March 31, 2020 | 5:00 PM
This is a message sent by the Town Manager using the town notification system:
Good evening. This is Danvers Town Manager Steve Bartha with some important local updates on the impacts of the Coronavirus in Danvers and a request to stay vigilant as we continue to work through this public health crisis. As of today, there are more 40 confirmed cases in Danvers. This is up from 28 last week and reflects the fact that more testing is happening and also that the virus has arrived, as predicted. Chances are good we all now know someone who has been impacted by the virus.
The preventative measures we as a community starting implementing back on March 13th, have absolutely made an impact locally on our community spread, but it is also becoming apparent that many of these measures will likely need to remain in place through the end of April, if not longer.
Today, the governor announced that he would be extending the protective measures he ordered on March 23rd through May 4th. Those orders included closing non-essential businesses and strongly advising that individuals and families essentially shelter in place except for food, pharmacy, medical, and exercise. In keeping with the Governor’s order, we will continue to do our part individually and as a community by practicing social distancing and family isolation and limiting our exposure by only going out for the aforementioned reasons. This means that like our schools, other public buildings will also remain closed to the public through May 4th.
Many employees continue to work behind the scenes to make sure core services continue to be delivered and that the needs of our vulnerable populations continue to be met. The rest are working from home, as ordered by the Governor, completing work remotely.
Yesterday, the Selectmen held their first remote meeting and took several important actions in response to the COVID-19 crisis, including delaying local elections from May 5 to June 2 and Annual Town Meeting from May 18 to June 15. We also discussed pending state legislation that will enable the Town to extend the April 1 deadline to apply for tax abatements and referrals to June 1, and also to waive penalties and interest on tax, utility, and betterment bills due between March 10 and June 30. We intend to authorize this relief as soon as the Governor signs the bill into law.
Your local leaders remain in daily communication with our local peers and state partners, including public health, emergency management, and the executive branch. We believe public communication is as important right now as our operational contingency planning.
The best way to stay informed is to visit our website, www.danversma.gov, where you will find extensive material and information related to the Coronavirus, or by following us on social media. Our handle across platforms is @townofdanvers
Staff is here and ready to do what we can:
· www.danversma.gov – link in yellow banner
· 978-777-0001 – answering throughout the weekend
We appreciate the almost universal cooperation with our actions and orders to date, and we will continue to work closely with the State for guidance on when it is safe to resume normal operations. In the meantime, your local government is here to support you, to inform you, and to help keep you safe.