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Meal delivery temporarily adjusted following volunteer drivers’ positive COVID tests

Two separate reports of positive COVID tests has impacted our Meals on Wheels programs in Haverhill and Lawrence.
A volunteer delivery driver in Haverhill tested positive late on October 15, and in an unrelated case, a volunteer driver in Lawrence tested positive Monday morning. Both drivers, and all other drivers they had contact with, were asked to quarantine, and our Human Resources Department is performing contact tracing following our established protocols.

“The health and safety of our staff, volunteers, and the people we serve is our priority, so out of an abundance of caution we have asked all our volunteer drivers in those communities to quarantine and talk to their health-care providers,” said CEO Joan Hatem-Roy of Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley and North Shore.

All consumers who receive home-delivered meals in those towns have been contacted. There is, however, minimal opportunity for any exposure to those consumers.

All of our volunteer drivers have been trained on COVID-19 contract precautions, wear masks at all times during contact with consumers and sanitize between deliveries. In most instances, the driver leaves the meal at the door after receiving verbal confirmation from the resident inside the home. In cases where there are mobility issues, the driver does enter the home briefly and leaves the meal inside, but do not have meaningful contact with the resident.

Haverhill residents were asked to use their emergency meal pack on Friday after the positive discovery, and no one went without a meal, said Hatem-Roy. Lawrence drivers were asked the same on Monday. Deliveries of five-day meal packs in both communities commenced on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.

Contact: Susan Geier, Director of Communications
603-969-9681 or sgeier@esmv.org

Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley and North Shore is a private nonprofit agency with a mission to ensure the health, safety and independence of older adults and persons with disabilities. We are a federally designated Area Agency on Aging and a state designated Aging Service Access Point and Protective Service Agency serving 28 cities and towns in northeastern Massachusetts. Learn more at www.esmv.org.