Town of Salem Provides Updated Information on Coronavirus

Deputy Police Chief Joel Dolan, Fire Chief Lawrence Best and Town Manager Chris Dillion wish to provide residents with updated information on COVID-19, the illness associated with the novel coronavirus, as federal and state officials continue to monitor the virus internationally.

Out of an abundance of caution, the Salem Fire and Police Departments are limiting public access to their facilities until further notice in an effort to reduce the risk of a potential infectious exposure of someone who might be sick. Until further notice, non-emergency calls will be handled over the phone or through the lobby window for both Departments.

If you have a business question should call 603-893-1911 for the Police Department and please call 603-890-2200 for the Fire Department.

As always, please call 911 for any emergency. Both Departments will continue to respond as normal.

Other changes are as follows:

  • The Salem Police Department will postpone all fingerprinting services until further notice.
  • Both departments have increased sanitizing and infection control in an effort to maintain a healthy work environment and have implemented employee health checks at each shift change to assure that our members are not sick.
  • In addition, the Fire Department has implemented protocols and infectious control procedures for both patients and Firefighter/EMT Paramedics should they be requested to respond to a suspected COVID-19 patient in an effort to minimize any potential exposures and spread of illnesses.
  • Anyone who calls either the Fire or Police Department Dispatcher Centers and are experiencing symptoms to notify the dispatcher on the phone. Our dispatchers have been instructed to ask questions of callers.

With flu season also underway, these precautions are meant to keep both first responders and the community protected against the spread of any communicable viruses.

At this time, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (NH DHHS) is reporting that there are 13 positive or presumed positive cases of the virus in the state. There are no presumed or confirmed cases of the virus in Salem and the risk of contracting the virus for those in New Hampshire remains low.

The novel coronavirus has sparked an outbreak of respiratory disease with symptoms that may appear 2-14 days after exposure including fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and information indicates that most COVID-19 illness is mild. If someone is displaying symptoms, they should not come to work or school and they are advised to contact their primary care physician.

The COVID-19 situation is very fluid, and new information and guidelines are being posted by the CDC on a regular basis. The CDC offers the following guidance for how COVID-19 spreads.

In an effort to prevent the spread of flu, colds and other respiratory illnesses, residents should follow the recommended actions from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services:

  • For a minimum of 20 seconds, wash your hands frequently with soap and hot water
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick
  • Use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissue away and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces
  • When you have a fever or are ill, stay home from work or school

CDC is advising asymptomatic travelers from countries with a Level 3 travel advisory to stay home and monitor their health for 14 days after returning to the United States. Travelers from countries with a Level 2 travel advisory are to be advised to monitor their health and limit interactions at large gatherings with others for 14 days after returning to the United States.

For more information, visit the Town of Salem website by clicking here, the NH DHHS website by clicking here and the CDC’s website by clicking here.

If you have COVID-19 specific questions, the State of NH has established a call center to assist you, which can be reached by calling 211 or 1-866-444-4211.