Haverhill, Methuen Report Rising Numbers of COVID-19 Cases; Rockingham Remains N.H. Hot Spot

Bills get handled by numerous lawmakers, clerks, court officers and other staff on their journey through the legislative process. Some staff members have taken to wearing disposable gloves during the COVID-19 pandemic as they shuffle legislation between chambers and offices, including House First Assistant Clerk Tim Carroll. (Photograph by Sam Doran/SHNS.)

As of yesterday, 42 Haverhill residents and 44 in Methuen have been diagnosed with COVID-19, contributing to 570 cases in Essex County and 4,955 statewide, including 48 deaths.

One of the latest deaths was reported to be an Essex County man in his 80s. His home location was not specified.

Neighboring Rockingham County, N.H., continues to be that state’s largest cluster of the coronavirus with 100 cases reported as of Sunday out of a total of 258 statewide and three deaths.

In a statement on social media over the weekend, Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini said he continues to be concerned about people gathering in city recreation areas who are not practicing social distancing. He said, “I have instructed the police to vigorously enforce the rules and they were out today.”

The city’s new emergency rules on construction projects takes effect today. Builders are asked to call Health and Inspectional services if there are questions.

Groveland officials report the town has six additional positive cases of COVID-19 for a total of seven. The Groveland public health nurse has been in contact with each and they are in isolation.

MSPCA’s Nevins Farm in Methuen is sending 300 surgical masks to Lawrence General Hospital and 100 masks to Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis.

Students at UMass Lowell and other UMass campuses are to receive adjusted room, board and parking fees following the closure of residence halls in response to the coronavirus threat.

In a statement, President Marty Meehan, UMass Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney and others said, “The financial impact of this crisis is causing real hardship for many of our students and their families. We hope that this adjustment of housing, dining and parking fees will help alleviate some of the stress they are enduring.”

Campuses are planning to notify students of their individual cost adjustments by April 17.

The planned adjustments will decrease university revenues by approximately $70 million in the current fiscal year.

Gov. Charlie Baker says the state’s new COVID-19 PPE Procurement and Donation Program streamlines procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) and allows the state to better ensure the gear in short supply gets into the hands of the people who need it the most. He says the state also needs more volunteers.

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