News Flash

Andover News

Posted on: May 26, 2021

Town of Andover COVID-19 Update

UPDATE May 26, 2021

Mask/Face Covering

As of May 29, 2021, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts mask and face covering order will be rescinded. Fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear a face covering or social distance indoors or outdoors except for in certain situations. Consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, face coverings will still be mandatory for all individuals on public and private transportation systems including rideshares, livery, taxi, ferries and public transportation.

Non-vaccinated individuals are advised to continue wearing face masks and to continue distancing in most settings.

Face coverings will also remain required indoors for staff and students of K-12 schools and early education providers.

Read more here

Re-Opening and Capacity Limits

Effective May 29, all industries will be permitted to open. With the exception of remaining face-covering requirements for public and private transportation systems and facilities housing vulnerable populations, all industry restrictions will be lifted, and capacity will increase to 100% for all industries. The gathering limit will be rescinded.

Businesses may still require the use of face coverings to enter their premises; please honor those requests.

Town Services 

Town Offices have been open to the public throughout the pandemic from 9 AM to 4 PM through a Customer Service Center.  On Tuesday, June 1, 2021; Town Offices will resume normal hours and operation. Most offices and services open at 8:30 AM each day, but some offices, such as Community Development and Planning, open at 7:30 AM. To find hours of operation by department visit the department website.  To best assist you with town services, our Customer Service Center function will continue in order to make your visit to Town Offices simple and efficient.

COVID-19 Updates 

The town will provide periodic updates on COVID-19 to share guidance or news with the Andover community.  We will also update case counts on a weekly basis at www.andoverma.gov/coronavirus


UPDATE May 15, 2021

  • With COVID-19 case rates dropping in the community, we will be updating our case numbers on a weekly basis. Case counts can be found at www.andoverma.gov/coronavirus
  • While vaccines have dramatically decreased the infection rates for COVID-19, fully vaccinated persons can still contract COVID-19, though the symptoms are much less severe. Less than 50% of the Massachusetts population is fully vaccinated; the state estimates that 49% of Andover residents are fully vaccinated.
  • The CDC has updated its mask guidelines for fully vaccinated persons, however Andover follows the Commonwealth’s Orders and Guidelines on facial coverings, which have not yet changed. The CDC Guidelines continue to reflect that it is important to comply with state and community mask requirements.
  • Until the Commonwealth changes its guidance, masks continue to be required in the following instances (this is not an all-encompassing list):
    • Spectators at youth and adult sporting events (indoors & outdoors).
    • Athletes in certain close-contact sports such as basketball, soccer, and lacrosse.
    • Indoor & outdoor exercise classes.
    • Inside all public buildings, retail establishments, and restaurants.
    • At any festival, market, or other event.
    • At any event venue, including work gatherings, weddings, and other celebrations.
    • Whenever you cannot properly distance yourself from others.

 While the end is in sight, we have not yet arrived at that destination. Until then, please wear a mask to protect yourself, your family, your friends, and your community


UPDATE May 7, 2021

Effective May 10th, the Commonwealth is expected to be loosening several restrictions, including indoor singing at performance venues, road races, and amateur sports tournaments. Revised guidance documents will not be released until that day, and can be viewed at https://www.mass.gov/resource/reopening-sector-specific-protocols-and-best-practices and https://www.mass.gov/info-details/executive-office-of-energy-and-environmental-affairs-eea-covid-19-guidance-documents.

While the mask use restrictions have been eased, residents are reminded that masks are required indoors in restaurants, stores, and public buildings, regardless of vaccination status. Also, they are required at all sporting events and other large gatherings.

While positive cases continue to decrease, we encourage all eligible residents to be vaccinated, and to continue to wear a mask.

UPDATE April 26, 2021 

Vaccine Availability and Eligibility

Individuals age 16 or older who live, work, or study in Massachusetts are eligible to receive a vaccine. Lawrence General Hospital currently has openings for vaccine appointments click here to start the registration process. You can also sign up to be notified of available appointments through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts COVID-19 Vaccination Website.

Reminders and Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Individuals 

Individuals are considered fully vaccinated more than two weeks after they have received the second dose of a two-dose vaccine, or more than two weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine.

Residents are reminded that, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not, the statewide mask mandate for all public spaces remains in effect.

  • Those who are fully vaccinated can safely visit others who are fully vaccinated indoors, without wearing masks or physical distancing.
  • Those who are fully vaccinated can visit unvaccinated people from a single household who are not at risk for severe COVID-19 disease. These visits can take place indoors, without wearing masks or physical distancing.
  • Fully vaccinated individuals should continue following precautions in public, like wearing a well-fitted mask and physical distancing.
  • Wear masks, practice physical distancing, and adhere to other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease.
  • Wear masks, maintain physical distance, and practice other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households.
  • Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings.
  • Get tested if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Follow guidance issued by individual employers.
  • Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations.


UPDATE April 10, 2021

 The Andover Health Division wishes to remind residents: 

  • Everyone in Massachusetts is still required to wear a mask in public, both indoors and outdoors.
  • Private indoor gatherings in Massachusetts continue to be limited to 10 people. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 25 people. 
  • If you are experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 stay home and contact your primary-care physician. To review common symptoms of COVID-19 from the CDC, click here
  • Those who are fully vaccinated are reminded that while the vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective at preventing illness from COVID-19, information is still being collected on their effectiveness against certain variants of the virus. As such, continuing to practice COVID-19 prevention measures will still help protect you, as well as anyone you interact with, from illness. 
  • Get vaccinated when you’re eligible. All individuals age 55 and older, and individuals with one qualifying medical condition, are eligible to receive the vaccine starting Monday, April 5. The general public becomes eligible for the vaccine in Massachusetts on Monday, April 19. Residents can register for an appointment at a mass vaccination site by clicking here, check for available vaccination appointments once they are eligible here, and are encouraged to contact their local pharmacies to learn about vaccination opportunities.

Feeling Sick? Stay Home.

If you do not feel well, you should stay home. Protect yourself, your neighbors, co-workers and others by exercising an abundance of caution when you have even mild symptoms.  

Vaccination is Not a Replacement for Masks or Face Coverings 

The state's mask orders remain in full effect. Masks or face coverings must be worn at all times, even if you are fully vaccinated. 

View COVID-19 Case Counts 

Active and cumulative COVID-19 cases are updated each weekday. View case counts by visiting www.andoverma.gov/Coronavirus

UPDATE April 2, 2021

Town of Andover Urges Community to Remain Vigilant Against COVID-19 with Prevention Measures

Following a recent uptick in positive COVID-19 cases in the community, the Town of Andover is urging residents to continue practicing public health guidance to stop the spread.

The town's risk level remains "yellow," or moderate. With weather growing warmer, there is a greater temptation to gather and celebrate special occasions with family and friends, or to mark religious holidays such as Easter. The Town is asking everyone to follow health guidelines to stop the spread in Andover.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to advise the safest way to observe religious or spiritual holidays with family and friends is virtually, with those you live with only, or outside while maintaining six feet of distance.

More information on the CDC’s guidance for such gatherings can be found here.

The CDC has advised that those who are fully vaccinated can visit indoors, in private homes with others who are fully vaccinated, as well as those from a single household who are unvaccinated and are not at risk for severe illness from the disease. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated when two weeks elapse after the second vaccine dose (or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine).

For more guidance for those who are fully vaccinated, click here

 The Andover Health Division wishes to remind residents: 

  • Everyone in Massachusetts is still required to wear a mask in public, both indoors and outdoors.
  • Private indoor gatherings in Massachusetts continue to be limited to 10 people. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 25 people. 
  • If you are experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 stay home and contact your primary-care physician. To review common symptoms of COVID-19 from the CDC, click here
  • Those who are fully vaccinated are reminded that while the vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective at preventing illness from COVID-19, information is still being collected on their effectiveness against certain variants of the virus. As such, continuing to practice COVID-19 prevention measures will still help protect you, as well as anyone you interact with, from illness. 
  • Get vaccinated when you’re eligible. All individuals age 55 and older, and individuals with one qualifying medical condition, are eligible to receive the vaccine starting Monday, April 5. The general public becomes eligible for the vaccine in Massachusetts on Monday, April 19. Residents can register for an appointment at a mass vaccination site by clicking here, check for available vaccination appointments once they are eligible here, and are encouraged to contact their local pharmacies to learn about vaccination opportunities.

 

UPDATE March 26, 2021

 The Town of Andover has seen an increase in active COVID cases over the past two weeks. The town's risk level remains "yellow" or moderate risk. The Town of Andover Health Division encourages continued vigilance in respect to best practices for reducing the spread of COVID-19.

  • Wear a face covering, except when eating or drinking.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
  • Practice social distancing and maintain six feet of distance from others.

Feeling Sick? Stay Home.

If you do not feel well, you should stay home. Protect yourself, your neighbors, co-workers and others by exercising an abundance of caution when you have even mild symptoms.  

Vaccination is Not a Replacement for Masks or Face Coverings 

The state's mask orders remain in full effect. Masks or face coverings must be worn at all times, even if you are fully vaccinated.


UPDATE March 19, 2021

Masks Order Still in Effect and Required in Public Buildings Despite Vaccination Status 

The state's mask orders remain in full effect. Masks or face coverings must be worn at all times, even if you are fully vaccinated. Masks or face coverings are required in Andover’s public buildings.

Governor Baker Announces Timeline for COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility 

On March 22nd, all individuals age 60+ and workers in certain sectors (transit, grocery, utility, food and agriculture, sanitation, public works, and public health) will be eligible for the vaccine. 

On April 5th, all individuals age 55+ and individuals with one certain medical condition will be eligible for the vaccine. 

On April 19th all individuals age 16+ will be eligible for the vaccine. 

Travel Advisory as of March 22nd 

Effective Monday, March 22, the Massachusetts Travel Order will be replaced with a Travel Advisory:

  • As of Monday, March 22, all visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, are advised to quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival. 
  • Travelers are exempt from this advisory if they have a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72 hours prior to their arrival in Massachusetts.  If not obtained before entry to Massachusetts, a test may be obtained after arrival, as long as travelers quarantine until a negative test result has been received.
  • Anyone who is returning to Massachusetts after an absence of fewer than 24 hours is exempt from this advisory.
  • Workers who enter Massachusetts to perform critical infrastructure functions (as specified by the Federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) are exempt from this advisory while they are commuting to or from or while at work.
  • Travelers who are fully vaccinated (i.e. who have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines OR who have received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 14 days or more ago) and who do not have symptoms are exempt from this advisory.
  • Travelers are encouraged to consult and follow the CDC’s guidelines and requirements for travel.

Phase IV, Step 1 of Re-Opening Plan Begins on March 22nd

Effective Monday, March 22, all communities in Massachusetts will move into Step 1 of Phase IV of the state’s reopening plan. This will open a range of previously closed business sectors under tight capacity restrictions that are expected to be adjusted over time if favorable trends in the public health data continue. Effective on the planned advancement to Step 1 of Phase IV, the following large capacity sports and entertainment venues will be permitted to operate at a strict 12% capacity limit after submitting a plan to the Department of Public Health (DPH):

  • Indoor and outdoor stadiums
  • Arenas
  • Ballparks

Also effective on March 22, gathering limits for event venues and in public settings will increase to 100 people indoors and 150 people outdoors. Outdoor gatherings at private residences and in private backyards will remain at a maximum of 25 people, with indoor house gatherings remaining at 10 people.

Additionally, dance floors will be permitted at weddings and other events only, and overnight summer camps will be allowed to operate this coming summer. Exhibition and convention halls may also begin to operate, following gatherings limits and event protocols. Other Phase IV sectors and activities must continue to not operate, this includes road races and street fairs that could lead to large gatherings that may be difficult to manage.



UPDATE March 16, 2021

Pre-Registration for Home Bound Vaccine 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts will soon be launching a vaccination program for persons who are home bound and unable to go to a mass-vaccination site without special assistance. The Andover Health Division will be accepting calls and emails from individuals who hope to enroll in this service, which the state estimates will begin the week of March 22nd.

 

The service is limited to persons who require an ambulance for transportation to medical appointments, or who require two or more persons to assist in an outing. Persons who do not meet these criteria will be required to make other arrangements to travel to a location for the vaccine.

 

Andover residents seeking to be listed for an in-home vaccination may call the Health Division at 978-623-8640, Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM, or email the office at health@andoverma.gov. The following information will be asked of you:

 

  1. Person’s Name
  2. Person’s Address
  3. Contact Person’s Name (if different)
  4. Relationship of Contact to individual
  5. Contact Phone Number
  6. Email address

 

The Town will share this information with the state’s contractor, who will contact the person to perform a screening interview and finalize the appointment. This is not a guarantee that the request can be honored, only that the Town will help make the connection to the provider.

 

Mortgage and Rent Assistance Available

The Town of Andover has continued its Rental and Mortgage Assistance Program for residents who have lost income because of COVID-19. The town has partnered with Andover Community Trust to administer this program.

 

Eligible Andover residents will be able to receive up to one month's rent or mortgage, with a maximum of $5,000. Payments are made directly to landlords or lenders. 

 

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. To apply, click here.



Click here to view archived updates related to the Town of Andover's response to COVID-19 prior to March 16, 2021. 





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