Listen up, BPS kids! You have school tomorrow! With dozens of surrounding school districts closing due to coronavirus concerns, Boston Public Schools and the City of Boston made the decision to keep schools open on Thursday evening.
Ironically, in a letter sent out last night from Boston Public Health Commission and BPS to inform that the Eliot School in the North End would be closed until March 19th, it included some helpful tips to stay healthy by practicing social distancing. From the letter:
What does it mean to practice social distancing?
Keep your distance from others (6 feet or 2 meters away)
Do not take public transportation, taxis, or ride-shares during this period.
Avoid crowded places (shopping centers, schools, workplace, church and movie theaters)
Every single suggestion is completely unavoidable when students are attending school. This decision to keep schools open in Boston has us shaking our heads. See letter below:
Dear Boston Public Schools Community,
With the unfolding news regarding the coronavirus, we want you to know that we are taking this situation very seriously, and are taking aggressive action now to mitigate the spread of this virus. It is our top priority to take the steps and precautions that are needed to keep our city, our workforce and our community safe. We understand the uncertainty that exists in our community as we deal with this global public health crisis that is quickly evolving, but we want you to know that as your Mayor and School Superintendent, we are committed to doing everything we can to keep you safe and informed.
Across the City, our public health and safety officials are taking extensive steps to prepare for all scenarios involving the coronavirus. Preparation efforts for a safe and effective response began in January, and continue to be adjusted and escalated as needed.
Please understand that some of the actions we are taking may be disruptive, but they are necessary to keep the people of Boston healthy and safe. Most recently, we made the decision to temporarily close the three campuses of the Eliot K-8 School in the North End due to a presumptive positive case of the coronavirus in a non-student member of the school community. The decision to close a school is not one that we take lightly because we recognize the significant impact it has on the students, faculty and staff, and the larger community. At this time, we plan to reopen all three sites of the Eliot School on Thursday, March 19, 2020.
During this time, the school buildings and buses wiIl receive a thorough cleaning, and public health nurses will continue to assess the risk as they trace all known close contacts of this individual, and connect people to testing and care if needed.
Please know that if we need to make the decision to close a school due to a confirmed case of the virus, we will notify the individual school community immediately.
Right now, our focus remains on containing the spread of the virus, which is why we are asking for all residents to become familiar with the facts on how to keep yourself, your family and your community safe. For a list of proactive steps you can be taking, please visit: boston.gov/coronavirus.
Our first priority remains keeping the people of Boston safe and healthy. It is our hope that by taking preventative steps now, we will mitigate the impacts of coronavirus in Boston. We will continue monitoring the situation closely and will keep you informed as we continue to learn more.
Mayor Walsh and Superintendent Cassellius