NORWOOD — The Town of Norwood has made the decision to close the Norwood Public Schools, effective immediately, through at least March 20 due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, which the World Health Organization has declared to be a global pandemic.
The date of re-opening will be re-evaluated on a regular basis, and officials are expecting additional information and guidance from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on Friday morning.
The town also recommending that residents practice social distancing and avoid large crowds and large-scale events for the time being. Public health officials are seeking to slow the spread of the coronavirus to avoid a sudden overburdening of the region’s healthcare system.
The following is a statement from David L. Thompson, Superintendent of Schools:
“As we await further guidance from the State health and education officials I will be closing school starting tomorrow Friday, March 13, through at least Friday, March 20.
“Please know that we recognize that the time to act is now so that we can have a greater and more positive impact on public health and safety in Norwood. I would respectfully ask that all students exercise social distancing and refrain from group in-person interactions to reduce the opportunity to spread the virus. To be clear, this is out of an abundance of caution, particularly out of sensitivity to families and staff who have underlying conditions that make them more vulnerable to complications should they become infected.
“Our teachers and staff will continue to develop distance learning options during this time to continue our student’s learning. I would ask for patience while we continue to work on these learning opportunities. Please note that these will not totally replace classroom instruction but will endeavor to ensure knowledge is retained and academic progress continues.
“Finally, be aware that this school closure period of time may be extended or shortened should State authorities so direct. Please look for school-based instructions on access to distance learning options early next week.”
At this time, several programs and events have been cancelled or suspended. With the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) indicating that seniors are perhaps at the greatest risk of serious health complications from COVID-19, the illness associated with the novel coronavirus, nonessential programming for seniors and programs involving large groups have been suspended.
Essential and well-being programs and certain small-group programs for seniors are continuing including:
- Card games
- Blood pressure clinic
- Taxes and SHINE appointments
- Outreach appointments
- Lunch will be available for takeout
- Medical equipment loan program
The Norwood Council on Aging bus will continue to operate, but will be limited to a handful of riders at a time.
For more information, visit the Town of Norwood’s COVID-19 informational page or call the health department at 781-762-1240. You may also visit the DPH’s website by clicking here and the CDC’s website by clicking here.
Additional updates will be provided as information becomes available.