More than 200 Andover residents had tested positive for COVID-19 as of Monday, according to the town's website.

This comes as outbreaks of the virus hit the senior living facility Atria Marland Place and Merrimack College. 

There have been 71 positive tests at Marland Place — 50 residents and 21 employees, said Kymberly Codair, regional vice president of Atria Senior Living. 

An unknown number of students at Merrimack College tested positive last week and forced the college to close its St. Anne Apartments over the weekend, according to an email sent out by Jeffrey Doggett, vice president of the college. It's unclear how many of those students account for Andover cases. The college's property is in both Andover and North And\over.

The college sent students from St. Anne Apartments home early over the weekend, and the remaining students at the college will leave this week before Thanksgiving.

Students won't return to campus until late January, according to the college.

With 208 active cases of COVID-19 in Andover, Health Director Thomas Carbone said he hopes people reconsider their Thanksgiving plans and avoid social gatherings.

The virus has hit congregant living facilities particularly hard because of people's close contact. Earlier this year there was an outbreak that closed the Monican Hall Dorm at Merrimack College. Senior living facilities in the area have also had outbreaks.

Six residents at Artia Marland Place have died due to the virus, Codair said.

"Our thoughts are with their families during this difficult time," she said.

The majority of cases in Andover are associated with people spreading it within their homes, Carbone said. People get the virus outside the home and then spread it among their family members, Carbone said, noting it's a state and national trend.

"My biggest fear continues to be the holiday and family gatherings," Carbone said. "This is not the time to let our guard down because people feel well. We are seeing lots of asymptomatic spread .... Asymptomatic spread can easily lead back to senior living facilities, and those people are the most vulnerable."


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