COVID-19 Community Resources

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Friends, 

COVID-19 dominates the news, with updates daily.  My goal with this page is to share information from our district.  We have contacted local officials, COAs, libraries, etc to learn where residents from the 2nd Essex district can turn for resources.  We will continue to update this page with useful information as we receive it; feel free to contact us with questions, or with any updates you want to share. 

                                                                                                                                  Stay Safe, 

                                                                                                                                   Christina

 

Overview 

 

Massachusetts declared a state of emergency over the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. It is highly contagious and has the potential to completely overwhelm our healthcare system, which is why we are taking proactive steps to contain the number of cases. The most common way for COVID-19 to spread is by people who are asymptomatic. For this reason, it is important to practice social distancing: stay home as much as possible. When you are out, keep 6 feet distance from others (no hugging or handshakes), and wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with soap and water. People with chronic health conditions or aged 65 or older should treat everyone like they might be a carrier of COVID-19. 

The practice of social distancing combined with careful adherence to the guidelines set forth by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is essential to containing the outbreak. Here is a link to the CDC website, with the full details on how to protect yourself and others from contracting the Coronavirus.

Update as of 5/14: The Department of Public Health (DPH) this week issued updated guidance about the appropriate use of laboratory testing for COVID-19 and expanded testing recommendations in clinical and commercial laboratories.

The new guidance expands the criteria for COVID-19 testing eligibility.

Updated guidelines recommend the following:
All symptomatic individuals, including those with mild symptoms, should be tested.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include:
o Fever, chills or shaking chills
o Signs of a lower respiratory illness
o Fatigue, sore throat, headache, body aches or new loss of sense of taste or smell
o Other less common symptoms can include gastrointestinal symptoms and inflammatory conditions
o In elderly, chronically ill or debilitated individuals, symptoms of COVID-19 may be subtle, including alterations in mental status or in blood glucose control

All individuals who are identified as close contacts of a COVID-19 confirmed case by a local board of health, DPH, the Community Tracing Collaborative or a healthcare provider should be tested

AS OF 5/6/20: Gov. Charlie Baker signed an order requiring Massachusetts residents to wear masks in public. Volunteers through the Sewing Angels Project have created hundreds of high quality masks. My campaign has been working with the Merrimack Valley Hope Mission to distribute them. If you need a mask, please email me at christina@eckertforrep.com or contact Merrimack Valley Hope Mission founder Joe D'Amore at damorecos@gmail.com and we will coordinate delivery.

Update as of 4/28/20: The Governor's Office announced that Massachusetts is extending closure on non-essential businesses and ban on gatherings of 10 or more people until May 18th.

Census: You are able to complete the Census online, by phone, or by mail. The Census has paused field operations for the 2020 Census, so you can help by returning your census for or filling it out online. 

 
 

Local Resources

 

Boxford

NEW AS OF 5/11/20 -- Selectmen have voted to postpone Town Meeting until September.

The publicly safety department will be delivering food, home and healthcare donations to seniors. Donations should be dropped off at The Police Station garage bay, which will be open daily from 8:00am to 4:00pm. The goods will need to be handled according to strict protocols. Community Giving Tree is also accepting donations of diapers for families in need which can be dropped off at the Police Station garage bay.

 

Boxford Council on Aging (COA) conducts a shopping expedition for seniors and other homebound residents every Tuesday morning. Please call the COA at 978-887-3591 by 4 PM on Mondays with essential items that are necessary for the week. Those who wish may make a donation to the COA-Covid Assistance Account, click HERE  or mail checks Payable to the Town of Boxford to the Boxford Town Hall, 7A Spofford Rd., with a note specifying COA-Covid donation.

 

The COA building remains closed to the public. Staff members are taking calls from seniors, family members, and concerned citizens and will coordinate all outreach. Staff and volunteers are also conducting wellbeing checks on seniors. To request assistance, or to sign up to volunteer, please contact the COA at 978-887-3591 from Monday to Friday. Contact the non-emergency line for the police on weekends if you have any questions or concerns- 978-887-8135. 

Please check out the Tritown School Union's COVID response page for updates for elementary school aged children.

Please check out the Masconomet Health Services page for updates on middle school and high school children.

Grab and Go lunches will be available for ALL STUDENTS to pick up at Door #27 of the High School outside of the Small Cafeteria daily from 11:00 AM -1:00 PM. Lunches will include assorted sandwiches along with a piece of fruit, a snack and drink.  A gluten free option will be available on an as needed basis. The cafeteria will not be open to sit down and eat.

 

While the Library will remain closed to the public until further notice. But they will be offering virtual services. https://www.boxfordlibrary.org/wordpress/2020/03/20/virtual-library-services/.

 

All non-recyclable trash requires a trash stricker. Trash stickers are available for purchase online here, and at Boxford Community Store, West Village Provisions and at Nason's Stone House Farm.    

 

New Municipal Election Date: Boxford  Town Meeting Sept. 2020, Election 6/30/20.

 

Georgetown

 

The Georgetown Council on Aging staff members are working remotely from home. With remote access to voicemail and email messages, staff members are able to continue some services such as reassurance calls, provide deliveries from the COA food pantry, essential shopping assistance (groceries, pharmacies, etc.), lend durable medical equipment as well as provide information, resources and referrals. To contact the Georgetown COA, please call 978-352-5726 or email cfiorello@georgetownma.gov.

 

Nonperishable food donations are welcomed at the office at the senior housing complex at Trestle Way.  Crosby’s gift cards are also welcomed and are used to purchase ready made meals for the tenants who need them.

Donate food or Market Basket gift cards to the Abundant Life Food Pantry, 186 E.Main Street.  Gift cards can be mailed, or placed in an envelope marked “Abundant Life Pantry” and left in the mailbox. To drop off food, contact Tricia Howell 978 766 9819 or Richard Howell 978 766 9761.

Georgetown schools will have pre-made grab and go breakfast and lunch meals for any student who needs them at no cost. Meals can be picked up in the lobby of the Middle High School between 10:00 and 11:00 Monday- Friday beginning Monday, March 23rd. Students will pick up lunch and the next day’s breakfast at the same time. Families are asked to email Food Services Director Sean Riley at rileys@georgetown.k12.ma.us to sign up for the program.

 

While no final decisions have been made on how reimbursements will be handled, all preschool families don’t need to make an April payment.

For information regarding Georgetown Schools recently, rolled out remote learning program, please click here.

New Municipal Election Date: Town Meeting  6/15, Election 6/22.

 

Groveland

 

AS OF 5/5/20: we will be opening the Highway Yard Waste

site for the next two Saturdays, May 9th and May 16th

from 8am to 2pm. This is available only to Groveland

residents and you will be required to show your

vehicle’s registration upon entry. 

AS OF 4/30/20: Groveland is encouraging

residents to vote early and by mail for town elections.

Applications to vote early and by mail are available

at grovelandma.com. After being completed, they should

be mailed to Town Clerk Elizabeth Cunniff, 183 Main St.,

Groveland, or dropped into the Town Hall drop box.

All applications must be received by noon Friday, June 12.

Electronic signatures on applications to vote by mail are

not accepted.  Those with questions may call Ms. Cunniff

at 978-556-7221 or email ecunniff@grovelandma.com.

Merrimack Valley Hope Mission is distributing masks as part of their  Sewing Angels Project.

If you need a mask please send an e-mail to Joe D'Amore (founder) at damorecos@gmail.com.

Joe will make arrangements for you to pick up masks (limit 2 per household) from his home in Groveland.

Our team will be volunteering together to help distribute the masks. If you would also like to volunteer please make a request to join the Merrimack Valley Hope Mission Facebook group and learn how you can help with this incredible project.

 

Town personnel are all working from home, but you can call the COA at (978) 372-1101.  The Groveland COA will continue to provide van rides to necessary medical appointments and offer food pantry delivery to elders in need once a week. Staff will be making well-being phone checks; they ask that you please check in on your elderly neighbors.  The Council on Aging welcomes donations of Market Basket gift cards, which they distribute to seniors.  Place gift cards in an envelope marked “Council on Aging” and drop into the payment slot at Town Hall, by the parking lot entrance.

 

For emergency phone notifications, please go to Groveland’s town website (grovelandma.com) to sign up

for alerts. 

 

Late fees on water and sewage bills will be waived until further notice.  Payments for the tax or water bills may be made online through our website, by mail, or through the drop box at town hall. 

See Pentucket Regional School District below for grab and go lunch details.

Municipal Election Date: Town Meeting  6/8, Election 6/15.

 

Merrimac

 

Property tax due date extended to June 1.

AS OF 4/30/20: Merrimac has created an Emergency Management Committee to provide residents with the information and resources they need during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Residents can subscribe to updates via this website.

The Merrimac Senior Center continues to provide meals Monday through Friday. Meals are $3.50 including delivery, but are also available for those who are unable to pay. Call 978-346-9549 by 11:30am on Thursday to order meals for the following week.  The COA is serving 25-50 meals per week to seniors and disabled folks.  To support this program, please mail a check made out to Friends of Merrimac COA to 100 East Main St., Merrimac, MA 01860.

 

SHINE counselor Marcia Miller is still taking healthcare insurance questions: 978-346-9549. She will call people at home by appointment. 

 

Peggy’s Pantry will continue to deliver food packages on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month. Please reach out to ldmailman@townofmerrimac.com or amurphy@townofmerrimac.com to make arrangements. 

 

The Senior Center will be doing wellness checks by phone.

 

See Pentucket Regional School District below for grab and go lunch details

New Municipal Election Date: Town Meeting  5/26, Election 6/2

 

Newbury 

The Town Offices on Kent Way, the town library, and the COA are all closed to the public, but you can leave a message requesting assistance at 978-462-8114. Staff will be making well-being phone checks; they ask that you please check in on your elderly neighbors.

Newbury COA is still offering services for seniors, such as prescription pickup, grocery shopping, etc.  Contact COA Director Maggie O'Malley at coa.director@townofnewbury.org. Thanks to the Sewing Angels of the Merrimack Valley Hope Mission, the COA has several cloth masks available; if you need one, contact Maggie.

 

Triton Regional School District has a grab and go breakfast and lunch for any district child who wants or needs them, for the duration of the closure. No qualification or personal information required! You just need to complete this anonymous survey to assist us in meal quantity planning and preferred delivery method. They are delivering via buses throughout Salisbury, offer curb side pickup for families from all towns from 8:00 - 9:00 AM at Salisbury Elementary, and have coordinated deliveries to Newbury and Rowley families at their homes through the Boys & Girls Club. Bus routes are posted in the survey, and also at this link.

 

The Governor's office announced that State coastal beach reservation parking areas will be closed. This is part of an effort to enforce social distancing by decreasing foot traffic. For a full list of beach parking lots effected by this closure, please click here.

Food Pantries are Available in Newbury:

First Parish Of Newbury, 20 High Road, Newbury, MA.

The food pantry is open for drive thru only on Fridays from 3 to 5 PM.  

To pre-order groceries complete a form at this link: http://www.nourishingthenorthshore.org/nfpdeliveryform

The demand for food at the pantry has been extremely high; please consider donating to the food bank.

New Municipal Election Dates: Town Meeting 6/9, Election 6/16

 
 

West Newbury

 

New as of 5/11/20: Town meeting is postponed to Saturday, 6/27/20 at 10am.

The West Newbury Senior Center will deliver food and other essentials to the doorstep of those in need. To request help, go to the West Newbury Neighbor to Neighbor Facebook page, or email wnneighbor2neighbor@gmail.com. If you need help and wish to remain anonymous contact the West Newbury Senior Center at 978-363-1104.

 

You can donate to support the Neighbor to Neighbor effort using this link: https://www.gofundme.com/f/west-newbury-neighbor-to-neighbor

 

While the G.A.R. Memorial Library is closed until further notice, they are still offering virtual resources, including: Free eBooks, audiobooks, magazines, music and more. If you need a library card, have lost your library card or just need some guidance using any of these resources, please call the library or email: ask@westnewburylibrary.org 

See Pentucket Regional School District below for grab and go lunch details

New Municipal Election: Town Meeting 6/27, Election 6/3

 

Pentucket Regional School District

Pentucket has partnered with Our Neighbor’s Table - the regional food stability network - that services Merrimac, West Newbury and Groveland. Our Neighbor’s Table is prepared to provide groceries to ANY family or individual in all three towns and their surrounding service towns. They have established that PRSD will host a “curbside” food market run by Our Neighbor’s Table operating out of Sweetsir School on Saturdays starting on March 21, 2020 from 9:30am - 10:30am. If families (with and without children) would like to participate, they should go to www.ourneighborstable.org/Merrimacorder  

 

Pentucket is also partnering with Whittier Tech to prepare boxed lunches and breakfast for daily curbside pickup. There will be two locations for pickup for each weekday during the closure starting on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. Pick hours will be 11 am to 1 pm in the locations below:

 

Pentucket Regional Middle School - Cafe side parking lot, 20 Main St., W. Newbury

Sweetsir School - front loop - 104 Church St., Merrimac, MA 

If any family is not able to come to pick-up, because of illness or transportation and is in significant need - please contact Assistant Superintendent, Brent Conway at bconway@prsd.org

 

Haverhill 

 

AS OF 4/24/20: Haverhill has partnered with the

United Way to create the One Haverhill Fund to help Hillies

in need of food and other assistance.  If you are able, please

consider making a donation to help your Haverhill neighbors.

Volunteers are needed at the food banks and to buy groceries

for seniors and disabled citizens.  To volunteer or donate, visit

the City of Haverhill's webpage.

The Mutual Aid society of Haverhill, or MASH has set up a

311 line that you can call Mon-Fri 8am-4pm,

to access services including food, childcare,

transportation, and more. Check out their Facebook page,

Or go online to cityofhaverhill.com/needservices.php.  

While the Haverhill municipal offices are closed to the public,

the Haverhill senior center is still taking calls.

The community meals program at the Senior Center

will transition to meals on wheels.

Please call the Senior Center at 978-374-2390 for

more information. 

 

Sign up for city alerts HERE or call 311 (978-358-1311)

for any city business. For a list of Department Phone Numbers

and Email Addresses click HERE

 

Schools are closed but bagged but bagged breakfast and lunches 

for all Haverhill residents aged 1-18 are available in the 

following locations:

 

Consentino School- 11:00am to 1:00pm

Nettle School- 11:00am to 1:00pm

NEW: J.G. Whitter School  11:00am to 1:00pm

Hunking School  11:00am to 1:00pm

YMCA- 11:00am to 1:00pm

Boys and Girls Club 11:00am to 1:00pm

 

Food resources available to Haverhill Residents include: 

All Saints Food Pantry – 120 Bellevue Ave, Haverhill continues to be open on the 1st & 3rd Saturdays of the month from 10am to 12:00noon and on the 2nd & 4th Tuesdays of the month from 3:00pm to 5:00pm.  

The Liz Murphy Open Hand Pantry –  Unitarian Church at 16 Ashland Street, Haverhill modifying their procedure to pre-bagging and distributing at the door Tuesdays modified hrs 4:00 – 6:00pm 

Open Heart Ministries–  217 Main Street Haverhill MA Distributing hot meals in to-go containers on Sundays from 2:00-3:00pm. Distribution is at the kitchen door in the back of First Baptist Church.

The Salvation Army 395 Main Street Haverhill MA, is doing a modified food  pantry service with pre-packed boxes on Mon-Wed-Fri mornings from 9:30-11:00 am.  They are serving bag lunches on Tues-Thurs-Fri at noon in place of our regular meal service. 

Somebody Cares New England- 385 Washington Street Haverhill MA 978 912 7626  Thursday 8am-5pm.  If it is your first time, bring proof of residency.

To support small businesses while the ban is in place, Mayor Fiorentini, the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce and state Rep. Andy Vargas have developed a database where locals can submit their information and ask for assistance or agree to help others in need. That link can be found here: https://t.co/QVlJc3t2CR

Haverhill Businesses

In order to support Haverhill's restaurants and businesses, Haverhill Chamber of Commerce is running a matching program.  They will match restaurant gift cards purchases up to $50, doubling the value of the gift card that you purchase.  For more information, click here.  NEW this week:  Haverhill Chamber is supporting other Haverhill businesses by paying 25% of your purchase at these businesses.  For customers that shop at participating businesses, the Chamber will reimburse 25% of the total purchase price, up to $100 per customer.  Purchase a $100 gift card and only pay $75!  Click Here to Shop #Haverhill Local!

Medical Centers for COVID-19 Testing

Holy Family Hospital Haverhill campus is administering Covid-19 testing Monday thru Friday with a doctor’s order.

Lawrence General Hospital provides testing and offers a Hospital Community Screening Line at 978-946-8409.

Anyone with Coronavirus (Covid-19) symptoms, including fever (subjective or measured), cough or shortness of breath should contact their doctor to be assessed for a determination of whether you need a medical evaluation, including testing. Do NOT just drive to a medical facility without calling. Please help to protect our front line health workers. Hospitals and public safety officials are asking that people do not show up at hospitals asking to be tested without a doctor’s order except in an emergency.

If you have concern that you or a loved one may have Covid-19, Lawrence General Hospital is now offering two new coronavirus community screening resources:  

  • COVID-19 Community Screening line, staffed by Lawrence General nurses 24/7: (978) 946-8409.

  • Lawrence General's new online screening tool at www.lawrencegeneral.org: answer several screening questions before being contacted by a nurse for follow-up guidance.

 

State Resources

 

You can now receive phone notifications by texting the keyword COVIDMA to 888-777. You should only receive one or two in a day. 

With the IRS distributing the COVID-19 relief stimulus checks, be extra vigilant about phishing scams. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email, text messages or social media channels to request personal or financial information. This includes requests for PIN numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts. Below are some basic steps that you can take to protect yourself from phishing scams.

  1. Be cautious about all communications you receive. If it appears to be a phishing communication, do not respond. Delete it. 

  2. Do not click on any links listed in the email message, and do not open any attachments contained in a suspicious email.

  3. Do not enter personal information in a pop-up screen. 

If you receive an unsolicited email, text message, or social media message from an entity claiming to be the IRS that is looking to "verify" your personal information, forward the message to phishing@irs.gov. For more information about how to protect yourself from an IRS phishing scam, please go to https://www.irs.gov/privacy-disclosure/report-phishing.

Emergency Paid Leave:  U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued guidance on emergency paid leave pursuant to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), signed into law on March 18th. This includes guidance for employer requirements, employee rights, and potential frequently asked questions. 

Healthcare Coverage: Health Connector has opened a special enrollment period for healthcare coverage through April 25 for those who are uninsured.

Small Business Loan: The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program is accepting applications from Massachusetts businesses. You can apply at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela

Additionally, the SBA Express Bridge Loan (EBL) Pilot Program has been modified and the term extended. The EBL Pilot Program is designed to supplement the Agency’s direct disaster loan capabilities and authorizes SBA Express Lenders to provide

Taxes: The MA state income tax filing deadline has been extended to July 15.

COVID-19 Data Report: An enhanced, comprehensive and detailed COVID-19 data report, which includes trend data in a variety of areas (e.g. information on cases rates, testing, geography of confirmed cases etc.), death related data and specific data on COVID-19 hospital census information, nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, rest homes (with known clusters), and PPE distribution is updated daily by 4PM. City and town case data are published weekly each Wednesday. (Click here to access the report). https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-response-reporting

For unemployment claims: 

Self-employed individuals, gig workers, independent contractors and others can apply ‪for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance at this link: mass.gov/pua. PUA is open to self-employed individuals, gig workers, freelancers, and independent contractors; those seeking part-time employment; those who have an insufficient work history to qualify for benefits, and those laid off from churches and religious institutions and are not otherwise eligible for benefits under state law.

Click here for more information about unemployment insurance including a COVID-19 specific unemployment claim handbook. 

    • All requirements regarding attending seminars at the MassHire career centers have been suspended. 

    • Deadlines missed by employers and claimants due to effects of COVID-19 may be excused under DUA’s good cause provision. 

    • Employers whose businesses are severely impacted by COVID-19 can request extensions for filing and paying unemployment contributions. 

    • “Worksearch” requirements will be interpreted to appropriately permit claimants affected by COVID-19 to collect benefits. 

    • All appeal hearings will be held by telephone only.

Resources for Survivors of Domestic Violence &

Sexual Assault:

The Safelink Hotline is a centralized number to call to

talk to someone and receive services for sexual and domestic

violence.

 

Calls are confidential and available in many different

languages to support survivors and their family.

 

The hotline is available by calling 211 or toll free 1-877-785-2020.

For people who are hearing impaired, call TTL 1-877-521-2601.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 911.

The Attorney General's Office has created a website with resources for frontline workers: 

 

For information about how to foster healthy building environments, click here to read about the latest recommendations from trusted sources and the research conducted on the connection between the buildings where we live and work and infectious disease.

Massachusetts Reopening Plan

 

Massachusetts is currently operating under a phased reopening plan. We are currently in the first of four phases. When phases start and end is determined by public health metrics, so there is no date yet set for when the next phase will begin.

Safer at Home Advisory is currently in effect.

  • Leave the house for health care, worship, permitted work, shopping, or outdoor activities

  • 65+ and those with underlying health conditions should stay at home when possible and leave only for essential errands

  • Mask wearing required when 6-ft. distancing is not possible

  • More information available here

Gatherings

  • Gatherings of 10 and over not permitted

Travel

  • See the Safer at Home Advisory

  • Travelers to MA should self-quarantine for 14 days

  • Lodging restricted to essential workers

 

Worship

 

Businesses

  • Permitted with restrictions: Essential business, manufacturing, construction, lab space, office space (except in Boston), limited personal services (hair, pet grooming, car washes), retail (remote fulfillment, curbside pick-up)

  • Opening June 1: Office space in Boston

  • Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards outline standards businesses must meet to reopen, Mandatory self-certification

  • See “General business guidance” section here

 

Human and Health Services

  • All providers can provide high priority preventative care, pediatric care and treatment for high risk patients and conditions

  • More information here

 

Recreation and Outdoor

  • Open: beaches, parks, drive-in theaters, some athletic fields and courts, many outdoor adventure activities

  • Most fishing, hunting, and boating,

  • Outdoor gardens, zoos, reserves and public installations

 

Child Care

  • Emergency Child Care is available for children of workers with no safe alternative to group care. Find Emergency Child Care here.

 

Transit

  • Schedules are adapted. Click here for information about service levels.

  • Riders are required to wear masks

 

K-12 Schools

  • Through the end of the 2019-2020 school year:

    • Schools will remain closed

    • Schools will continue remote teaching

    • Schools will continue offering essential non-educational services

 

Higher Education

  • Check in with your institution’s reopening plans

 

For more information, visit mass.gov/reopening

 

CONTACT US

Phone: 978-766-2523

Candidate Email: christina@eckertforrep.com

Campaign Manager: josh@eckertforrep.com

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