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Town Meeting Info Sessions with the Town Administrator

NAHANT: The first of two Town Meeting Information Sessions will be tonight, Wednesday May 11, 2022 at 6:30pm. These sessions will be a hybrid style meeting via ZOOM and in person in the downstairs conference room at the Nahant Town Hall.

These sessions are a great way for residents to prepare for Town Meeting and learn about the articles on the warrant they will be voting for. We urge residents to join and ask any questions they may have.

The Report and Recommendations of the Advisory and Finance Committee book has been mailed out to residents and you can also view the report here: Report and Recommendations of the Advisory and Finance Committee Town Meeting 2022

Another great resource for Town Meeting is our Annual Town Meeting page at nahant.org. Here you will find the process for Town Meeting, Community Preservation Committee info, Budget, Warrant, and much more.

We hope residents take advantage of these informational sessions and the Annual Town Meeting page ahead of Town Meeting. However if you are unable to attend we will post the recording of both sessions to the Annual Town Meeting page.

Below you will find the ZOOM links for both of the information sessions.

Wednesday May 11, 2022: 6:30pm: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82385466091?pwd=Z09BSWRla2tpK3VLdlgzQVIwbks3dz09

Monday May 16, 2022: 6:30pm: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84043866089?pwd=dHk0bzU4YmloYmhsejVrRC9xbElaZz09

As always if you have any questions please call the Town Hall at 781-581-0088.

Nahant-Council on Aging Tiffany Room Closes due to an increase in COVID cases.

NAHANT- On Tuesday, May 10, 2022, Director of the Council on Aging, Mary Miner, announced that the Tiffany Room would be temporarily closed due to a recent increase in COVID positive cases. Over the last week, a few seniors that attend lunches and programs offered by the Council on Aging have tested positive. Further, over the past few weeks, positive cases in Nahant and in the Commonwealth are generally on the rise. The official date of the reopening of the Tiffany Room is anticipated for next Tuesday, May 17, 2022 however the Council on Aging will provide an update announcement early next week on their website, www.nahantcouncilonaging.org.

According to Nahant’s Health Nurse, Deborah Murphy, as of May 10, 2022, there have been 17 positive cases in the month of May based on PCR testing. At home test results are not automatically reported to the State or the Town health departments. Over the last two weeks dating into April, 258 PCR tests were performed on Nahant residents and 24 have returned positive. Nahant’s positivity rate for the 14 day period is 10.47% compared to the Commonwealth’s at 6.77%.

The Johnson School encourages parents to have their children wear a mask to school, however it is not required.

If you test positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, you should isolate at home for 5 days. If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you can leave your house and continue to wear a mask around others for 5 additional days. Please visit mass.gov for additional information.

Vaccine clinics and booster clinics are available at Lynn City Hall on Mondays from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. Please register online by visiting the City of Lynn’s Vaccine Website. The Town of Nahant continues to offer free take-home COVID test kits at the Town Hall during normal business hours. The On-Go at-home test kits that have an expiration date of April 2022 printed on the box, were recently announced to have their expiration date extended by 3 months. New expiration date is now July 2022.    

Town of Nahant Responds to Proposed Changes to Multi-Family Housing Guidelines for MBTA Communities

The Board of Selectmen and Town Administrator Antonio Barletta wish to share their response to the State of Massachusetts regarding proposed guidelines for multi-family housing required of MBTA Communities.

The draft guidelines under consideration are:

  • Define the minimum reasonable size of a multi-family zoning district as 50 acres, with at least 25 acres contiguous.
  • The district may not be more than ½-mile from commuter rail, ferry, subway, or train station.

While supportive of the need for communities to provide multi-family housing, the Board and Town Administrator Barletta have written to Michael Kennealy, Secretary of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.

The letter states that Nahant, as one of the smallest communities in the state and one with significant wetlands, will be impacted by the new regulations far more than any other MBTA Community. The Town also requests an explanation of the decision-making process, and flexibility rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.

Town of Nahant Lifts Indoor Masking Mandate

NAHANT – Town Administrator Antonio Barletta and the Town of Nahant announce that the Town’s indoor mask mandate has been lifted effective immediately.

Town officials reached that decision based on a number of factors: a significant decrease in the rate of positive COVID-19 cases; increased rates of residents who are fully vaccinated and/or have received booster shots; and neighboring communities that also have lifted indoor mask mandates.

The lifting of the mandate does not include Johnson Elementary School. The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has determined that school districts may decide to make masking optional after Feb. 28. The Town will remain in communication with the school administration and School Committee about masking in the coming weeks.

The Town also reminds residents that it will distribute COVID-19 tests on Thursday, Feb. 17, from 5:30-7:30 p.m., at the Johnson Elementary School.

“With February school vacation coming up, it’s a timely opportunity to provide people the chance to test at home,” Town Administrator Barletta said.

Baker-Polito Administration Launches Tool for Residents to Access COVID-19 Digital Vaccine Card

“My Vax Records” Provides New Option to Access Vaccine History and QR Code to Verify COVID-19 Vaccination

BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today announced a tool that gives residents a new way to access their COVID-19 digital vaccine card and vaccination history. The new tool, called My Vax Records, allows people who received their vaccination in Massachusetts to access their own vaccination history and generate a COVID-19 digital vaccine card, which would contain similar vaccination information to a paper CDC card. The COVID-19 digital vaccine cards produced by the system utilize the SMART Health Card platform and generate a QR code that can be used to verify vaccination.  The Administration is not requiring residents to show proof of vaccination to enter any venue, but this tool will help residents who would like to access and produce a digital copy of their record.

Access the new tool at MyVaxRecords.Mass.Gov.

How It Works: The new tool is easy to use: a person enters their name, date of birth, and mobile phone number or email associated with their vaccine record. After creating a 4-digit PIN, the user receives a link to their vaccine record that will open upon re-entry of the PIN.

The electronic record shows the same information as a paper CDC vaccine card: name, date of birth, date of vaccinations, and vaccine manufacturer. It also includes a QR code that makes these same details readable by a QR scanner, including smartphone apps. Once the SMART Health Card is received, users are able to save the QR code to their phone, such as the Apple Wallet, screenshot the information and save it to their phone’s photos, or print out a copy for a paper record. The system follows national standards for security and privacy.

This system provides an optional way that residents can access their vaccination information and a COVID-19 digital vaccine card. This will provide residents with another tool to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination, should it be requested by businesses, local governments, or other entities.

The system leverages the Massachusetts Immunization Information System (MIIS), the official database used by health care providers across the state to record vaccination information. The system relies on hundreds of providers inputting demographic and health information. Some users may not be able to immediately find their record, or may find an incomplete record. Residents whose record cannot be found or is incomplete can either contact their health care provider or contact the MIIS team to update their records. Learn more about the tool and view frequently-asked-questions atwww.mass.gov/myvaxrecord.

Massachusetts has worked with VCI,™ a voluntary coalition of public and private organizations which developed the open-source SMART Health Card Framework in use by other states. The VCI coalition is dedicated to improving privacy and security of patient information, making medical records portable and reducing healthcare fraud.

My Vax Records is just one way residents can obtain their COVID vaccination record. Pharmacies that administered the COVID vaccine and many health care providers also are making SMART Health Cards available, or are providing additional options. Learn more.

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Two Residents Rescued as Nahant Fire Department Battles House Fire 

NAHANT — Fire Chief Austin Antrim and Police Chief Timothy Furlong reports that the Nahant police officers and firefighters responded to a house fire in which residents were reported trapped inside late Thursday evening.

Firefighters responded to a single story house at 8 Maple Ave at 11:53 a.m.  As fire units were responding, Nahant Police Officers on patrol in the area arrived and reported that residents were still inside the building and may be trapped. A working fire response was requested, sending a full complement of Nahant firefighters and mutual aid from surrounding communities to the scene.

The first arriving police officers, including Officer Gino Spelta, Sergeant Michael Waters, Sargent Andy Constantine and Officer Ethan Abramowitz entered the home and found an adult man, sitting in a wheelchair, trapped in the bathroom.

Officer Spelta entered the bathroom by breaking a window. Moments later, Nahant Engine 31 and Chief Antrim also arrived on scene and reported heavy fire coming from the attic.

Nahant Firefighters Frank Pappalardo and Matthew Canty from Engine 31 forced entry through the front door, carrying a hose line and made their way to the bathroom where the group of first responders carried the resident out the front door. The police officers carried the man to an arriving ambulance as the firefighters turned their attentions back to fighting the fire. 

Firefighter Canty then resumed attacking the fire inside the structure as Firefighter Pappalardo moved forward into the home to search for anyone else who may be trapped inside.

Firefighter Pappalardo soon located a woman, identified as a resident, trapped in the kitchen on the floor.  He and Firefighter Canty picked up the woman and carried her outside to another ambulance.

Both residents were transported to Massachusetts General Hospital. 

Firefighters from Lynn, Swampscott and Marblehead responded to provide mutual aid. The fire units worked hard in a densely populated neighborhood with a narrow street to efficiently establish a water supply and evacuation route for ambulances. 

One firefighter was injured when pieces of ceiling fell onto a group of firefighters. The injured firefighter was treated at the scene, refused transport and returned to fighting the fire.

In addition to the mutual aid fire units, assistance was also received from Atlantic Ambulance and Rehab 5 which provided water, lighting  and other aid to first responders. 

The home sustained major damage and will be uninhabitable indefinitely.

“This would have been a worse tragedy if not for the quick action by Nahant Firefighters and Nahant Police to locate and remove two residents,” said Chief Antrim.  “Power strips and extension cords offer convenience, but they aren’t intended for constant use. Powering many devices at once can overload and overheat them, causing an electrical fire. Always use a cord that’s rated for the wattage of whatever you’re powering, and if you’re using an extension cord outdoors be sure it’s marked for outdoor use.”

The exact cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Nahant Fire Department and the State Police Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit assigned to the State Fire Marshal’s office. Investigators determined that it began in the front left corner of the living room, where numerous power strips, extension cords, and electrical devices were observed.

This was the second serious fire in less than a week in Nahant. Firefighters responded to 41 Wharf St. at 3:51 a.m. on Saturday Dec. 18 for a report of a building fire. Upon arrival at the two story residential home, firefighters had heavy fire and visible damage to the structure The home was unoccupied at the time and no injuries were reported.  The cause of the first fire has been ruled accidental.

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Breakthrough Case Review Finds 97% of COVID-19 Cases in Vaccinated Individuals Don’t Result in Severe Illness

BOSTON (December 20, 2021) – Today the Massachusetts Department of Public Health released a review of breakthrough COVID-19 cases in vaccinated Massachusetts residents and found nearly 97% of all breakthrough cases in the Commonwealth have not resulted in hospitalization or death. Additionally, the review found unvaccinated residents are five times more likely to become infected than fully vaccinated residents (two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or one dose of Johnson & Johnson) and unvaccinated residents are 31 times more likely to become infected than fully vaccinated residents who have received a booster.

The review also found that 99.9% of breakthrough cases among fully vaccinated people under the age of 60 did not result in death. Among the breakthrough cases for residents over the age of 60, 97% did not result in death. No deaths have been reported in breakthrough cases among those under age 30.

“The data are clear. This review shows that fully vaccinated people in Massachusetts have near-universal protection from severe illness and death and that boosters are demonstrating even stronger protection from COVID,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. “Amid the season of gathering indoors and the emerging Omicron variant, the time to get vaccinated and boosted is now. It is the best gift of protection for yourself and your loved ones.”

“Vaccination continues to be the most effective tool we have against Omicron and all COVID-19 variants,” said Acting DPH Commissioner Margret Cooke. “The data indicates that fully vaccinated and boosted individuals are well protected from severe outcomes of COVID-19, including hospitalization and death, and the Department of Public Health strongly urges all residents to get vaccinated and, when appropriate, get a booster.”

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Town of Nahant Remembers Former Selectmen McIlveen

Nahant- Former Selectman Robert J McIlveen, age 94, passed away at home on December 18, 2021. Bob served on the Board of Selectmen from 1994 to 1997. Throughout his tenure he served alongside Selectmen Richard Lombard, Robert Forman and Michael Manning. “It was a pleasure serving with Bob” said former Selectman Richie Lombard, “He genuinely loved the Town of Nahant”. Selectmen McIlveen worked with Town Administrator Michael Wood and was on the Board of Selectmen for the hiring of Town Administrator Mark Cullinan. “Bob was extremely knowledgeable and a tremendous Selectman for the Town” said now Selectman Mark Cullinan. During his time as Selectman, he helped navigate the Town through some difficult financial times. In the early to mid 90’s, the Town was recovering from a financial deficit, in need of major capital infrastructure investments, and absorbing the impacts of the Education Reform Act of 1993. He also served during the effort to save Valley Road School. In his honor, the Town of Nahant will fly the American Flag at half-mast and display mourning buntings on the Town Hall.