Haverhill Mayor, Health Board Member Mundy Answer COVID-19 Questions Live

Dr. Romie M. Mundy. (Courtesy photograph.)

The coronavirus continues to spread and, almost as rapidly, so do questions people have about the disease. In an effort to help answer some of those questions, 97.9 WHAV FM carried a live simulcast Thursday night, of the cable television program “Point of Reference” with Frank Novak and two guests – Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini and Board of Health member Dr. Romie Mundy. The listener call-in program focused on the latest information on the virus and the stress it is putting on the lives of the citizens of Merrimack Valley.

In keeping with the suggestion of the Centers for Disease Control, the participants all sat several feet apart during the program. The CDC has said the Covid-19 virus is spread primarily by human to human contact. The mayor spoke to that issue, enumerating some of the actions taken so far to stop problems before they begin.

“All restaurants and bars closed, except for take-out. The schools are all closed. We’ve closed City Hall. We’ve closed the Highway Department; citizens center, except for emergency visits and that’s why a large part of the city is shut down,” the mayor said.

The mayor went on to say that although he does not expect Gov. Charlie Baker to issue a shelter in place order, he is not ruling it out either.

Questions posed by concerned citizens ranged from how bills should be paid during this time—online and the U.S. Post Office were the suggestions given—to what to do if someone believes they may have the coronavirus.

Dr. Mundy responded to the second question saying contact your primary care physician, but call first. He went on to say many medical personnel are equipped to conduct an examination by using the internet.

“Essentially it is through an application called Microsoft Teams. It has a camera and just like a general  office appointment, I’m able to have a Face-time or Skype conversation with the patient and I know a lot of our providers here in the community are ramping up to do that, particularly to screen for the Covid-19 to help avoid people coming into the hospital,” Mundy said.

The panel also emphasized the need for people to pay particular attention to their hygiene with frequent hand washing and sanitizing of “high touch” places such as door handles and stair railings.

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