Friends and Neighbors,
I would like to express my deep gratitude and admiration for our community leaders who continue to remind us that we can make it through this together. In this challenging time, it is critical that we stay connected and ensure resources reach those who need support. This page will provide up-to-date information from each community within the First Essex District throughout this time of crisis. Please feel free to reach out with any questions, concerns, or additional information you wish to share with us. Stay safe and well.
General Guidance & Tips
Continue to practice good hygiene and wash your hands often.
Limit how often you touch public surfaces, like gas pumps, public door handles, and credit card pin pads.
Avoid public places with high pedestrian traffic.
Keep your social circles small, or limited to just those you live with.
If you feel sick, call your primary care physician for guidance. Do not go to the ER if it is not an emergency.
Stay home if you or anyone you live with is sick.
The CDC recommends cloth face masks be worn in public settings alongside the implementation of social distancing measures. The link below provides a how-to guide on constructing your own cloth masks.
The Massachusetts office of the Attorney General has launched a new resource page for those serving on the frontlines. The site gathers information on access to free and discounted meals, priority testing, links to allow for the donation of personal protective equipment, and much more. If interested in accessing these resources, or if you believe you can help, please click the link below.
As with many government services, the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) has had to change some of the ways in which it conducts business in order to maintain recommended COVID-19 safety standards. For additional information on how to access these benefits during this crisis, click the link below.
For many in Essex County, consistent, reliable access to food is a constant challenge. Below you will find links to multiple community programs that are working to fight food insecurity in our backyard.
Our Neighbors Table provides flexible, personalized grocery orders that can be placed through the Get Food link on their website. Orders are restricted to curbside pickup only during the current crisis.
Pettengill House is a nonprofit social service agency with a focus on community and family empowerment in north Essex County. Their food pantry is located at 13 Lafayette Rd, Salisbury, MA 01952 is open Tuesdays 9:00am-2:00pm and 4:00pm-6:00pm.
Newbury Food Pantry offers food assistance for both delivery and pickup. Their service locations are currently limited to Newbury, Byfield, Plum Island, Newburyport, Rowley, and West Newbury due to the volume of need at this time.
May 18th: The state of Massachusetts has begun the first phase of the reopening process Phase 1 is a cautious reopen allowing for business to be conducted in a limited capacity in offices, labs and some personal services including salons and dog grooming provided these businesses maintain social distancing procedures. See Mass.gov for additional info.
May 1st: An executive order has been issued from the Governor's office mandating the use of face masks in any situation in which an individual cannot social distance themselves from others. Governor Baker has issued an executive order that will require anyone in public to wear a face covering if they cannot social distance themselves from others. This includes being in a business, outdoors, or on public transportation. Violators of the order may face up a $300 fine for non-compliance. This order will take effect Wednesday, May 6, 2020.
As of May 21st, there are 154 confirmed quarantined cases in Amesbury and 19 deaths as reported by the Health Department.
March 22: Mayor Gove declared a Local State of Emergency to make sure Amesbury has access to state and federal funding and reimbursements related to COVID-19.
As of May 20th there are 65 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Newburyport. 2 Newburyport residents have died from complications of the virus.
The Newburyport Health Department is following DPH and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and is monitoring each case during the 14-day quarantine period.
Newburyport residents can sign up for CodeRED to receive COVID updates directly on their phones here.
April 8: The City Council passed "An Emergency Ordinance to Prevent Contagion of the COVID-19 Virus in Public Places under the Jurisdiction of the City of Newburyport." Key provisions include:
All permits and licenses for public events on city property are suspended
Playgrounds, courts, and athletic fields are closed except for passive recreation (walking, running, biking, hiking)
No gatherings of 10 or more people on public property and public ways
For gatherings of any size, individuals must maintain 6 feet distance
Police have the authority to enforce restrictions on gatherings and social distancing through ticketing and fines.
The Ordinance will remain in effect until such a time it is lifted by the Newburyport Board of Health following the Baker-Polito announcement that the current emergency order will be extended to May 18th.
There were 49 confirmed and quarantined cases and 3 deaths as of May 20th in Salisbury, as reported by the Health Department.
April 15: Salisbury Department of Public Works announced they will continue to operate as usual with some slight modifications to allow for the social distancing requirements mandated during the COVID-19 pandemic. For all water emergencies, including service interruptions, please contact 24/7 at 800-553-5191. Wastewater emergencies can be called in 24/7 at 978-465-2798.
April 13: The Board of Selectmen voted to move Election Day and the date of the Annual Town Meeting back by 5 weeks. Election Day will now be on Tuesday, June 16, and Town Meeting will be on Monday, June 22.
April 7: All grocery stores currently operating in the town of Salisbury are mandated to limit occupancy to 40% of established maximums, including both employees and customers. All social distancing recommendations should be encouraged by staff.