make certain that our community is safe.”

The Town encourages residents to continue to practice social distancing, diligent hand washing and consistent mask wearing.  

“We must continue to be diligent in order to mitigate the spread of Covid-19,” said Brian LaGrasse, Public Health Director.  “The Town has been working closely with Merrimack College to track positive cases and will contact anyone who has any potential exposures.”

We will provide updates if new information becomes available.  We are working closely with all stakeholders to make certain that the most up to date information is available.