March 16, 2020
Dear Residents and Voucher Holders of the Salem Housing Authority and All Members of the Public that Need to do Business with the Housing Authority,
As we all know, Governor Baker has declared a state of emergency, and this situation regarding the Corona Virus (Covid-19) has been determined to be a global pandemic. This is a serious situation, but we should all remain calm and work together until we get past this. SHA is continuing to work closely with local City and State government officials to stay on top of what the latest information is and what next steps we need to take as agency to be proactive with regard to the safety of our residents and staff. At this time, the best precautions we can take is to work together to keep ourselves safe, our environments clean, and limit our social interactions. As a result, the Salem Housing Authority is currently closed to the public and will remain closed to the public until further notice. The Housing Authority is available by phone and email and we have added some additional measures for document drop off. Please refer to the contact tab on our website for names and email addresses of SHA staff so that you can email or direct call with questions and concerns regarding your Housing Authority business. The Salem Housing Authority main office is equipped with a secure locked drop box for your documents. If you are able to drop off documents, please do so. If you have the ability to scan documents and email scans to staff, please do so. If you have questions specific to your individual case, please call the housing authority and speak directly with staff for instructions. We are asking everyone for patience at this time while we work together to continue to provide the best possible service we can provide.
Our Director of Maintenance, Gary Dean, along the Maintenance Department has developed a plan to regularly disinfect our common areas, common bathrooms, laundry areas and lobbies of all our sites. The Maintenance Department will only address urgent and emergency work orders at this time. All work order requests will be evaluated by the Maintenance Department. SHA will not be addressing routine work orders at this time. All Routine work orders will be postponed until a later date. Please report any flu-like symptoms or sickness at the time of your work order request so that we can maintain the safety of our staff. We are strongly discouraging residents to gather in common areas and discourage the use of the community rooms at all housing authority properties.
We have posted information about the virus, precautions and symptoms to look for at all our sites and on our website at www.salemha.org. The most advised measures include: washing your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, clean things frequently that are touched, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze and stay home if you are sick.
As advised by local health officials, we continue to encourage the following: Residents with undiagnosed respiratory symptoms; please do your best to avoid common areas. We ask all residents to encourage their visitors to limit interactions with elderly residents in the building and with those that have pre-existing health conditions. Please discourage any visitors from coming to the building if they are sick. Please let the housing authority know if you are under self-isolation or quarantine orders. If you have flu like symptoms, please contact your doctor and take precautions to limit your interactions with others.
The safety of our staff and the safety of our residents is of utmost importance to me and the Salem Housing Authority Board of Commissioners. I will be communicating with you all throughout this process as things evolve and progress. Again, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to the Housing Authority or access the Department of Public Health website at https://www.mass.gov/doc/stop-the-spread-of-germs-respiratory-diseases-like-flu-and-covid-19/download.
Salem Housing Authority