City of Salem COVID-19 Response Update

March 26, 2020
covid19

The City of Salem continues to advance measures to help slow the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and lessen impacts on healthcare providers responding to this evolving situation. Below please find more details about updates and announcements from the City during this public health emergency.

Previous Updates Still In Effect

  • Governor Baker has extended the closure of all public schools, including Salem, and all non-essential childcare facilities through May 4, 2020. In addition, the Governor has temporarily lifted the plastic bag ban communities with such a regulation in place, including Salem.
  • Governor Baker has ordered that all non-essential businesses cease in-person operations through April 7, 2020. A list of essential businesses can be found here. If you have a question about whether a Salem business is considered “essential” or to report a potential violation of the Governor’s order relative to non-essential businesses in Salem, please call the Salem Health Department at (978) 741-1800.
  • Salem Public Schools are closed through May 4, 2020. For updates regarding the status of Salem Public Schools, please visit www.salemk12.org
  • City buildings – including City Hall, City Hall Annex, the Mayor Jean Levesque Community Life Center, and the Salem Public Library – are closed to the public. Departments can be reached by phone or email. Public works and public safety departments continue to function. Note that City offices are being staffed reduced hours at City Hall and City Hall Annex, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays and 8:00 a.m. to noon on Fridays. Online services are still available. Due dates for all library materials currently checked out have been extended through April 8th and no overdue fines will be charged during this time.
  • Upon request, the City ​will suspend loan repayments for a period of up to six months from small businesses who are recipients of the City’s Small Business Loan Program. For more information, please call the Department of Planning and Community Development at (978) 619-5685. In addition, the City is suspending rent payments due from its business tenants on Artists​' Row for a period of three months and its tenant at Old Town Hall ​on a month-by-month basis, all subject to change. Any resident in need of assistance with water/sewer payments should call 978-619-5673. The City is working with people to address their needs and put in place payment plans as needed. The City encourages all landlords – both commercial and residential – to consider suspending, waiving, or deferring rent collection to the greatest extent feasible, to help Salem’s small businesses and residents cope with the unprecedented economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Residents who wish to donate personal protective equipment for local healthcare workers and first responders may do so by dropping it off in the designated bins in the lobby of the Salem Police Station, 95 Margin Street.
  • All non-emergency court events, including small claims matters, civil matters and summary process cases — also known as eviction cases — in Massachusetts Housing Court will be postponed until at least April 21, 2020. This means that the Court will not hear any non-emergency matters, including eviction cases, until April 21 at the earliest. Currently, there is a bill pending in the state legislature seeking to place a moratorium on all evictions as well as some efforts being made at the federal level to halt evictions during the pandemic.
  • Gates at Museum Place and South Harbor Garage have been opened and there is no charge to park in those garages until further notice. Parking meters and kiosks in lots are not being enforced until further notice.
  • Due to the temporary closure of Zagster’s warehouse facility, Spin electric scooters are unavailable until further notice. The City will resume the Spin pilot at the conclusion of the emergency. An announcement about the Zagster bike share is expected in the near future.
  • The Salem Board of Health temporarily closed all personal service businesses until further notice. This includes beauty salons, hairdressers and barber shops, nail salons and spas, tattoo establishments, fitness centers and gyms, massage and foot spa establishments, churches and religious congregations and services, and psychic studios and parlors.
  • Residents can use SeeClickFix to request assistance from neighbors. This tool can be useful for those who wish to communicate with neighbors around them but may not have their neighbor’s personal contact information. To use the tool, visit seeclickfix.com/report and create a new request using the category “Help a neighbor during COVID-19 emergency.” Residents can set up notifications to get an alert when a neighbor posts one of these requests so they can respond if they are able.
  • The City of Salem is utilizing the Zoom platform for remote participation of public meetings during this public emergency. Details about accessing each meeting, including the toll-free dial-in number and the meeting ID number, will be posted in the meeting notice/agenda for each meeting scheduled to take place remotely at least 48 hours before the meeting.
  • The use of playground equipment and structures at City parks is prohibited during this public emergency.
  • Waste Management’s customer service number (800-972-4545) is currently out of service. This has no impact on trash and recycling pickup; all trash and recycling pickups will continue to operate on a normal schedule. If you need to report a missed trash or recycling pick up, please report it using SeeClickFix. Bulk item and white good pick-ups will not be scheduled during this time. 
  • The City of Salem has extended the Community Preservation Act grant application deadline to April 16th.
  • The City of Salem is waiving the late fees on any unpaid automobile excise bills that were due March 9thThis waiver will be in place until April 17th, unless otherwise announced. The waiver only applies to late fees and not to the regular bill amount. You can pay your automobile excise bill online at salem.com/paybills.
  • Ensure you are subscribed to Salem’s three primary communication platforms, all available at www.salem.com/subscribe: (1) CodeRED, the emergency notification system, (2) City Alerts, found under the “Urgent Alert” menu, and (3) City News & Announcement, found under the “News or Announcement” category.
  • Members of the public with cold-like symptoms, fever, cough, or other illness should contact their healthcare provider. To ensure the effectiveness of efforts to slow the spread of the virus, avoid congregating in groups of more than 10 people.

Status of Cases

Due to the increased amount of testing, as of 3:00 p.m. on March 26, 2020, there are 14 positive novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the City of Salem.

For more information about COVID-19, please visit www.coronavirus.gov and www.mass.gov/coronavirus. Mass DPH has posted an FAQ at https://www.mass.gov/info-details/frequently-asked-questions-about-covid-19 and has activated an information line that can be reached by dialing 2-1-1.