Some Schools In Boston, Framingham, Somerville, Brookline Closed

Boston is closing the three campuses of the Eliot K-8 school in the North End for a week after a "non-student member of the school's community" tested positive for the coronavirus.

BPS and the Boston Public Health Commission said the school would reopen on March 19.

"BPHC staff are working on an ongoing basis to assess risk and follow up with all known contacts of this individual," a statement read. "At this point we encourage everyone who has been physically inside one of three Eliot buildings to practice social distancing and avoid public places until Thursday, March 19, 2020."

As of Wednesday, Boston had 19 presumptive positive cases of COVID-19. One has been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Out of an abundance of caution, we're going to take extreme measures to make sure that we keep Boston residents healthy and safe," Mayor Walsh said during a press conference at City Hall Wednesday night.

Superintendent Brenda Cassellius said she found out Wednesday afternoon that the person tested positive for coronavirus.

Walsh said he couldn't "get into detail" about the person who tested positive for coronavirus , saying only that it was "somebody who came into the school." Boston chief of health and human services, Marty Martinez, said health officials do not believe this is an example of community spread, but nurses have started doing contact tracing to make that determination.

In Framingham, all public schools are closed for the day Thursday to undergo cleaning, after a parent of an elementary school child tested positive for COVID-19. The child, who goes to Potter Road School, showed signs of a mild infection Wednesday, Superintendent Robert Tremblay said in a video.

Somerville is closing all district schools as well as city offices and libraries Thursday through Sunday to allow "a deep and thorough cleaning." Thursday, Somerville officials found out there were three presumptive positive cases in the city, which they say appear to be linked to a recent Biogen conference in Boston.Those three cases are: a male Somerville resident, a parent of a student at East Somerville Community School, and the spouse of a West Somerville Neighborhood School teacher whose child also attends the school.

In Boston, Walsh said city officials have been meeting for the last several months, discussing different scenarios.

"We're not ready yet to talk about canceling the district district-wide, but we are putting plans in place right now that in the event that we have to cancel or postpone school we will have all the proper procedures in place," Walsh said. He did not answer a reporter's question about when he would consider closing all district schools, but said he is monitoring the situation closely. Updates will be posted on the Boston Public Schools website and city website.

“We are committed to keeping the children and residents of Boston safe and informed, and we will take aggressive action to mitigate the spread of this virus," Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said. "Our top priority is to prevent further spread of coronavirus to Boston residents and I urge everyone impacted to carefully follow guidance from public health officials to keep you, your families and our community healthy and safe.”

Brookline Public Schools has also decided to close the Lincoln School Thursday and Friday, after a parent tested positive.

"Neither the student nor any other family members have shown symptoms and they have been quarantined since March 6," wrote interim superintendent Ben Lummis.

All other Brookline Public Schools are remaining open.

This article was originally published on March 11, 2020.


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