Town of North Andover COVID-19 Update, January 5, 2021: MA Vaccine Distribution Timeline, Small Business Grants, Technical Assistance for Small Businesses

Town of North Andover Updates on COVID-19 response

CONNECT WITH US: Text COVIDNA to 67283

January 5, 2021 UPDATE

Total case count: 1830

Active: 191

Recovered and out of isolation: 1572

COVID-19 Related Deaths: 67

Active Merrimack cases (included in case count): 1

Dear Neighbors,

Happy New Year!  

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.

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

Massachusetts is currently in Phase 1 of the MA COVID-19 vaccine distribution timeline.  On January 11, first responders throughout the state will begin getting vaccinated in continuation of Phase 1.  Phase 1 should last through January and Phase 2 may begin in February.  The MA vaccine distribution plan was updated to include individuals age 75+ in Phase 2, Group 1, along with individuals of all ages with 2+ comorbidities.  We will update you as Phase 2 details are determined.  Learn more about the vaccine timeline here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/when-can-i-get-the-covid-19-vaccine

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

Small Business Grant Application Periods Now Open:

Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC) is administering a $668 million Sector-Specific Relief Program for Massachusetts businesses. The online application portal for this program is now open, and will close on Friday, January 15. Awards are expected to be announced in early February.

Eligible industries for this 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 are available at: https://www.empoweringsmallbusiness.org/covid-19-response/sector-specific-relief-grant-program-massachusetts-businesses.

Town of North Andover Small Business Relief Grant (Round 2):  A new round of grants for small businesses hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic that provides needed financial support to restaurants and personal service businesses in North Andover.  The source of funding for this grant program is the Town’s Columbia Gas Municipal Discretionary Fund; no taxpayer funds are being used.

Deadline: Applications are currently open and will be accepted until noon on Friday, January 15, 2021. This deadline may be extended at the discretion of the Town if the grant funds have not been exhausted.  Awards are expected to be announced by early February.

To learn more and apply click here: sites.google.com/northandoverma.gov/smallbizrelief

Technical Assistance for Small Businesses:  

The Center for Women & Enterprise is offering a FREE 6-Week Strategic Business Growth Planning Course for businesses in North Andover.  More information and a registration link can be found here: https://cwewbc.ecenterdirect.com/events/976500 

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

 

COVID 1.5.21.pdf

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