Town of North Andover COVID-19 Update, December 28, 2020: Stop the Spread Sites, New Restrictions Went into Effect 12/26, New Year Celebration Guidance

Town of North Andover Updates on COVID-19 response

CONNECT WITH US: Text COVIDNA to 67283

December 28, 2020 UPDATE

Total case count: 1672

Active: 183

Recovered and out of isolation: 1428

COVID-19 Related Deaths: 61

Active Merrimack cases (included in case count): 2

Dear Neighbors,

I hope you had a lovely holiday.  If you choose to travel out of state, you will need to quarantine when you return to Massachusetts.  If you return from travel and need a COVID-19 test, more information about the Stop the Spread sites is available here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/stop-the-spread

For updated information regarding the Governor’s travel order, click here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel-order

COVID-19 testing at the Stop the Spread sites is free, easy and painless.  Please consider getting tested over the next two weeks to help stop the spread of COVID-19 to your family and friends.

The Town of North Andover remains a higher risk/red community this week according to the COVID 19 community data map released by the State.  Over the two week period reported, the town’s average daily occurrence rate per 100,000 people was 88.2 and the positivity rate was 7.65 percent.  This is higher than the week before.

As people all over the Commonwealth are excited to celebrate the New Year, we advise you keep in mind necessary distancing, mask, and gathering orders. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others.  We implore you to do your part for the greater good of the public by keeping any gatherings, parties, or social interactions to an absolute minimum. Additional New Year celebration guidance from the North Andover Health Department can be found here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OzeAZlSPw0J8eRhBMxVyrMcpT5oXWgSv/view?usp=sharing

Governor Baker imposed new restrictions, which went into effect December 26.  More information on those restrictions can be found here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/temporary-capacity-and-gathering-limits

Many of us are struggling with anxiety and depression due to the isolation of Covid-19, and that can be particularly difficult during the holiday season.  You can find resources to help here: https://www.mass.gov/resource/maintaining-emotional-health-well-being-during-the-covid-19-outbreak

For the safety of our employees and residents, non-essential Town employees are working remotely until January 4.  The library, Town Hall, and senior center will all be closed to the public during this time. The  library and youth center will run limited programming.  Employees are available by phone and email to serve residents.  For information on an individual department’s hours, please contact that office directly.  The COVID-19 hotline is still available at 978-208-6070 and covid19@northandoverma.gov.  

The CDC and Massachusetts Department of Public Health issued updated quarantine recommendations.  That new information can be found here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-isolation-and-quarantine-information

All of Governor Baker’s emergency orders can be found here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-state-of-emergency

Last week, the Baker-Polito Administration announced that it is making $668 million available for a new Small Business Relief Package that will be administered by the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC).

The online application portal for the new program will open on Thursday, December 31, and will close on Friday, January 15. Awards are expected to be announced in early February.

This program will target the industries most hard-hit during the pandemic.  Eligible industries for the new program include:

  • Restaurants, bars, caterers

  • Indoor recreation and entertainment establishments

  • Gyms and fitness centers

  • Event-support professionals (photographers, videographers, etc.)

  • Personal services

  • Retail

More details on how to apply and eligibility requirements will be available at www.empoweringsmallbusiness.org.

Technical Assistance for Small Businesses:  Through its partnership with the Lawrence Partnership, Essex County Community Foundation, the City of Lawrence, and the Town of Andover, the Town of North Andover is able to offer FREE opportunities for technical assistance (TA) to small businesses seeking help with how to operate during these challenging times.  There are a few TA service providers for businesses to select, some of which focus on specific types of businesses, like restaurants or salons/personal services businesses.  To learn more, visit: www.mvopenforbusiness.org

For more information on additional resources for small businesses and employers, Click Here.

As more and more businesses, restaurants and activities remain open, we continue to encourage the community to stay diligent in preventing the spread of COVID-19.  Many of the things that you can do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses such as the flu, include:

  • Wear a face covering or mask whenever in public. 

  • Physical or social distancing whenever in public and as much as possible.

  • Avoid large gatherings especially as it gets colder and more events are being held inside.

  • 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.

Please join us in stressing this to your family, friends and neighbors.  

If you get a COVID-19 test for any reason, especially if you are not feeling well then please isolate until you receive your test results.  It is also important to isolate yourself from your family members if possible.  The majority of the transmission we are seeing is from household contacts.  Please be aware and protect your family.  These steps are of the utmost importance and reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Due to the volume of positive cases across the State of Massachusetts, the Community Tracing Collaborative (CTC) was developed to aid Local Boards of Health in the tracing of close contacts in each community. By answering the call from the CTC, you can do your part in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19.  Your caller ID will show the call is coming from 
MA COVID Team with area codes (833) or (857).

We understand that you may need to go to potentially crowded public places and stores so please follow our Tips to Shop Safely during COVID-19, found here.

The COVID-19 hotline is still 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 best source of guidance and recommendations is the DPH website:

www.mass.gov/2019coronavirus.

Questions about the town’s response or about the illness, in general, can be sent to covid19@northandoverma.gov.

We will continue to monitor this situation and will distribute necessary information and guidance.  

Best,


Melissa Rodrigues, Esq.

Town Manager

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