STRAFFORD COUNTY, N.H. — Leaders of the Tri-City Partnership Dover Mayor Robert Carrier, Rochester Mayor Caroline McCarley, and Somersworth Mayor Dana S. Hilliard wish to provide their communities with regular updates regarding the COVID-19 emergency.
On Tuesday, Gov. Chris Sununu has banned gatherings of 10 or more people in social, spiritual and recreational settings through April 6 in an effort to quell the spread of the novel coronavirus in the state. The ban prohibits events such as concerts, parades, festivals, conventions, fundraisers and community, civic, public, leisure, faith based and sporting events. The move does not ban meetings of the General Court, the operations of for profit and not for profit organizations, State Government, or events for urgent medical purposes. To read the Governor’s full emergency order, click here.
COVID-19, the illness caused by the novel coronavirus, has been declared a Global Pandemic by the World Health Organization and has moved Governor Chris Sununu to declare a State of Emergency in New Hampshire and President Donald Trump to declare a National Emergency.
On Monday, the City of Rochester announced that it had been notified by the New Hampshire Health & Human Services Department (NH-DHHS) that a Rochester resident has tested positive for COVID-19.
The City of Rochester opened its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on Monday, which allows staff from multiple City agencies, state agencies, utilities and federal agencies to work together with the City of Rochester. Rochester Public Schools and local healthcare facilities are also in contact with the EOC. The City of Dover also opened its Emergency Operations Center this week, and the City of Somersworth’s management team is meeting several times a week while its emergency management and public safety commanders are in daily communication regarding the virus.
There are no confirmed or presumptive positive cases of the virus in Dover or Somersworth.
Residents are strongly advised to adhere to the Governor’s order restricting gatherings of 10 or more people, and city, state and federal public health officials urge residents to continue practicing social distancing.
“This is a challenging, stressful time not only for our City, but for the world,” Rochester Mayor McCarley said. “We want residents to know that we will continue to update them regularly as new information is available, and we are closely monitoring this situation. In the meantime, it is of the utmost importance that residents heed the Governor’s order: avoid social gatherings, unnecessary group activities and the like, for the health and wellbeing of yourself, your family and loved ones, and our community.”
“Reducing contact with others is going to be critical over the coming days and weeks for our communities to effectively reduce the numbers of people who are exposed to this virus,” Somersworth Mayor Hilliard said. “It’s an action that we can all take to promote public health and well-being, and we’re urging residents to do their part and stay home where possible.”
The cities have each implemented the following measures:
- Since Wednesday, March 18, City Offices have been closed temporarily to the public. Residents are asked to call city offices or use website/email to conduct business.
- Police and Fire Departments in Dover, Rochester and Somersworth will continue to respond to all emergencies as normal. Residents are reminded to always call 911 in an emergency. Police stations in all three cities remain open for public, non-emergency walk ins. The Rochester and Somersworth Fire Station lobbies are temporarily closed to public, non-emergency walk ins. The Rochester Fire Department can be reached for non-emergency matters at it’s business line: 603-335-7545. The Somersworth Fire Department can also be reached for non-emergencies at its business line: 603-692-3457.
- All schools in the Tri-City area are closed to students through at least May 4.
- Residents are reminded that the grocery supply chain remains stable and there is no food shortage, so residents should feel comfortable following their regular grocery shopping routines, while practicing social distancing.
- All requests for public use of meeting and recreation spaces are canceled.
- Libraries and recreation facilities in all three cities are closed, and all associated programming is cancelled or postponed until further notice.
- The Rochester Police Department is additionally accepting donations of much needed personal protective equipment, including goggles/face shields, ponchos, coveralls and N95 masks. Anyone who would like to donate is encouraged to contact the Rochester Police Department at 603-330-7127.
- City leadership wish to thank the Richard W. Creteau Regional Technology Center, Somersworth High School Career Technical Center and the Dover High School & Regional Career Technical Center, which recently donated much needed masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment (PPE) for use by emergency personnel.
Residents are also encouraged by City officials to stay in touch with family, friends, neighbors and so on, virtually and in accordance with social distancing guidance, which recommends people stay at least 6 feet apart.
“In my neighborhood, we’re closely following social distancing advisories, but we’re also staying in touch to make sure everyone is doing alright, has the supplies they need and so on,” Dover Mayor Robert Carrier said. “It’s important that everyone does what they can to check in, safely, with those who might need help. Stepping up and offering to go grocery shopping for a neighbor in need could make an incredible impact on their health.”
As part of the resource-sharing initiative, information will be posted to all three city websites and through their social media avenues as appropriate, so that residents, business owners, visitors and property owners can receive the latest up-to-date information on their phones or computers. The three city managers encourage residents to follow their respective city websites:
- Dover: Dover.nh.gov/services/covid19.html
- Rochester: Rochester News and Events Portal — Rochesterportal.com
- Rochester: Rochesternh.net
- Somersworth: Somersworth.com
Tri-City Partnership leadership additionally wish to share the following guidance on social distancing from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services:
- Stay a minimum of 6 feet apart from other people in public.
- Avoid “high touch” areas in public spaces. Do not hug, shake hands or high five anyone in public. Where possible, avoid paying with a pin-pad or touch screen.
- In adherence with the Governor’s order, reschedule, postpone or cancel parties, play dates and other social, recreational and/or spiritual gatherings.
- If possible, telecommute from home.
- Parents are encouraged to support remote learning.
About the Tri-City Partnership
Dover Mayor Robert Carrier, Rochester Mayor Caroline McCarley, and Somersworth Mayor Dana S. Hilliard, together with their city managers, emergency management officials and public safety chiefs have come together and agreed to form the informal Tri-City Partnership. As part of this partnership, the three cities have agreed to remain in constant communication and to share ideas, best practices and resources that will help residents and business owners in all three communities respond to and recover from the COVID-19 crisis. The cities also agreed to share information regarding each community’s public safety and government operations decisions that are being made in conformance with the recommendations from the New Hampshire Division of Public Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as the situation continues to evolve.