Mayor Neil Perry announces today that a local state of emergency is in immediate effect for Methuen in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
COVID-19, the illness associated with the novel coronavirus, was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization and it has moved Governor Charlie Baker to declare a State of Emergency in Massachusetts and President Donald Trump to declare a national emergency.
As of Friday, March 20, there are currently no confirmed or presumptive cases of the virus in Methuen.
“My number one priority is the health and safety of every resident of the City of Methuen,” Perry said. “Today’s declaration is not intended to reflect any significant change in the threat to Methuen residents, it’s an administrative step we’re taking to further our ability to protect the health and safety of our community. We are continuing to collect information and are making decisions designed to minimize the spread of COVID-19 within our community. As we all know, the situation is fluid – our actions will continue to be adjusted as circumstances change.”
According to the Mayor, his goal is to maintain essential municipal services while protecting public health by issuing recommendations and directives to the community to help contain the spread of COVID-19. The Emergency Declaration is an administrative tool that allows municipal government to access state and federal resources to better serve the community as COVID-19 evolves.
The Mayor previously established a COVID-19 Planning Team to effectively organize and plan the city’s response to this public health emergency. As part of its work, members of the group have participated in regular discussions with local, state, and federal public health officials on recommended protocols and protective measures.
In an effort to keep the community informed, the Mayor has begun hosting regular segments on Methuen Community Television. The next segment will be on Monday, March 23 at 4:30 p.m. Visit the MCTV Facebook page to access the presentation.
In addition to announcing this emergency declaration, Mayor Perry is reminding Methuen residents of the following:
- City Hall is now open on an appointment-only basis. Residents should visit cityofmethuen.net to access information, to download forms and documents, and to make most municipal payments. If you need something at City Hall, you should call the appropriate department and make an appointment.
- City parks are currently open for passive recreation. Residents should refrain for congregating in the parks and must continue responsible social distancing. The city intends to monitor the use of parks and may be forced to shut them down if it’s determined they’re being used in a manner contrary to these guidelines.
- Residents are reminded the Methuen School Department is continuing to provide bagged breakfast and lunches Monday thru Friday from 9:00 a.m. to noon at the Tenney Grammar School, Upper School Site, and from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Methuen Arlington Neighborhood (M.A.N.), 141 Tenney Street.
- Residents are also asked to refrain from flushing anything other than toilet paper in toilets. Other paper products risk damage to the city sewer system and water treatment facilities.
- The Methuen Police and Fire Departments are fully staffed and prepared to respond to any emergency. Residents, who are experiencing any symptoms related to the coronavirus, should contact their primary care provider before calling 911.
Officials are constantly monitoring state and federal guidance regarding the COVID-19 situation and will provide updates as new information becomes available.