‘Parades’ for Homebound Children Likely to Continue After Health Board Adopts Rules

Haverhill Fire Chief William F. Laliberty before city councilors Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Haverhill Police help a young resident celebrate a birthday. (Courtesy photograph.)

Informal “parades” to cheer children who have been forced to stay home during the current pandemic will likely continue after Haverhill’s Board of Health reviews the matter Thursday.

Haverhill Fire Chief William F. Laliberty said Friday, parades were suspended “due to concerns over social distancing during the predicted virus surge in our community.” The chief’s remarks on social media followed a post by Haverhill Firefighters Union Local 1011 that said Mayor James J. Fiorentini had ordered the prohibition. Mayoral spokesman Shawn Regan said Monday there were concerns that advertising such parades in advance resulted in crowds forming.

Haverhill Board of Health Chairman Peter Carbone said his board meets Thursday to set standards for such events. Conditions could include prohibiting viewing areas and large congregations of people, while keeping six-foot minimum separations between those viewing such events and the wearing of masks if speaking to others.

The Health Board may also strengthen its previous emergency order by requiring “essential” service providers to name a supervisor or manager as a health and safety officer to maintain and manage proper safety protocol; require face coverings, such as a fabric mask, scarf or bandana, over mouths and noses when dealing with the public or within six feet of a coworker; and allow employees to bring their own face coverings to work.

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