Hi. This is Mayor Mike Cahill with some updates on this beautiful Sunday evening. Things keep moving quickly with the COVID-19 virus. Here in Beverly, this weekend we have received confirmation of our first five positive cases of the virus. The individuals diagnosed are either isolating at home or being cared for as inpatients in the hospital. I ask you to join me in keeping these neighbors of ours in your thoughts and prayers as they fight to recover from this virus. Please note two things: First, tests only became available about a week ago, and these confirmed cases are results from the first batch of patients tested. And second, we will assuredly see more confirmed cases in Beverly and throughout the region in the coming days, weeks, and months. This is why our focus on extreme social distancing is so critically important. We must slow the spread of this virus so that our hospitals are not overwhelmed to the point that critically ill patients cannot receive the lifesaving treatment they will need.
Remember, close contact and touching the same surfaces and objects can spread this disease and people do not need to be showing symptoms to be contagious. COVID-19 is at least three times as contagious as the flu – and these are some of the reasons that infectious disease experts keep telling us that this disease is always two weeks ahead of us.
So please, stop letting your kids play together. And adults, please stop sending them the wrong messages with your own actions. We need to limit close contact to immediate family members only. And anyone coming back to Beverly after having traveled needs to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Now, to other also important issues. Beverly Hospital needs masks. They need a very specific kind of mask – the N95 mask. N as in Nancy 95. If you have any N95 masks that are new and still in their original packaging, please contact me and I will connect you to the hospital. You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at City Hall tomorrow at 978 921-6000. Our brave health care workers need our help. Please donate any N95 masks you have.
Many of you are reaching out, wanting to help your neighbors who may not have all they need. Please know that between the Beverly Public Schools, Beverly Bootstraps, and Senior Care, everyone in our community who has identified themselves as needing food, has access to receiving meals and food to prepare meals.
As the restrictions on movement and work continue, we expect more people to experience the need for help in securing food, in many instances people who have never needed to ask before. So, let me ask you who are in need to please come forward – your community cares about you and is ready to help.
To those who want to volunteer your help, Thank you for your kind hearts. I want to share two thoughts with you: 1) If you can, please donate money to Beverly Bootstraps Feed Beverly campaign – they run our local food pantry and support the groups who provide community meals each night in Beverly; and 2) Because of social distancing requirements, opportunities for physically volunteering are limited right now, and the staff at Beverly Public Schools, Beverly Bootstraps, and Senior Care are currently able to meet the need.
We will, however, provide details in the coming days on the city website for volunteers to register their willingness and availability to help. Then, as your help becomes timely, you will be contacted.
A final thought: We have all heard the sentiment – Please be kind – we have no idea what burdens our neighbors are carrying inside. And now, with the added stresses of this new virus and how it is changing our lives in this moment – we have even more reason to take a deep breath and to be kind. We all need kindness in our lives right now. Whether it be that phone call to check in on your neighbor, or a supportive comment or post on social media, please be kind. And that also means to be kind to yourself. Friends, this is Mayor Mike Cahill. This is a troubling time. But it is also a time of great hope as we experience neighbors helping neighbors and a shared resolve to come through this as a caring community. Please reach out to your support system and check in. And if you are feeling alone or scared at any point, please reach out to us. You can call our Senior Center at 978 921-6017 or you can call my office at 978 921-6000. We all need human contact – and since right now, that can’t be the kind of close, face to face contact we are used to, please reach out by phone. We need to be here for each other – and knowing Beverly, we will be. Thank you. I wish you a restful, hopeful Sunday evening.