Health Department

Board of Health News:


The Topsfield Board of Health held a Public Hearing in the First Floor Conference Room at Town Hall, 8 West Common Street, Topsfield, MA at 7:00 PM on February 19, 2020 to address proposed changes to the following regulations:  R:1-2 Supplemental Regulations to 310 CMR 15.00, The State Environmental Code, Title 5. Notice of the Public Hearing was duly advertised on January 16, 2020 and January 23, 2020. The Public Hearing will be continued at the March 18, 2020 Board of Health Meeting.The public is welcome to attend. Questions/comments may be sent to the Health Agent, Wendy Hansbury, at or by phone 978-887-1520.

Click here to view the Draft Amendments to R:1-2 Supplemental Regulations to 310 CMR 15.00, The State Environmental Code, Title 5.

Board of Health Update on Coronavirus and 2020 Flu Season

On February 3, 2020, the Department of Public Health (DPH) issued a statement confirming the first case of Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in a man who returned to Boston from Wuhan City, China, where the coronavirus was initially detected in December, 2019. The young man sought medical care upon his return to Boston and is in isolation until cleared by Public Health Officials. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is continually monitoring the outbreak of this respiratory illness.

DPH states that the risk to Massachusetts residents remains low at this time.

DPH has launched a new website that provides up-to-date information on the status of 2019-nCoV:

The Topsfield Board of Health will update this website with information as it becomes available.

Presently, the risk of flu is a primary concern as Massachusetts is experiencing an active flu season. The Board of Health recommends the following preventative measures to combat the flu:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand gel.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or into the inside of your elbow if you don’t have a tissue.  Throw tissues away and wash your hands.  Always wash your hands after touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Use household cleaners to clean frequently touched surfaces, like doorknobs, toys, and phones.
  • Avoid close physical contact with people who are sick.  Try to stay at least 3-6 feet from someone who shows symptoms.
  • Get the flu vaccine every year as soon as it is available.

And always, contact your doctor and stay home from work and school if you get sick with a flu-like illness (fever with cough or sore throat) and avoid contact with others so the virus does not spread. When dealing with the flu, stay at home until you have been free from fever for at least 24 hours after your last dose of fever-reducing medication (like Tylenol, Advil or Motrin). For most people this will mean staying at home for about 4 days.

For more information about flu risk and prevention in Massachusetts, please visit If you have further questions, please call the Topsfield Board of Health Agent, Wendy Hansbury, at 978-887-1520.


Mosquito Information:

The hard, killing frost experienced in Essex County the weekend of November 9 and 10, 2019 signalled an end to this year's mosquito season.

The MDPH arbovirus temperature map may be found at

Helpful links:

For more information and tips on preventing exposure to mosquitos, please visit our Mosquito and Tick web page.

For information on EEE, click here.

For information on WNV, click here.

Single Use Plastic Shopping Bag Ban

At the 2018 Town Meeting, Topsfield residents voted with a 2/3 Majority to support a new Bylaw banning single-use plastic shopping bags in Town. On May 29, 2019, Topsfield merchants were given a reminder letter regarding this new Bylaw which went into effect July 1, 2018. Click here to read the letter. The Topsfield Board of Health and Topsfield Police Department are charged with enforcement of this new Bylaw. Thank you to all Topsfield Residents for doing their part to reduce the use of these bags.

Changes to Regulations Restricting Youth Access to Tobacco

The Topsfield Board of Health held a Meeting and Public Hearing on February 28, 2019 at which R 1-6: Regulations Restricting Youth Access to Tobacco were updated. This action was taken to reduce youth access to vaping and e-cigarettes through a ban on flavored tobacco and nicotine delivery devices. For more information. Click here to view the updated R1-6: Regulations Restricting Youth Access to Tobacco.


Description and Duties

The Board of Health is composed of 5 members who are appointed by the Board of Selectman. Local boards of health in Massachusetts are required by state statutes and regulations to perform many important and crucial duties relative to the protection of public health, the control of disease, the promotion of sanitary living conditions and the protection of the environment from damage and pollution. These requirements reflect the legislature’s understanding that many critical health problems are best handled by the involvement of local community officials familiar with local conditions. The Board of Health also works closely with other community groups to provide health information and services to the citizens of Topsfield. The links below lead to further information about the activities of the Board of Health.

8 West Common Street, Topsfield, MA 01983
Phone: (978) 887-1520
Fax: (978) 887-1521

Staff Contacts

Name Title Phone
Wendy Hansbury Health Agent (978)887-1520
Susan Winslow Admin. Assistant

Board Members

Name Title
Sheryl Knutsen RN Chair
Gerry Topping PE Vice-Chair
Thomas Mannetta CE Member
Anthony Alley RN Member
Larry Fixler RPh Member