In wake of Coronavirus, North Schools reviewing large-scale public events

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By Max Bowen

max.bowen@northstarreporter.com

Moving forward, the North Attleborough Public Schools will be examining all large-scale public events on a case-by-case basis to see if they need to be canceled or postponed.

One such event, the induction ceremony for the National Honor Society scheduled for March 11, has been postponed until further notice, according to an announcement on the high school web site. A field trip for the grade six students has also been postponed, according to Superintendent Scott Holcomb.

We will be looking at each event,” he said on Wednesday.

Recently, Gov. Charlie Baker announced a state of emergency for Massachusetts in order to prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19, according to a press release. This includes discontinuing all out-of-state work-related travel, canceling or virtually holding conferences, seminars, and other discretionary gatherings, informing employees not to attend external work-related conferences, seminars, or events, reminding employees feeling sick with fever or flu symptoms to not come into work, and encouraging high risk employees to talk with their supervisors to review possible alternative work assignments.

We will continue planning and preparing to mitigate the spread of this disease, and have issued new guidance for Executive Branch employees in the Commonwealth,” said Baker. “I urge employers and other large organizations to follow our example and limit or eliminate non-essential travel, limit or eliminate large events where possible, and explore telework where appropriate for your organization. We are also urging older adults and those with health issues to avoid large crowds and large events.”

Among the recommendations made include schools canceling field trips, particularly those overseas. At last Monday’s School Committee meeting, a trip to Peru for April 2021 was approved, but Holcomb that is not being looked at at this time. Athletic practices are moving forward as planned.

Regarding absenteeism, Holcomb said there has not been an increase as of yet. He and his staff have been fielding a number of questions from students, teachers, and parents on how the situation is being handled locally.

There is definitely a heightened state of awareness and concern,” he said. “Every time we watch the news, all we see is that.”