Haverhill Details Safety Measures as Health Officials Brief Council on Coronavirus Disease

Dr. William Goldman, Holy Family Hospital’s chief medical officer, addresses the Haverhill City Council. (WHAV News file photograph.)

The coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, was at the top of the agenda at last night’s Haverhill City Council meeting as officials outlined safety measures.

Dr. Romie Mundy, a Haverhill Board of Health member, spoke to the Council about precautions people should be taking to avoid becoming ill—such as frequent handwashing and avoiding crowds. He also strongly suggested people visit the website CDC.gov for more information.

Dr. William Goldman, Holy Family Hospital’s chief medical officer, told councilors Essex County is no longer isolated from the spreading virus.

“Briefly, I want to echo a little bit of what Dr. Mundy mentioned and also give you some updated figures from the Mass Department of Public Health. There has been one case of Covid-19 coronavirus documented infection in Essex County as of this afternoon.” he reported.

Goodman did say that of the 92 cases in Massachusetts, 70 were related to the Biogen conference so it is not as widespread as it sounds at this point.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini was questioned by Council members about what preparations are in place should the virus reach epidemic proportions.

“So, I’ve asked our department heads to put together contingency plans on what happens if this does hit us. Plans to operate if city hall has to be closed, plans to operate the police department if a number of our policemen are out or if we have to close down the building,” he said.

The mayor said he is “hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.”

Council Vice President Colin F. LePage suggested the city use the 3-1-1 reverse call system to keep residents informed of any developments.

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