CARLISLE — Police Chief and Emergency Management Director John Fisher announces that all but a select few Town of Carlisle offices will be closed, effective immediately, as a proactive step to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) locally.
At this time, there are are no presumed or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Carlisle.
To minimize residents’ exposure to this virus and take proactive steps to slow the spread of the virus, all Carlisle public meetings, gatherings, and events will be suspended until further notice. Community members are also being asked to postpone large public events in the town for the time being.
“This decision was made after many in-depth discussions and considerations, as we realize the impact this will have on the daily lives of residents,” said Kate Reid, Chair of the Board of Selectmen. “This is being done out of an abundance of caution in order to protect the health, wellness and safety of our residents and town staff.”
At this time, all non-essential governmental meetings are cancelled until further notice. Town buildings will be adjusting schedules and offices will be closed.
During this period of time additional cleaning and sterilizing will take place in town offices as well.
Town officials will be available from the Finance Department, Council of Aging and Board of Health for emergency situations only. Residents will need to call ahead to make sure someone is available to help:
- Finance Department: 978-369-5557
- Council on Aging: 978-371-2895
- Health Department: 978-369-0283
The decision was made after several meetings of the Carlisle Local Emergency Planning Committee(LEPC). The group consists of Chief Fisher, Fire Chief Bryan Sorrows, Town Administrator Timothy Goddard, the Carlisle Public Schools Superintendent James O’Shea, Health Agent Linda Fantasia and Board of Selectmen Vice Chair Alan Lewis.
The Governor declared a State of Emergency in Massachusetts due to COVID-19 on Tuesday, formally activating the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. As of Thursday at 4 p.m., the total number of confirmed or presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, the illness associated with the novel coronavirus, has risen to 108 in Massachusetts according to the Department of Public Health.
The COVID-19 situation is very fluid, and new information and guidelines are being posted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on a regular basis. The CDC offers the following guidance for how COVID-19 spreads. The virus is believed to spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It may also be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those at a higher risk for serious health complications from the virus include older adults and those with chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and lung disease.
As always, if anyone displays symptoms of COVID-19, including a fever, cough or shortness of breath, they should not come to work or school and they are advised to contact their primary care physician.
The DPH recommends that residents continue with good hygiene practices including:
- Practice good hand hygiene! Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds including under your fingernails. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol content) can be used when soap and water are not available.
- Keep your hands away from your face.
- Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing with a tissue and discard it immediately. Cough into the sleeve over your elbow instead of your hand. Wash your hands often when coughing and sneezing.
- Stay away from people who are sick and stay home when you are sick.