Haverhill, Other Communities Impose Public Buildings Limits; More COVID-19 Updates

Methuen Mayor Neil Perry. (Courtesy photograph.)

More communities are restricting access to public buildings and asking residents to use alternative methods to conduct business.

The latest restrictions come as Massachusetts reports 218 confirmed COVID-19 cases with Essex County holding at eight cases. New Hampshire is reporting 26 cases, with 14 in Rockingham County.

The Haverhill Police Department said Tuesday it is suspending walk-in services relating to fingerprinting, vehicle identification number checks, records requests, non-violent past offenses, medication drop-off and more.

“We are concerned with the health and well-being of our staff as well as the public we serve. As this virus continues to spread our goal is to maintain a healthy police force for the continuation of services without resorting to contingency plans,” the statement said.

In Methuen, beginning Thursday, Mayor Neil Perry said appointments will be necessary for citizens to visit City Hall in person. Methuen’s police and fire stations are closed to all non-emergency visits and police, fire, and inspectional service members have been instructed to maintain a social distance of six feet between individuals when responding to a call and avoid all unnecessary personal contact. Methuen Schools, the Nevins Memorial Library, the Arlington Neighborhood Homework Center and Methuen Senior Center remain closed to the public until at least April 7.

In Plaistow, N.H., Plaistow Public Library is closed until further notice. Only the foyer at Town Hall is open, while the interiors of the fire and police station and Highway and Public Works building are closed to the public. Lobbies remain open.

Haverhill’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day, scheduled for this Saturday, has been cancelled. It will be rescheduled as soon as the Coronavirus crisis has passed. Officials also remind residents to visit cityofhaverhill.com to pay bills and conduct other city business and call 311 with questions.

Pentucket Regional School District, serving West Newbury, Merrimac, Groveland, is partnering with Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School to prepare boxed lunches and breakfast for daily curbside pickup starting today from 11 a.m.-1- p.m. at Pentucket Regional Middle School, 20 Main St., West Newbury or Dr. Frederick N. Sweetsir School, 104 Church St., Merrimac.

School Superintendent Justin Bartholomew said Our Neighbors Table, an Amesbury nonprofit, is also partnering with the district to supply groceries to families in need. Those interested may visit ourneighborstable.org/Merrimacorder before 9 a.m., Friday, or call 978-388-1907. While schools are closed, Pentucket Regional School District and Our Neighbors’ Table will host a free curbside market at Sweetsir School, from 9:30-10:30 a.m., this Saturday, March 21.

Atkinson Congregational Church has temporarily moved to online worship services at atkinsoncc.org. For its 10 a.m., Sunday services, until at least Palm Sunday, April 5, the church is using a video conferencing system.

The Registry of Motor Vehicles’ office in Lawrence reopens today. Haverhill remains closed. The Registry, however, is offering 60-day extensions to residents with Class D and Class DM driver’s licenses, ID cards and Learner’s Permits that have expiration dates between March and April 30.

For previous cancellations and closures, click here for a list of related stories.

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