Town of North Andover COVID-19 Update, October 15, 2020

Town of North Andover Updates on COVID-19 response

CONNECT WITH US: Text COVIDNA to 67283

October 15, 2020 UPDATE

Current case count: 591

Active: 24

Recovered and out of isolation:  523

COVID-19 Related Deaths: 44

Active Merrimack cases (included in case count): 12

Dear Neighbors,

The Town of North Andover has a scheduled Flu Clinic at the North Andover Senior Center by appointment on Friday, October 16, 2020 from 10:00am-2:00pm.  This  clinic is for ages 19 and above.  Please see the flyer here for more details.  Please make your appointment by clicking here and completing the appointment form.  You will need to bring a copy of this consent form with a copy of your health insurance card attached.  The Board of Health highly recommends getting your flu shot every year.

The Family Flu Clinic for ages 3 and older is scheduled for Sunday October 25, 2020, 10:00am-2:00pm at the North Andover High School. This year's family flu clinic will be a Drive Through.  Please wear short sleeves and bring your insurance card.

As expected, North Andover remains with a higher risk (red) designation from the State’s Community Level Covid-19 Data Map.  The map is based on data from September 27-October 10.  Over that period, 66 cases were reported for North Andover, and of those 66 cases 38 were affiliated with Merrimack College.  If not for the Merrimack College cases, North Andover would have a yellow and lower risk designation.  


This school year, the schools are using their outdoor space more than ever before.  For the safety of our students, we respectfully request that residents not use school grounds during school hours.

As more and more businesses, restaurants and activities open up, 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 and when you are not able to physically distance yourself from others. 

  • 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.

These steps are of the utmost importance and reduce the transmission of COVID-19.  Please join us in stressing this to your family, friends and neighbors.  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

Town Hall and the Library are open by appointment.  

To make an appointment at the library contact: https://www.stevensmemlib.org/latest-reopening-news/

To make an appointment at Town Hall please contact the necessary office.

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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Town of North Andover COVID-19 Update, October 8, 2020

Town of North Andover Updates on COVID-19 response

CONNECT WITH US: Text COVIDNA to 67283

October 8, 2020 UPDATE

Current case count: 569

Active: 46

Recovered and out of isolation:  479

COVID-19 Related Deaths: 44

Active Merrimack cases (included in case count): 28

Dear Neighbors,

Yesterday Governor Baker released an updated Community Level Data Map, and as expected North Andover remains a red (higher risk) community.  That designation was based on two weeks of data from September 20 through October 3.  Many of the cases at Merrimack College were still active during that time period, and there are several that still remain active.  It is important to remember that positive cases from the Merrimack cluster may be included in last week’s red designation and this week’s red designation, depending on when they were tested.   

Based on contact tracing and an analysis of that information completed by the Town, there is still no evidence of community spread from the Merrimack cluster.  Merrimack’s positive cases per day have returned to a normal rate, and evidence shows that the cluster has been contained and mitigated.  

As of today, the Town has 18 cases of COVID-19 that are not a part of the Merrimack cluster.  Most of those cases are from household spread.  This is an uptick from the number of daily active cases that we have seen, and takes us back to the activity we were seeing in June.  As we enter the winter months and flu season, we continue to urge residents to remain diligent.  As a community, we have done an excellent job of stopping the spread of COVID-19 in North Andover, and I know that we can continue to do so.

On Monday, the Board of Selectmen voted to send a letter to Governor Baker requesting that he reconsider not allowing town businesses to move forward to Phase 3 Part 2, due to the red designation.  You can read that letter here:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1G62xFMGNXIoorbTN65RyQywnTpRSxy66/view

As more and more businesses, restaurants and activities open up, we continue to encourage the community to stay diligent in preventing the spread of COVID-19.  Many of the things 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 and when you are not able to physically distance yourself from others. 

  • 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.

These steps are of the utmost importance and reduce the transmission of COVID-19.  Please join us in stressing this to your family, friends and neighbors.  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 Town of North Andover has a scheduled Flu Clinic at the North Andover Senior Center by appointment on Friday, October 16, 2020 from 10:00am-2:00pm.  This  clinic is for ages 19 and above.  Please see the flyer here for more details.  Please make your appointment by clicking here and completing the appointment form.  You will need to bring a copy of this consent form with a copy of your health insurance card attached.  The Board of Health highly recommends getting your flu shot every year.

The Family Flu Clinic for all ages is scheduled for Sunday October 25, 2020 and more details will follow.

Town Hall and the Library are open by appointment.  

To make an appointment at the library contact: https://www.stevensmemlib.org/latest-reopening-news/

To make an appointment at Town Hall please contact the necessary office.

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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Town of North Andover COVID-19 Update, October 1, 2020

Town of North Andover Updates on COVID-19 response

CONNECT WITH US: Text COVIDNA to 67283

October 1, 2020 UPDATE

Current case count: 538

Active: 124

Recovered and out of isolation:  370

COVID-19 Related Deaths: 44

Merrimack cases (included in case count): 111

As expected last night, Governor Baker released an updated COVID-19 Community Level Data map, and due to the number of cases, North Andover is now designated as a higher risk (red) community.  

The Town has been working closely with the State to best understand our data and what the red designation means for us moving forward.  The COVID-19 map released last night includes positive cases from 9/13/20 to 9/26/20.  During that time period, the Town had 93 cases affiliated with Merrimack College and 16 cases that were residents not affiliated with the College.  Without the Merrimack College cases, the Town would have an incident rate of 3.8 percent and be categorized as a green (lower risk) community.

Many of the things you can do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses such as the flu, include:

  • Wear a cloth mask whenever in public and when you are not able to physically distance yourself from others. 

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

  • 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.

As more and more businesses, restaurants and activities open up, we continue to encourage the community to stay diligent in preventing the spread of COVID-19.  The best ways to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 are to avoid large gatherings, wear facial coverings, social distancing and proper hygiene.  These steps are of the utmost importance and reduce the transmission of COVID-19.  Please join us in stressing this to your family, friends and neighbors.  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 Town of North Andover has a scheduled Flu Clinic at the North Andover Senior Center by appointment on Friday, October 16, 2020 from 10:00am-2:00pm.  This  clinic is for ages 19 and above.  Please see the flyer here for more details.  Please make your appointment by clicking here and completing the appointment form.  You will need to bring a copy of this consent form with a copy of your health insurance card attached.  The Board of Health highly recommends getting your flu shot every year.

The Family Flu Clinic for all ages is scheduled for Sunday October 25, 2020 and more details will follow.

Town Hall and the Library are open by appointment.  

To make an appointment at the library contact: https://www.stevensmemlib.org/latest-reopening-news/

To make an appointment at Town Hall please contact the necessary office.

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


COVID10.1.pdf

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Town of North Andover COVID-19 Update, September 30, 2020

Town of North Andover Updates on COVID-19 response

CONNECT WITH US: Text COVIDNA to 67283

September 30, 2020 UPDATE

Dear Neighbors,

As you know, over the past week the Town of North Andover had a significant increase in COVID-19 cases due to the cluster at Merrimack College.  Based on the current data available as well as conversations with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health that situation appears to be stable.  Again, based on contact tracing, there is NO evidence of community spread to the Town of North Andover due to the positive cases at Merrimack College. 

As expected, today Governor Baker released an updated COVID-19 Community Level Data Map and due to the number of Merrimack cases, North Andover is now designated as a higher risk (red) community.  

A message from the North Andover Public Schools: “As expected and mentioned in yesterday’s statement regarding the Merrimack College COVID-19 Cluster, North Andover was designated as a higher risk(red) community earlier this evening in the COVID-19 Community Level Data Map

After meeting with the Town’s Covid Task Force this evening and reviewing the latest information available, the North Andover Public Schools will continue in the hybrid model. The District and Town will continue to diligently review all available information and make informed decisions based on patterns and multiple data sources.”

   

As a community, we have been diligent in social distancing, mask wearing and following all of the necessary guidelines to keep ourselves and our neighbors safe.   Our community numbers show that if we continue with these guidelines, we will continue to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our neighborhoods.  I am proud of the work we have done so far, and I know that working together we can continue to make positive strides.

Many of the things you can do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses such as the flu, include:

  • Wear a cloth mask whenever in public and when you are not able to physically distance yourself from others. 

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

  • 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.

As more and more businesses, restaurants and activities open up, we continue to encourage the community to stay diligent in preventing the spread of COVID-19.  The best ways to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 is to avoid large gatherings, wear facial coverings, social distancing and proper hygiene.  These steps are of the utmost importance and reduce the transmission of COVID-19.  Please join us in stressing this to your family, friends and neighbors.  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 next Town of North Andover Flu Clinic at the North Andover Senior Center is scheduled for Friday, October 16, 2020 from 10:00am-2:00pm for ages 19 and above.  This clinic is by appointment only.  Please see the flyer here for more details.  Please make your appointment by clicking here and completing the appointment form.  You will need to bring a copy of this consent form with a copy of your health insurance card attached.  The Family Flu Clinic for all ages is scheduled for Sunday October 25, 2020 and more details will follow.  The Board of Health highly recommends getting your flu shot every year.

Town Hall and the Library are open by appointment.  

To make an appointment at the library contact: https://www.stevensmemlib.org/latest-reopening-news/

To make an appointment at Town Hall please contact the necessary office.

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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Joint Statement from the Town Manager, Superintendent & Health Departments

A statement from Superintendent Gilligan, Town Manager Rodrigues, Director of Health Services Cheryl Barczak and Health Director Brian LaGrasse

Over the past week, Merrimack College has seen a substantial increase in the number of COVID-19 cases on campus.  Those cases have all been related to Merrimack College and contact tracing completed by the Town has shown no evidence of community spread due to this cluster.

We have been working directly with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and other state agencies to gather information and get guidance as we navigate this event.

“Through contact tracing, which includes interviews completed with every positive case by our public health nurses, we have determined that the Merrimack cases are currently isolated,” said Brian LaGrasse.  “We will continue to monitor all positive cases and public health data to ensure that the cases remain isolated and our community is safe. This is not considered a threat to the North Andover Public Schools.  Through constant and comprehensive testing, this was caught early and Merrimack College has followed all the appropriate protocols and guidance.”

Town officials recognize that the Merrimack cases will cause the Town to be designated as a higher risk or red community.  State Officials have been very clear that the Town should consider more than just this data point when making community decisions regarding schools and other activities. When considering whether school should be open, the following metrics are considered and the following Town officials consulted.  

If there is a significant number of new cases in the municipality, Superintendent Gilligan consults daily with the Board of Health Director, the Public Health Nurse, the Director of Health Services, the Town Manager and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  They consider not only the number of cases in the community, but also the origin of the cases, and whether contact tracing has shown a community spread event or a recognized cluster.  This is not a decision that is taken lightly or that is made in a vacuum, but rather is a collaborative effort to make certain that school officials are acting on the best possible information and in the best interest of our students.  

Based on the information available to the community and daily collaboration with town and state officials, the North Andover Public Schools will continue in the hybrid model.  The schools will continue to diligently review all available information and make informed decisions based on patterns and multiple data sources.   

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Town of North Andover COVID-19 Update, September 28, 2020: Merrimack College COVID-19 Cases, Upcoming Flu Clinics, Town Hall & Library Open by Appointment

Town of North Andover Updates on COVID-19 response

CONNECT WITH US: Text COVIDNA to 67283

September 28, 2020 UPDATE

Current case count: 505

Active: 95

Recovered and out of isolation:  369

COVID-19 Related Deaths: 41

Merrimack cases (included in case count): 88

Over the past week, Merrimack College has seen a significant increase in COVID-19 positive cases.  The increase started as a cluster in one dormitory, and has shown some spread to other parts of the campus.  Today, the campus made the decision to go remote for one week.  They are testing all students who choose to stay on campus today, and will be testing students as they return as well.  It should be noted that the college’s aggressive testing schedule is credited with catching cases early, and isolating students who are not symptomatic, which mitigated further spread.  Additionally, the increased testing today will likely increase the case count over the next few days.

The Town of North Andover has been doing the contact tracing for all of these cases, and if a resident had any potential exposure they would be contacted by the Board of Health directly.  Based on contact tracing, there is NO evidence of community spread to the Town of North Andover due to the positive cases at Merrimack College. 

The Town anticipates that due to the Merrimack College numbers, that it will be categorized as a red community when the Commonwealth releases its updated maps on Wednesday.  We are working closely with DPH to make certain that the community has a strong understanding of our numbers.  It is important to note that community decisions are not based on the map or one cluster alone, and rather, we look at the past two weeks of community data and we examine all the cases and all the data to make community decisions.  

Many of the things you can do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses such as the flu, include:

  • Wear a cloth mask whenever in public and when you are not able to physically distance yourself from others. 

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

  • 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.

As more and more businesses, restaurants and activities open up, we continue to encourage the community to stay diligent in preventing the spread of COVID-19.  The best ways to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 is to avoid large gatherings, wear facial coverings, social distancing and proper hygiene.  These steps are of the utmost importance and reduce the transmission of COVID-19.  Please join us in stressing this to your family, friends and neighbors.  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 Town of North Andover has scheduled Flu Clinics at the North Andover Senior Center by appointment.  The flu clinics will be held on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 from 12:00pm-4:00pm and Friday, October 16, 2020 from 10:00am-2:00pm.  These clinics are for ages 19 and above.  Please see the flyer here for more details.  Please make your appointment by clicking here and completing the appointment form.  You will need to bring a copy of this consent form with a copy of your health insurance card attached.  The Board of Health highly recommends getting your flu shot every year.

The Family Flu Clinic for all ages is scheduled for Sunday October 25, 2020 and more details will follow.

Town Hall and the Library are open by appointment.  

To make an appointment at the library contact: https://www.stevensmemlib.org/latest-reopening-news/

To make an appointment at Town Hall please contact the necessary office.

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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September/October Donation Request for our Senior Community from @NA_SeniorCtr

The North Andover Senior Center is in need of the following donations to help support our senior community:
  • Fruit cups (low sugar and regular fruit juice)
    • Applesauce, Fruit Cocktail, Peaches, Oranges
  • Soups
    • Chunky, hearty soups (low sodium), if possible, Healthy Choice, Progresso
    • Beef Stew single-serving meals in a container
  • Small individual serving size Oatmeal (low sugar)
  • Cereal small single servings
    • Small boxes Special K, Cheerios, Rice Krispies, Corn Flakes, etc.
  • Instant serving potatoes
  • Rice single servings
  • Tuna fish in water (50 cans or packages)
  • Tuna Fish in oil  (10 cans or packages)
  • Chicken cans, turkey cans, ham
  • 100 cans variety of small cans of vegetables (no corn)
    • peas, green beans, carrots, string beans (salt and low salt any vegetables)
  • Small fun pumpkins or gourds (decorations for 120 bags)
  • Paper goods
    • Toilet paper
    • Small boxes of Kleenex
  • Bags of pods: laundry and dish detergent (easier to carry)
Thank you for your continued support!
Questions?
Please contact Irene or Cahla at 978-688-9560

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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.