Mayor Gove Declares Local Health State of Emergency

Declaration of emergency signed by Mayor Gove

Mayor Gove, with the support of the Board of Health and the Director of Amesbury’s Health Department declares a Local State of Emergency regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. While Amesbury has no confirmed cases of COVID-19, this declaration allows Amesbury to receive state and federal funds in the future, as well as potential reimbursement for COVID-19 related expenses.

The City will need to spend funds during this time for various items, including overtime for emergency services and the Health Department, attorney’s fees, printing services, and more. The City will also be losing some revenue, with waiving interest and fees for bills, some permitting being delayed, home inspections, cancelled recreation programs and more. CFO Angel Wills will be sharing bi-weekly expense and revenue reports, instead of the usual monthly reports, during this time. Those can be found at www.amesburyma.gov/annual-reports under Financial Reports. 

The City of Amesbury has made decisions regarding the spread of the Coronavirus, including closing City buildings to the public, with information and guidance from the Amesbury Health Department, Emergency Management, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and state and federal officials.

“The health and safety of City staff and all residents is our top priority. The COVID-19 outbreak is a situation we’re taking very seriously, and we’re asking all of our residents to do the same,” stated Mayor Kassandra Gove. “Amesbury does not currently have a confirmed case of COVID-19, but we expect that to happen at some point. We understand that social distancing can be difficult, but the more we’re able to do that as a community, the faster we’ll be able to get back to our regular routines.”

The City of Amesbury is making the following requests and recommendations:

  • Continue to practice good hygiene and wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds
  • Limit how often you touch public surfaces, like gas pumps, public door handles, push plates and credit card pin pads
  • Avoid playgrounds, skate parks and other public places with high touch surfaces
  • Keep your social circles small, or limited to just your family
  • If you feel sick, please call your primary care physician for guidance. Do not go to the ER if it is not an emergency
  • Stay home if you or anyone in your family is sick

 

The full declaration of the State of Emergency is below:

WHEREAS, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a highly contagious and potentially fatal respiratory disease, the prevalence of which is increasing rapidly throughout the world, inclusive of the United States and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and

WHEREAS, on March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization designated the COVID-19 outbreak a Pandemic Health Emergency; and

WHEREAS, on March 10, 2020, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts issued a Declaration of a State of Emergency to Respond to COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, on March 13, 2020, the President of the United States announced a national declaration of emergency; and

WHEREAS, on March 15, 2020, Governor Baker announced emergency actions to respond to the evolving COVID-19 public health emergency impacting the Commonwealth, including prohibitions on public gatherings of twenty-five or more people and prohibiting on-premises consumption of food or drink at bars and restaurants from March 17, 2020 through April 6, 2020, as well as suspension of elementary and secondary school educational operations from March 17, 2020 through April 6, 2020; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor of Amesbury and its Board of Health, in consultation with the State Department of Public Health has determined that COVID-19 presents a major disaster which poses an immediate threat to public health, safety, and general welfare of people residing both within and outside of Amesbury; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor of Amesbury and its Board of Health have determined that immediate public action is needed in order to prevent or minimize the spread of  COVID-19 by and among the people of Amesbury; and

WHEREAS, it is critical to take additional steps to prepare for, respond to, and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 to protect the health and welfare of the people of Amesbury; and

WHEREAS, declaring a state of emergency will facilitate and expedite the use of resources to protect persons from the impacts of COVID-19, including but not limited to emergency expenditures pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 44, Section 31 and limitations on operating hours and access to public buildings; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor of Amesbury and the Amesbury Board of Health recommended that a state of emergency be declared in the City of Amesbury.

NOW THEREFORE, we, the Mayor of Amesbury and Board of Health of the City of Amesbury, Massachusetts, hereby declare that as of March 22, 2020, a state of emergency exists in the City of Amesbury.  This declaration of emergency shall remain in effect until further notice is given, pursuant to our judgment that the conditions leading to this declaration no longer exist.