A Nurse on the Front Lines in the COVID-19 Battle Becomes Haverhill’s 70th Disease Death

Haverhill’s 70th death from COVID-19 is a frontline nurse who worked at a nursing home. The statement by Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini came Tuesday on the same day he said Haverhill’s two COVID-19 testing sites will remain open through Friday. Posting on social media, the mayor said, the nurse’s family requested he not release a name or identifying information. “This is tragic and frightening news to any of our frontline medical personnel. Our nurses and CNAs put themselves on the line every day dealing with people they know are sick and might infect them.

Podcast: Community Action’s Early Head Start Program Works In-Person and Virtually Due to Virus

Much attention has been given this year to how COVID-19 is affecting school systems., but it’s also having an effect on younger children too. Haverhill-based Community Action’s Early Head Start program serves around 300 children, from birth to five years of age, between its Haverhill and Newburyport Centers. Community Action Director of Family Services Patty Sargent, a recent guest on WHAV’s morning program, says the program has limited in-person openings now, but due to COVID-19 a number of children are also receiving “virtual education services.”

“And I know that’s really a different thing to think about when we’re talking about infants, toddlers and preschoolers. What we’re doing with our virtual services is still providing ways for families and children to engage with us. We’re offering Zoom calls every day for families to just check in, for children to enjoy singing and reading along with their teachers, doing some simple yoga exercises.

Haverhill School Committee Ratifies COVID-19 Impact Bargaining Agreement with Teachers

The Haverhill School Committee gave its approval last night to an agreement between the district and the Haverhill Education Association. The teacher’s union and the administration have been locked in negotiations for several weeks trying to agree to an acceptable plan for a school year that has been uprooted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  City Solicitor William Cox presented the 21-page document to the Committee. “We spent many hours going over all of these details and working out and reaching this very, very comprehensive agreement that covers all aspects of Haverhill public schools and dealing with the COVID-19 issues that have arisen during this school year because of it,” Cox said. Those issues include air quality, sanitization of classrooms and the increased workload brought about by the combination of hybrid and remote learning.

Haverhill and Trinity EMS to Bring Free COVID-19 Testing to Merrivista and Mission Towers Housing

Haverhill is partnering with Trinity EMS to provide free COVID-19 testing for residents next week at two of the city’s largest elderly housing complexes. Mayor James J. Fiorentini said testing, paid for with Federal CARES Act money, will be available Thursday, Oct. 15, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. for residents of Merrivista and Mission Towers senior housing developments, 100 and 180 Water St. “We want to be able to get to seniors who can’t get to us,” Fiorentini said, adding the city is working on bringing COVID-19 testing to other senior housing locations as well additional dates at Merrivista and Mission Towers. The partnership with Trinity Ambulance resulted from concern disabled residents or those without transportation might not be able to be tested at the city’s two sites at the corner of Winter and Locke streets across from St.

Downtown Haverhill COVID-19 Free Test Site Remains; Second Site to Open in Mount Washington

Haverhill is leaving in place a free drive-up COVID-19 testing site in downtown Haverhill, while continuing plans to add a walk-up site Wednesday in the Mount Washington neighborhood. The city originally said the downtown site, at the Locke Street parking lot across from St. James Church, would close today. In a statement, Mayor James J. Fiorentini said new plans call for the testing location to remain open through Wednesday Oct. 14, from 1-6 p.m. No identification, insurance or an appointment needed.

Haverhill Teachers, School Reach Tentative Agreement on Work Conditions During Pandemic

After 15 rounds of talks, Haverhill educators and the school administration reached a tentative agreement Wednesday on how to proceed with restrictions imposed by the coronavirus. The talks, called “impact bargaining,” resulted from the changes in requirements and working conditions for teachers and others caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Both sides say they believe the agreement helps ensure students learning at home receive the same quality as those physically sitting in a classroom. Haverhill Education Association President Anthony J. Parolisi says the pact covers differing expectations of teachers during hybrid as well as full remote instruction. Parolisi explains managing in-person and at-home students simultaneously has been “a real challenge.”

“We believe that parents chose to send their students into hybrid model so that educators who were working with students in person would be able to focus exclusively on the students in front of them,” Parolisi says.

Updated: Haverhill Mayor Bans Citywide Treat or Treat; Health Board Suspends Most Youth Sports

Updated: Officials were unclear during and for a time following meetings of the Haverhill Board of Health and Medical Advisory Board Thursday. There is still a question about the timing of a ban on youth sports, for example. Below is an updated consensus on the result.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini says there will be no citywide trick or treat in Haverhill this year after the Haverhill Board of Health advised against the tradition, but stopped short of banning it themselves. The Board Thursday also cancelled most youth sports and required mask wearing in downtown Haverhill as Haverhill’s number of COVID-19 cases rose again. Members may revisit the matter as questions arose over when the ban would take effect and whether the order applies to private ice skating rinks.

Now in the Red, Haverhill Mayor Says ‘Our City is Slipping Backwards in The Fight Against COVID-19’

Haverhill officially went into the red yesterday in its battle against COVID-19. The Commonwealth’s weekly report shows the city has had 1,553 of COVID-19 with 129 cases in the last two weeks. There were 146 positive test results during the same period for an infection rate of 3.27%. Mayor James J. Fiorentini foretold of the city’s slide into the higher risk “red zone” at this week’s City Council meeting. “Tonight, I sadly report to the people of Haverhill that our city is slipping backwards in the fight against COVID-19.