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Wenham Quickly Follows Suit, Lifts Evening Activity Ban Too

The ban on publicly organized evening activities in Wenham was been lifted ion Thursday afternoon.

Wenham made the same move on Thursday as Hamilton had done a day earlier – the Board of Health lifted its evening activity ban.

The lifting on the ban was announced in a Connect-CTY phone and e-mail message at about 4:15 p.m. on Thursday.

The ban on publicly organized outdoor activities in Wenham between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. had been in place since Oct. 1 because of concern about mosquito-borne illness such as West Nile Virus and Eastern equine encephalitis.

The Hamilton Board of Health met on Wednesday night and voted 3-0 to lift the ban, noting that temperatures below freezing on Oct. 13 had significantly lowered the threat of disease from mosquitoes because of a reduced population.

The Wenham Board of Health had been scheduled to meet on Friday morning but on Thursday rescheduled the meeting to Thursday afternoon as an emergency meeting, a provision under the state Open Meeting Law that allows public boards to meet with less than two days notice for “a sudden, generally unexpected occurrence or set of circumstances demanding immediate action.”

In lifting the ban, the board said that “the threat level still exists and mosquito activity is still possible.”

The board said it still recommends avoiding all organized outdoor activities between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. and “ strongly urges use of extreme precautions for anyone going outside at those times until temperatures fall to 28 degrees or below for at least 2 hours.”

On Oct. 13, temperatures recorded at Beverly Airport - where both towns use to track the temperature - got to 28 degrees but for less than an hour. Hourly low temperatures were recorded as being 29, 31 and 32 during the coldest part of Saturday morning, Oct. 13, according to Lindle Willnow, chairman of the Hamilton Board of Health.

On Wednesday, the Hamilton Board of Health lifted its ban, which had extended to all organized outdoor activities – publicly or privately organized – which has threatened to reschedule Trick-or-Treating to daytime hours. Wenham’s ban had extended only to public organized outdoor activities, such a Recreation Department programs and the Fire Department’s open house, which was moved from its traditional Wednesday evening schedule to midday on Saturday.

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