Coronavirus closes schools, cancels events

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North Attleborough Schools will be closed through May 4, as per an order from Gov. Charlie Baker. Staff Photo/Max Bowen

North Attleborough Schools will be closed through April 6, following an announcement from Gov. Charlie Baker that all Massachusetts public schools must close for three weeks. This followed an initial statement that they would only close until March 20, made by Superintendent Scott Holcomb.

In a statement made Friday afternoon, Holcomb said this was done “out of an abundance of caution for the health of our students and staff.” In addition, effective immediately, all school and non-school related events scheduled have been canceled until further notice.

This closure was taken as a mitigation measure as it may halt person to person spread of the COVID-19 virus,” wrote Holcomb. “At this moment in time, there have been no confirmed or presumptive cases in North Attleborough.”

In accordance with state regulations, these days will be made up at the end of the school year through June 26. This will now be the last day of school regardless of any further cancellations.

In a letter to parents, officials from Bishop Feehan High School stated that there are no presumptive or confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the school. Staff have developed a Distance Learning Plan for the week and beyond, if needed. The days spent on distance learning will count as school days, though weather or other events may still cause the school to extend the academic year through the 185th day, June 24.

While no Distance Learning Plan a replace an in-person experience, we are confidant our students can maintain learning expectations during this health crisis,” the letter stated.

Tri-County elected to close its on Friday, March 13, according to a letter sent by Superintendent-Director Stephen Dockray. The decision was reached by the Tri-County Rountable, an association comprised of several area schools, which will all be closed during the week.

Dockray wrote that this was decided in consultation with local boards of health and medical and scientific experts. Recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education were reviewed.

We considered the impact of the virus on the vulnerable members of our communities,” he wrote. “Finally, we recognized the challenges of fostering learning in the atmosphere of uncertainty created by this unprecedented situation.”

Fields, town services closed

In an announcement made on March 13 through the Board of Health, all fields and gyms for youth group activities for spring games and practices would be closed until March 31, at the earliest. This includes, but is not limited to—Little North Attleboro League, RedHawks Baseball, NA Big Red LAX, NA Travel Softball Association, Adult Softball League and the North Soccer Club. Teams that play out of town are asked to refrain from playing at this time to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

During this period, the Park & Recreation Department in conjunction with the Town Manager and Health Department will be evaluate daily and communicate any changes to the time line for programs to resume use of fields and gyms,” the statement read.

In addition, the following classes have been canceled until the end of the month at the Senior Center—Ukulele, Chair Yoga, and Thai Chi. Other programs will be held as scheduled, and increased cleaning is being done on a daily basis.

Frank Ward, director of the Richards Memorial Library, said that all kids programs in the month of March have been canceled, while events for adults will be held as scheduled.