Haverhill Health Board Orders Fitness Clubs to Close Monday; Limits Hair and Nail Salons

Haverhill Board of Health Chairman Peter Carbone. (WHAV News file photograph.)

The Haverhill Board of Health this afternoon ordered all gymnasiums and fitness clubs to close Monday, and barbershops and hair and nail salons to take clients by appointment only.

Following its state of emergency declaration, the Board of Health also voted to close all city playgrounds effective today. Fiorentini said city parks will remain open to the public but he directed the Recreation Department to cordon off playground equipment.

In those cases where hair and nail patrons must wait, Health Board members asked for a requirement to be sure they are placed at least six feet apart. Mayor James J. Fiorentini participated by telephone in the emergency Health Board meeting. City Solicitor William D. Cox Jr. also attended.

Haverhill Police, Public Health Nurse Mary Connolly and Cox are responsible for enforcement of the emergency declaration, said Chairman Peter Carbone.

The Board also began to “lay the groundwork for contingency plans in case health care in the city gets overwhelmed,” Carbone told WHAV contingency plans are mostly a state issue, but board members sought to be as proactive as possible.

Meanwhile, Methuen Mayor Neil Perry also declared a local state of emergency immediately in that city.

“Today’s declaration is not intended to reflect any significant change in the threat to Methuen residents, it’s an administrative step we’re taking to further our ability to protect the health and safety of our community. We are continuing to collect information and are making decisions designed to minimize the spread of COVID-19 within our community. As we all know, the situation is fluid – our actions will continue to be adjusted as circumstances change,” Perry said.

Haverhill Declaration of Local Health Emergency Regarding Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019

WHEREAS, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a highly contagious and potentially fatal respiratory disease, the prevalence of which is increasing rapidly throughout the world, inclusive of the United States and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and

WHEREAS, on March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization designated the COVID-19 outbreak a Pandemic Health Emergency; and

WHEREAS, on March 10, 2020, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts issued a Declaration of a State of Emergency to Respond to COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, the President of the United States announced a national declaration of emergency; and

WHEREAS, on March 15, 2020, Governor Baker announced emergency actions to respond to the evolving COVID-19 public health emergency impacting the Commonwealth, including prohibitions on public gatherings of twenty-five or more people and prohibiting on-premises consumption of food or drink at bars and restaurants from March 17, 2020 until April 6, 2020, as well as suspension of elementary and secondary school educational operations from March 17, 2020 until April 6, 2020; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor of the City of Haverhill and its Board of Health, in consultation with the State Department of Public Health has determined that COVID-19 presents a major disaster which poses an immediate threat to public health, safety, and general welfare of people residing both within and outside of the City of Haverhill; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor of the City of Haverhill and its Board of Health have determined that immediate public action is needed in order to prevent or minimize the spread of  COVID-19 by and among the people of the City of Haverhill; and

WHEREAS, it is critical to take additional steps to prepare for, respond to, and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 to protect the health and welfare of the people of the City of Haverhill; and

WHEREAS, declaring a state of emergency will facilitate and expedite the use of resources to protect persons from the impacts of COVID-19, including but not limited to emergency expenditures pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 44, Section 31 and limitations on operating hours and access to public buildings; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor of the City of Haverhill, James Fiorentini and the City of Haverhill, Board of Health recommended that a state of emergency be declared in the City of Haverhill.

NOW THEREFORE, we, the Mayor of the City of Haverhill and the Board of Health of the City of Haverhill, Massachusetts, hereby declare that as of March 20, 2020, a state of emergency exists in the City of Haverhill.  This declaration of emergency shall remain in effect until further notice is given, pursuant to our judgment that the conditions leading to this declaration no longer exist.

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