DANVERS, MA — Danvers officials warned of potential increased business restrictions and a switch to fully remote learning in Danvers Public Schools amid a recent rise in coronavirus rates.
Town Manager Steve Bartha and Superintendent of Schools Lisa Dana issued a joint statement on Monday alerting residents that “this broad trajectory will likely continue, which would shift Danvers to the high-risk category in the coming weeks.”
“While the virus hit the area’s long-term care facilities most hard in the spring, the scenario we now face is the disease among the community-at-large,” the statement said.
Danvers shifted from a “green” low-risk community to a “yellow” moderate-risk community in the most recent state reports.
If Danvers is designated a “high-risk community” — according to state metrics of having more than 8.0 cases per 100,000 people — for two weeks in a row Danvers Public Schools will switch to fully remote learning, per the town’s reopening guidelines. Danvers went from 3.3 cases to 6.5 cases per 100,000 over the past two weeks.
“Town leaders agree that two weeks in the high-risk category is an appropriate benchmark for our schools and for other community-related activities,” Bartha and Dana said.
If the town remains in the high-risk category for three weeks, businesses would revert back to step 1 of phase 3 of the state’s reopening guidelines — which would force some businesses such as laser tag and trampoline parks to close, restore the six-person maximum per table at restaurants and reduce capacity at other businesses, such as gyms.
“Actions we may take would likely include curtailing in-person meetings of all boards and committees, as well as recreational programming and youth athletics,” the statement said. “While subject to change, Town Hall will remain open to the public until doing so is deemed unsafe.”
Officials that while they are hopeful mitigation efforts will “avoid the sweeping closures we experienced in the spring” residents should be prepared for “inconveniences” likely to come.
Residents are asked to get a flu vaccination, wear a face mask in public, avoid crowds and large groups, limit social gatherings and at the first sign of any symptoms get tested and then stay home until finding out the results.
“With Halloween coming up, we ask that you and your households practice common sense,” officials said. “At a minimum, please follow the CDC and Mass DPH guidance to ensure that the evening is safe, and remember that the safest way to celebrate the holiday is at home with your family.”
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This article originally appeared on the Danvers Patch