New computers at health department allow secure, upgraded software | News, Sports, Jobs

SALEM — The Salem Health Department approved the purchase of two new computers as part of a new IT service agreement.

The new computers have a total cost of $2,860 and are necessary to replace two of the department’s computers that are so old they are unable to be upgraded sufficiently to run necessary modern software. This purchase comes in the wake of the department entering into an agreement for a new data storage server.

The new server will be digital, allowing employees to log in on any authorized computer with a unique username and password and access only the information they are authorized to. Additionally, the new contract comes with 24/7 tech support, and will save the department approximately $1,500 annually.

Previously the department’s data was all saved to a single physical server, with no way to back-up data to any digital server, and any given employee was only able to sign into and work from a single, specific computer, which Mayor Cyndi Baronzzi Dickey noted posed a security issue for the department.

In his report, Director of Environmental Health Alan Master said he had conducted a pool audit at the Holiday Inn Express, which is registered with the city as a bromalin pool. Conducting the audit Masters found that the pool contained both bromalin and chlorine, which can have an adverse chemical reaction when combined and potentially cause skin irritation. The staff said they had begun treating with chlorine due to an inability to obtain bromalin to treat the pool.

Masters directed them to drain and backflush the pool system, as well as directing them through the necessary neutralization processes to make treating with chlorine safe moving forward.

Health Board President Pro Tempore Judy Sicilia wanted to remind residents that the department is still distributing Bynex Now Covid testing kits completely free of charge to the public.

The board of health will meet next at 2 pm Feb. 15.

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