The City of Salem Taking Precautions & Informing The Public About the coronavirus
SALEM, Mass.—Like many communities across America, the City of Salem is pro-actively preparing in anticipation of the potential escalation of COVID-19 diagnoses. This work includes regular coordination with community partners and state agencies, departmental communication with staff, implementation of prevention strategies, and planning for continuity of services.
As a community with a major university, large tourism economy and museums, busy commuter rail station, state court facilities, and a major hospital (read more about how North Shore Medical Center is planning for COVID-19 by visiting https://bit.ly/2TIikRf), the City of Salem is taking potential dangers posed by COVID-19 seriously. Salem’s Health Department, public safety teams, and school officials are in regular communication with local partners and state agencies to stay current on the most recent guidance and to coordinate responses and actions.
Reducing the Risk of Transmission
The City of Salem is adhering closely to all recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). Starting last week, the City began additional routine cleaning and sanitizing of publicly accessible spaces in City buildings and facilities. The Salem Health Department strongly encourages all Salem businesses and nonprofits to similarly take action to clean and sanitize high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs and handles, computer keyboards, credit card machines, and countertops.
All Salem City staff have been directed to engage in germ management and hygienic practices to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 and other illnesses.
These practices include frequent hand washing for at least 20 seconds duration, coughing or sneezing into a tissue and then disposing of it, and avoiding touching one’s face. Individuals should also practice reasonable social distancing behavior, such as not shaking hands. All City staff have been directed to avoid individuals who are sick and to remain at home if they are not feeling well. City employees must be out of work until they are fever-free without medication for at least 24 hours. All City departments have been directed to identify locations at their site where staff or members of the public showing symptoms of illness can be physically separated from others until they are able to arrange for transportation home or to medical care.
Anyone displaying symptoms (high fever and cough) or who thinks they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately and avoid contact with others.
In the Event of Municipal Closures
In the event City offices must close for any period of time some City services, such as online bill pay (salem.com/paybills) and reporting public service requests (salem.com/seeclickfix), will continue to be available through salem.com. Members of the public should anticipate a delay in response to inquiries, as offices will be closed. Public meetings may be canceled or postponed; check the online calendar at salem.com/calendar to confirm if a meeting is taking place or not.
Essential services, including public safety and some public services functions, will continue to be provided. In some cases, the City may alter deadlines for licenses, applications, forms, and other items, so long as those alterations are within the City’s authority; be aware of such filing deadlines and plan accordingly.
If closure of the Mayor Jean Levesque Community Life Center (CLC) is required, all public programs, activities, classes, and events at the center will be canceled. Currently, most programs are still taking place as scheduled, however, you can call the CLC at 978-744-0924 to verify if a program is taking place. In the event of a closure of the CLC, transportation services will continue to be provided for essential appointments, such as medical appointments. CLC vans are being cleaned and sanitized on a regular basis.
Should the City need to close any offices, buildings, or facilities for any period of time, that closure will be announced via City News & Announcement and CodeRED, posted at salem.com and shared with the City’s social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram).
The City of Salem maintains an up-to-date Emergency Management Plan, overseen by the Director of Emergency Management, Chief Gerry Giunta of the Salem Fire Department, and—in cases of public health emergencies—carried out in coordination with the City’s Health Agent, David Greenbaum. In the event of the Plan’s activation, the City follows the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Incident Command System structure of emergency response, which includes public information about the nature of the incident and steps being taken by the City to respond.
Members of the public should ensure they are subscribed to Salem’s three primary communication platforms, all available at www.salem.com/subscribe: (1) CodeRED, the emergency notification system, (2) City Alerts, found under the “Urgent Alert” menu, and (3) City News & Announcement, found under the “News or Announcement” category.
[From a News Release]