COVID-19: LOCAL NEWS

To our Readers:

In an effort to keep our community informed during the public-health crisis, we will post local virus-related information free of charge.

If you have any crisis-related stories, please submit them to (news@itemlive.com).

For comprehensive daily news, home delivery and online only subscriptions are available via itemlive.com.


Swampscott issues stay-at-home order as COVID-19 cases rise

By David Mclellan | March 27, 2020

SWAMPSCOTT — As of noon Thursday, Swampscott residents are ordered to stay at home until Monday, May 4. 

The order makes mandatory the statewide stay-at-home advisory Gov. Charlie Baker issued on March 24 in response to the pandemic of COVID-19, the coronavirus that has infected thousands in Massachusetts, and hundreds of thousands worldwide.

Read more for free


Spike in domestic violence expected due to COVID-19 outbreak

By David Mclellan | March 27, 2020

LYNN — Services are still available for victims of domestic violence — and for perpetrators — but with restraining orders, counseling, and advocacy happening only over the phone, a spike in the number of domestic violence cases is expected during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Read more for free


Eastern Bank gives back during coronavirus crisis

By Elyse Carmosino | March 27, 2020

Boston-based Eastern Bank announced plans this week to commit more than $10 million in aid to individuals, families, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations affected by the COVID-19 crisis. 

In a statement released earlier this week, the company said it planned to create two loan funds that would provide a total of $7 million to its individual and small business customers experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Read more for free


Peabody charity offers a chance for supporters to walk their own paths

By Anne Marie Tobin | March 27, 2020

PEABODY — With all but essential services on hold and a shelter-in-place advisory in effect in the Commonwealth, one local charity has found a creative way to stay true to its mission and keep its fundraising events on course.

Faith and Concern, Inc., a church-based organization in Peabody, has rebranded its 45th Annual Walk for Haiti. The motto this year’s event, to be held April 10, is, “Walking on a Different Path … Together.”

Read more for free


NSMC has treated 11 for COVID-19

SALEM — The North Shore Medical Center has treated 11 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus since the health crisis hit the North Shore.

The hospital released the latest figures late Thursday afternoon.

Read more for free


Winthrop confirms six cases of COVID-19

WINTHROP — There are six confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Winthrop. 

Winthrop Town Manager Austin Faison and Public Health Director Meredith Hurley announced Wednesday they received notification from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health of two additional positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the town’s total up to six. 

Read more for free


Lynn confirms seven COVID cases

By David Mclellan | March 26, 2020

LYNN — There are seven confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Lynn, according to the office of Mayor Thomas McGee. 

The mayor’s spokeswoman, Elizabeth Gervacio, said the city was notified by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health that the cases are confirmed. 

Read more for free


Popular Lynnfield resident dies from COVID-19

By Thor Jourgensen | March 26, 2020

LYNNFIELD — Town residents are mourning Steven Richard’s death Tuesday evening following what Board of Selectmen Chairman Philip Crawford said was confirmation that Richard had tested positive for coronavirus.

“He was one of the first positives confirmed in the town,” Crawford said.

Read more for free


School closures extended to May 4, Lynn plans for further

By Gayla Cawley | March 26, 2020

LYNN — A day after School Superintendent Dr. Patrick Tutwiler said he did not anticipate students would return to classes on April 7, as scheduled, Gov. Charlie Baker announced he was extending the statewide school closures to May 4. 

Lynn Public Schools have been closed since Friday, March 13 due to concerns over the coronavirus. 

Read more for free


Congressman Moulton and wife self-quarantine after showing COVID-19 symptoms

By Gayla Cawley | March 26, 2020

SALEM — U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass) said he has exhibited symptoms of the coronavirus and is under a self-quarantine. 

Although Moulton does not qualify for testing and will therefore not learn whether he has contracted the virus, he said he decided to publicly share his condition because it will cause him to miss a key House vote on a $2 trillion virus rescue bill that was approved by the U.S. Senate early Wednesday morning. 

Read more for free


Once quarantined, now out of work, Lynn man may be out of luck

By Elyse Carmosino | March 26, 2020

LYNN — When Sal (not his real name) first started to feel ill early this month, he initially brushed off the signs. 

He was a contracted employee and had just started work at a well-known financial institution in the city. He couldn’t afford to take any time off. 

Read more for free


Nahant creates hotline for questions on coronavirus

NAHANT — Nahant has created a non-emergency hotline for COVID-19-related questions. The hotline will remain in operation Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to noon.

Read more for free


Changes at Lynn, Saugus Salvation Army sites prompted by COVID-19 crisis

By Steve Krause | March 25, 2020

The COVID-19 health crisis has affected the Salvation Army in a few ways — and in a few locations.

While the Lynn citadel at the bottom of Franklin Street has expanded its food program to run five days a week instead of its usual three, the donation and drop-off center in Saugus along with the family thrift store, all on Route 1 South next to the 99 Restaurant, have been closed until further notice.

Read more for free


But for restaurants, a bare Market(Street) in Lynnfield

By Anne Marie Tobin | March 25, 2020

LYNNFIELD — How has the coronavirus affected the popular MarketStreet shopping center?

It depends on where you look.

At Whole Foods Market, it’s business as usual with shoppers coming and going all day long, crowding into the store as they check off their grocery lists.

Read more for free


More COVID-19 cases diagnosed in Saugus

By Elyse Carmosino | March 24, 2020

SAUGUS – More cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed in Saugus, bringing the total number of local cases up to four. 

Town Manager Scott Crabtree announced Monday the Saugus Health Department received notification that more residents tested positive for the virus, which the CDC reports is transmitted primarily via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.  

Read more for free


Greater Lynn Senior Services meeting increased meal demands

By Gayla Cawley | March 24, 2020

LYNN — Greater Lynn Senior Services has increased its food delivery and output to meet the increasing demand from elderly clients left stranded by the coronavirus outbreak. 

Read more for free


Governor’s essential service list keeping contractors on the job

By Thor Jourgensen | March 24, 2020

LYNN — Nick Meninno’s company has seven construction jobs around Massachusetts and three lines in Gov. Charlie Baker’s nine-page “COVID-19 essential services” list are keeping those sites open.

Read more for free


LEO head: ‘New normal’ more difficult, but doable

By Steve Krause | March 24, 2020

LYNN — Lynn Economic Opportunity CEO Birgitta S. Damon broke out a term that’s become common usage in the last two weeks — “the new normal” — to describe what’s going on with her agency.

In LEO’s case, “the new normal” is that the agency is providing services even though all its buildings remain closed. 

Read more for free


Saugus Police warn of COVID-19 scams

SAUGUS — Saugus Police are warning residents about potential COVID-19 scams, which could include requests for donations or the sale of products that scammers claim will cure, prevent or detect the virus. 

Residents should not participate in any coronavirus testing from door-to-door solicitors, people who approach them at grocery stores or other community venues, or solicitors who call requesting financial information in return for a test, and they should not mail COVID-19 test offerings, said Interim Police Chief Ronald Giorgetti. 

Read more for free


Lynn confirms first COVID-19 case

By David Mclellan | March 21, 2020

LYNN — The COVID-19 virus has made its way to Lynn.

The  city’s first case of the virus was confirmed Saturday, according to both the Lynn Board of Health and Mayor Thomas M. McGee’ office.

Read more for free


Tedesco country club worker tests positive for coronavirus

MARBLEHEAD — An employee of Tedesco Country Club has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

The announcement was made Sunday by club president David Campbell in an email to members.

Read more for free


Beleaguered local businesses welcome help in tough time

By Thor Jourgensen | March 23, 2020

For Jim Appleton, a federal business disaster loan is great news. For Sarah Narcus, an interest-payment deferral on her loans is a life saver.

Appleton and Narcus run separate businesses in different communities — Lynn and Peabody — but as event rental providers they have seen business plummet as coronavirus cancels graduations, commencements and all other mass gatherings. 

Read more for free


New Lynn playground off limits with COVID-19 ban

By Gayla Cawley | March 23, 2020

LYNN — There’s a mixture of excitement and concern from Ward 6 City Councilor Fred Hogan as the long-awaited installation of $50,000 worth of new playground equipment at Warren Street Park is nearly complete. 

Read more for free


College prep program takes Lynn’s La Vida students online

By Steve Krause | March 23, 2020

LYNN — Peter Barros worries about how the high school juniors in this year’s La Vida Scholar program are going to fare under the provisions made necessary by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more for free


Nahant Fire Department to defer smoke, Carbon Monoxide inspections

NAHANT — Nahant Fire Chief Dean Palombo and State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostrosky announced in a statement released Saturday the temporary deferral of smoke and CO inspections during the ongoing state of emergency in Massachusetts. 

Read more for free


Winthrop man is state’s first virus death

Daily Item Staff | March 21, 2020

Massachusetts confirmed its first death from the coronavirus on Friday, an 87-year-old man from Winthrop.

The state Department of Public Health said he is the first person in Massachusetts to die from the illness caused by the virus.

Read more for free


Union will be used for COVID-19 testing

By Steve Krause | March 21, 2020

The North Shore Medical Center’s Union Campus in Lynn will serve as a testing station for those concerned about whether they’ve contracted the COVID-19 virus.

North Shore Medical Center spokesman Matthew Roy said that drive-through testing tents will be set up adjacent to the urgent care center — formerly the Union emergency room.

Read more for free


Health Center reaps what Brickyard sews

By Thor Jourgensen | March 21, 2020

LYNN — Community organizations Brickyard Collaborative and the Lynn Community Health Center are joining forces to ensure the Center has Centers for Disease Control (CDC) -approved protective masks while its workers fight coronavirus. 

Read more for free


Saugus has Healthy plan for students to grab meals

By Elyse Carmosino | March 21, 2020

SAUGUS — With the number of families facing food insecurity expected to rise in coming weeks, Healthy Students-Healthy Saugus, alongside Whitsons Food Service, is partnering with Saugus Public Schools to provide “Grab and Go” meals during COVID-19 school closures.  

Read more for free


St. Jean’s gives its customers credit

By David Mclellan | March 21, 2020

LYNN — St. Jean’s Credit Union has been around for 110 years. As the second oldest credit union in the country, it’s seen disaster before, and knows how to handle it. 

Read more for free


Lynn’s GE union asking for paid time off during COVID-19 outbreak

By Gayla Cawley | March 20, 2020

LYNN — A union representing the city’s General Electric employees is concerned about the aviation plant’s “unsafe work environment” caused by the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak and is seeking two weeks of paid leave.

Read more for free


Swampscott resident contracts COVID-19, town reacting

By David Mclellan | March 20, 2020

SWAMPSCOTT — A Swampscott resident has contracted COVID-19, according to the town’s Board of Health Chairwoman Marianne Hartmann.

Hartmann would not give out identifying information about the resident, but said the resident is isolated at home and is in regular communication with town officials.

Read more for free


Area restaurants feeling the strain of coronavirus

By Steve Krause and Elyse Carmosino | March 20, 2020

Stanley Wong has one overriding question as he prepares to talk about how his family’s restaurant — Kowloon in Saugus — is weathering the social isolation that’s been almost mandated by the town and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the wake of the COVID-19 virus.

Read more for free


Mutual Aid Lynn providing connections during coronavirus crisis

By Thor Jourgensen | March 20, 2020

LYNN — Armed with resource lists, social media and compassion for one another, local residents are organizing Mutual Aid Lynn to provide connections while coronavirus continues to necessitate social distancing.

“In this time of growing uncertainty, fear, and isolation, it’s more important than ever for us to come together for mutual support and solidarity,” said Lynn resident Jonathon Feinberg.

Read more for free


Senior Shopping Hours

Some of the local supermarkets are opening up at earlier hours so older citizens may come and shop. This is to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus. People ages 60 and older, and those with pre-existing health conditions, are at higher risk of serious complications should they contract the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Read more for free


Three local residents test positive for coronavirus

By Gayla Cawley and David Mclellan | March 19, 2020

In addition to a Lynn church, the Town of Marblehead and City of Revere reported their first presumptive cases of the coronavirus Wednesday. 

Read more for free


No time off for Lynn students during COVID-19 closures

By Gayla Cawley | March 19, 2020

LYNN — Public school closures in Lynn don’t mean time off for students as they are expected to complete resources that are available online to continue their education. 

Read more for free


Greater Lynn Chamber looking to help businesses struggling with COVID-19 impact

By David Mclellan | March 19, 2020

LYNN — Advice on intermediate planning, state funds for small businesses, a survey on federal disaster assistance — the Greater Lynn Chamber of Commerce wants its more than 400 member organizations to know resources are available to minimize the impact of COVID-19. 

Read more for free


Lynn Mini Movers redefine (on) line dancing

By Elyse Carmosino | March 19, 2020

LYNN — Considering Jackie Bowden started her mobile dance studio as a way to encourage kids to be more active, one could say recent North Shore school closures are the Lynn native’s call to arms. 

Read more for free


Lynn Family and Children’s Services to close amid COVID-19 concerns

By Steve Krause | March 19, 2020

Family and Children’s Service will close its Lynn and Chelsea offices to the general public until further notice.

FCS’ Lynn office is on 111 North Common St.

Read more for free


Closings/postponements due to the coronavirus outbreak

LYNN

The ribbon cutting for LB Music School, 577 Walnut St., Lynn, scheduled for March 23, 3 p.m., is canceled. 

Lynn Public Schools closed through at least April 6. 

Read more for free


Mayor McGee: Lynn extensively preparing to prevent spread of COVID-19

By Gayla Cawley | March 18, 2020

LYNN — Mayor Thomas M. McGee stressed the importance of a “united effort” from the city to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. 

The mayor’s remarks at Tuesday night’s special City Council meeting were aimed at updating residents on how the city was handling the “truly unparalleled situation” that the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak has presented. 

Read more for free


Lynn dentists temporarily close practices to curb COVID-19 exposure

By Gayla Cawley | March 18, 2020

LYNN — Oral health care will not be available for many throughout the state as dentists are closing down their practices temporarily to comply with a “strong” recommendation from the Massachusetts Dental Society.  

Read more for free


Lynn Community Health Center separating possible victims of COVID-19

By David Mclellan | March 18, 2020

LYNN — Lynn Community Health Center is clear: Call, if possible, before showing up to the health center with a fever, illness, or suspected contraction of COVID-19, a strain of coronavirus that has infected more than 100,000 and has been declared a global health emergency. 

Read more for free


Saugus shutters municipal buildings

By Elyse Carmosino | March 18, 2020

SAUGUS — Saugus officials are taking additional measures to ensure town operations run smoothly in the midst of numerous COVID-19-related closures. 

Read more for free


Peabody Elementary Basketball League update

Editor’s note: Peabody Recreation Programs Supervisor Kierstin Merlino released this statement last Friday.

Due to the growing health concern of COVID-19, the Peabody Recreation, Parks, and Forestry Department has decided to cancel the championship games for our Peabody Elementary Basketball League. This decision was made to prioritize the health and wellbeing of all involved, as safety is always our number one priority.

Read more for free


Peabody Mayor declares state of emergency

Mayor Edward A. Bettencourt, Jr. has declared a local state of emergency for Peabody in response to the actions to be taken to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more for free


Lynnfield Town Meeting and coronavirus

Greetings Lynnfield Neighbors:

As many of us know, State law requires that we complete our Annual Town Meeting before July 1, and we have a Charter provision (§ 2-3-1), which requires that it begin on the last Monday in April, which this year is April 27th. The warrant for the meeting is in draft form, and during the coming week, the Select Board, Finance Committee, and School Committee will decide how they recommend that Town Meeting attendees vote.

Read more for free


Lynn graphics company steps in to help homebound students

By Thor Jourgensen | March 18, 2020

LYNN — A Joyce Street fixture since 2013, Full Color Signs and Graphics stepped up to help students restricted to their homes by coronavirus precautions learn and have fun. 

Read more for free


MIAA delays start of spring season until April 27

By Mike Alongi | March 17, 2020

The MIAA Board of Directors voted on Monday to update the start date for the 2020 spring sports season, stating that spring sports will begin on April 27. The decision was made in accordance with recent mandates and recommendations for health safety from Massachusetts Governor Charlie Barker, the Center for Disease Control and other governing health agencies. 

Read more for free


Mayor declares ‘state of emergency’ in Lynn amid coronavirus concerns

LYNN — Mayor Thomas M. McGee has declared a state of emergency in the city of Lynn a week after Gov. Charlie Baker’s statewide emergency declaration, which gives city officials a “greater ability to respond to new developments,” according to a statement from the mayor’s office. 

Read more for free


Lynn soup kitchen expands services in response to COVID-19

By Gayla Cawley | March 17, 2020

LYNN — My Brother’s Table is extending its hours Tuesday in response to the coronavirus pandemic and its executive director Dianne Kuzia Hills is emphasizing that free meals are available to anyone regardless of income status. 

Read more for free


Swampscott resident tests ‘presumptive positive’ for coronavirus

By Gayla Cawley | March 17, 2020

SWAMPSCOTT — A Swampscott resident has tested “presumptive positive” for the coronavirus and is under a self-quarantine, the town’s health department announced Monday.

Read more for free


Closings / postponements due to the coronavirus outbreak

LYNN

The ribbon cutting for LB Music School, 577 Walnut St., Lynn, scheduled for March 23, 3 p.m., is canceled. 

Lynn Public Schools closed through at least March 27. 

Read more for free


Even dance studios have to skip a beat from coronavirus

By Elyse Carmosino | March 16, 2020

Local dance studios are feeling the strain as public buildings across the North Shore continue to announce indefinite closures due to the coronavirus — COVID-19 — pandemic. 

Read more for free


Lynn Health Center to cancel some appointments, increase screenings for coronavirus

By Steve Krause | March 16, 2020

LYNN — The Lynn Community Health Center will cancel some non-urgent or routine appointments and put those patients on a priority recall list once the COVID-19 threat has subsided substantially, the organization announced in a news release Saturday.

Read more for free


LHAND looks to protect Lynn’s elderly from coronavirus

By Gayla Cawley | March 16, 2020

LYNN — As the city continues to prepare for the potential spread of the coronavirus, Lynn Housing Authority & Neighborhood Development (LHAND) is taking steps to protect its most “vulnerable” tenants. 

Read more for free


I think I have coronavirus. What do I do? For starters, stay home.

By David Mclellan | March 16, 2020
LYNN — Stay home. 

That’s the No. 1 piece of advice health and city officials have for people who get sick right now. 

If a fever, cough, respiratory distress, or any other symptoms of illness arise — especially those similar to symptoms of influenza — stay home. 

Read more for free