Ice Safety Tips


With even colder weather approaching, remember to use caution on or near ice.  Ice is never 100% safe.  Please follow the following guidance from the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife

How can you tell if ice is safe?

There are no guarantees. Always consider ice to be potentially dangerous. You can't judge ice conditions by appearance or thickness alone; many other factors like water depth, size of waterbody, water chemistry, currents, snow cover, age of ice, and local weather conditions impact ice strength.

Ice tips to remember:

  • New ice is stronger than old ice. Four inches of clear, newly formed ice may support one person on foot, while a foot or more of old, partially thawed ice may not.
  • Ice doesn't freeze uniformly. Continue to check ice conditions frequently as you venture out onto the ice.
  • Ice formed over flowing water and currents is often more dangerous. Avoid traveling onto ice-bound rivers and streams, as the currents make ice thickness unpredictable. Many lakes and ponds may contain spring holes and other areas of currents that can create deceptively dangerous thin spots.

Before heading out onto the ice

  • Tell someone your plans, including where you are going and when you expect to return.
  • Come prepared. Carry a cell phone in case of emergency. Always carry ice picks and rope with you on the ice. In case of emergency, drive the nails into the ice and pull yourself to safety while kicking (see tips for falling in below).
  • Wear your life jacket. If you fall in, a life jacket will keep you at the surface and can provide insulation against the effects of cold water.

Ice thickness guidelines

The guidelines below are for clear, blue ice on lakes and ponds. White ice or snow ice is only about half as strong as new clear ice and can be very treacherous. Use an ice chisel, auger, or cordless drill to make a hole in the ice and determine its thickness and condition. Bring a tape measure to check ice thickness at regular intervals.

Ice Thickness (inches) Permissible Load (on new clear/blue ice on lakes or ponds)
2″ or less STAY OFF!
4″ Ice fishing or other activities on foot
5″ Snowmobile or ATV
8″–12″ Car or small pickup truck
12″–15″ Medium truck


Falling through the ice
If you fall in:

  • Don't panic: Call for help if there are people nearby.
  • Don't remove winter clothing: Air trapped in your clothes can provide warmth and help you float.
  • Turn the direction you came from: Ice you previously walked on should be the safest.
  • Place your hands and arms on an unbroken surface and kick your legs: If you have ice picks or a pair of nails, use them to pull yourself up onto the ice while kicking.
  • Lie flat and roll away: Once your torso is on firm ice, roll toward thicker ice to distribute your weight.
  • Find shelter and get warm: Change out of wet clothing and find warm, dry coverings. If you are in a remote area, get to or start a campfire. Otherwise, get to a car or house. Seek medical advice from your physician on medical attention.

If someone else falls in:

Remember the phrase “Preach-Reach-Throw-Go.”

  • Preach: Call 911 if you can. Shout to the victim to reassure them help is on the way.
  • Reach: If you can safely reach them from shore, extend an object like a rope, jumper cables, tree branch, or ladder to them.
  • Throw: Toss one end of a rope or something that will float to the victim.
  • Go: If the situation is too dangerous for you to perform a rescue, call 911 or go to find help. Untrained rescuers can become victims themselves.

If a pet falls in:

  • Do not attempt to rescue the pet, go find help. Well meaning pet owners can easily become victims themselves when trying to assist their pets. Remember to always keep pets leashed while walking on or near ice.

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Town of North Andover COVID-19 Update, January 29, 2021: North Andover designated as a yellow community, COVID-19 vaccine registration assistance for residents over 75

Town of North Andover Updates on COVID-19 response


January 29, 2021 UPDATE

Total case count: 2262

Active: 148

Recovered and out of isolation: 2036

COVID-19 Related Deaths: 78

Active Merrimack cases (included in case count): 2

Dear Neighbors,


We are very happy to announce that the Town was designated as a yellow or lower risk Covid-19 community by the state last night.  Over the two week period, the Town had an average daily incidence rate of 55.4 per 100,000 people and a 4.74% percent positivity.  Please continue to be diligent, and together we can continue to flatten the curve.


Starting the week of February 3, Town employees will be calling all residents over 75 to see if they need help registering for the COVID-19 vaccine.  As we mentioned, the Town will only be receiving 100 vaccines each week and the State is asking us to send residents to the Danvers mega-site, which can vaccinate thousands of residents each day. We will begin targeting our doses towards homebound residents and those unable to drive to the mega-site. We are committed to helping all of our residents find the resources they need to get vaccinated.  


The State will be starting Phase 2 part 1 on Monday, which includes residents over 75.  


The State has a FAQ page regarding the vaccine, which is available here:


Learn more about the vaccine timeline here: 


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.  A list of the sites can be found here: 

All of Governor Baker’s emergency orders can be found here:

Federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for Small Businesses:

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is available once again and provides loans to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. SBA is currently offering:

SBA is currently accepting Paycheck Protection Program PPP loan applications from participating lenders. Lender Match can help connect you with a lender. You can also view all lenders near you on a map.

SBA also offers additional Coronavirus relief.

Free PPP Application Assistance Available:

For businesses seeking assistance in better understanding the PPP program and how to apply for funding, Mill Cities Community Investments (MCCI) is offering numerous free training sessions on the topic.  To learn more and register, click here: 

As more and more businesses, restaurants and activities remain open at a reduced capacity, 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).

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:

Questions about the town’s response or about the illness, in general, can be sent to

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


Melissa Rodrigues, Esq.

Town Manager

coronavirus update 1.29.21.jpg

Phase 2 Vaccine Roll Out Information and FAQs from the North Andover Health Department

North Andover Health Department

Community and Economic Development Division

Phase 2 Vaccine Rollout

As the month of February approaches we are currently transitioning into Phase 2 of the state-wide vaccination plan. Governor Baker and the Department of Public Health are opening up Tier 1, the first the first priority group in Phase 2 which will begin on February 1.  Unfortunately the Town of North Andover will only be receiving a minimal amount of vaccine for the foreseeable future and will not be able to hold any large scale clinics.  The state will be holding large scale clinics across Massachusetts for all eligible phases.

Phase 2 Priority Update

  • Tier 1 of Phase 2 of the vaccine rollout will begin Monday, February 1st

  • Everyone over the age of 75 is the first priority group or Tier 1 for the Phase 2 vaccine rollout.

This Tier 1 priority group, people over 75 years of age may register for a state run vaccination clinic.  The closest clinic to North Andover will be at the Danvers/Middleton DoubleTree Hilton Hotel and you can preregister for an appointment here.  

Please note, more slots will open up as vaccine becomes available.  Check back frequently for additional dates.

Phase 2 Vaccination order will go as follows


  • Adults that are age 75 and older will be eligible on February 1. Preregister by using the link above.  

  • Adults that are age 65 and older and individuals with 2+ comorbidities will be next but no date has been determined.

  • Early education and K-12 workers, transit, utility, food and agriculture, sanitation, public works, and public health workers, and Individuals with one comorbidity will be eligible in Tier 3.

  • Please check our website often for additional announcements.


As always if you have any questions or concerns email or call the North Andover Health Department at (978) 688 9540.

Click here for FAQs about COVID-19 Vaccine in North Andover.

Phase 2 vaccination PSA 1.27.21.pdf

North Andover Vaccine FAQ.pdf