TYNGSBOROUGH — Interim Superintendent Jill Davis announces that Greater Lowell Technical High School will close after the school day today, and the building shall remain closed through at least March 27, as a precaution against the rapidly spreading COVID-19 illness, which was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization this week.
The decision to close the school was made at the local level after consulting with public health officials and neighboring school districts. The decision, while a difficult one, is made in the overall best interests of the students, faculty and staff in an effort to proactively address the evolving novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.
At this time, there are no reported cases of COVID-19 in the school.
The Department of Secondary and Elementary Education (DESE) is advising districts throughout the state this morning to cancel or reschedule gatherings of 250 people or more and to limit instances where students, faculty and staff are closer than 6 feet away from each other. While DESE is not explicitly advising districts close at this time, due to the concerns regarding the spread of this virus among crowds, the superintendent feels it is prudent to close the school temporarily.
During the closure, the school plans to offer breakfast and lunch, fully assembled in grab bags to students who need meals. The assembled meals can be picked up daily between 9 a.m and noon at the school.
The district is also working on distance learning opportunities and resources, which will be announced to families in the coming days.
GLTHS also wishes to encourage students and staff to follow recommended preventative steps from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health:
- Practice good hand hygiene! Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds including under your fingernails. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol content) can be used when soap and water are not available.
- Keep your hands away from your face.
- Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing with a tissue and discard it immediately. Cough into the sleeve over your elbow instead of your hand. Wash your hands often when coughing and sneezing.
- Stay away from people who are sick and stay home when you are sick.