SALEM – Register John O’Brien announced Thursday that an employee of the Southern Essex District Registry of Deeds tested positive for COVID-19 and the registry was promptly closed and all staff sent home.

“We are all saddened to hear that one of our co-workers has tested positive, but I have made the decision to immediately close the registry and send the entire staff home until further notice,” O’Brien said in a press release.

In addition, he is urging all members of the registry staff be tested and notify their physicians. The registry has contracted with an outside vendor to perform a complete deep cleaning of the space to ensure the safety of all.

Even though the registry has not been open to the public, the employees have been working every day since the pandemic started in March.

This is the first time the Southern Essex District Registry has had to close, but it will continue to serve the public by recording documents electronically until the facility can be reopened.

O'Brien urged people to monitor the registry website at and on Facebook for more information.

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