Mayor Sarno reported that under the leadership of HHS Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris, the city’s Health Department continues to closely monitor COVID-19 cases throughout the city and will follow all CDC and Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) guidelines to help mitigate the community spread of the virus. The Mayor also reported that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first COVID-19 vaccine, after meeting the FDA’s rigorous and scientific standards. Mayor Sarno continued his call, urging all residents, especially our younger population under the age of 35, to get vaccinated. “Conspiracy theories never solved any medical challenges, vaccines do,” Mayor Sarno emphasized.
Mayor Sarno stated, “I want to thank HHS Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris, Parks and Buildings Director Patrick Sullivan and Superintendent Dan Warwick and SPS Nurse Jeanne Clancy for their tireless efforts on behalf of our students, families and staff. Thanks to their efforts, we had a very successful remote and virtual learning experience and also return to in-person learning through a hybrid model. Now with the vaccine readily available and thanks to PBRM Director Patrick Sullivan and his facility team, including our industrial hygienist Bob Kirchner, we have invested over $5 million in upgrades and improvements in all of our municipal and school buildings. We are fully confident that we have made our public spaces as safe as possible for our loved ones – students, families, and staff, to return to school.”
HHS Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris provided her weekly COVID-19 update. She reported that there were 477 positive cases for the week of August 15th, an increase of 103 from last week. HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris reported that of those 477 positive cases, 54% or 257 were age 30 and under. This has been an ongoing trend over the past few weeks and the Health Commissioner continued her call urging our younger population to get vaccinated. To help address this growing concern, Commissioner Caulton-Harris and Mayor Sarno announced the creation of a COVID-19 Youth Council to work under the already successful and nationally recognized Springfield Vax Force. The COVID-19 Youth Council will help provide educational and outreach initiatives and efforts to our younger population. HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris continued to urge residents of all ages to get vaccinated and to see their Primary Care Provider (PCP) if they have any questions concerning the vaccine and their health.
PBRM Director Patrick Sullivan discussed the city’s continued commitment to meeting or exceeding all air quality and ASHRAE standards for all municipal buildings. The City continues to maintain the $1.5 million in COVID-19 prevention equipment that was previously installed across the city.
Superintendent of Schools Daniel Warwick and SPS Nurse Jeanne Clancy provided an update that all public schools are ready for the return to in-person learning. SPS has implemented the following protocols for the start of school:
- Face masks will be required for all students, teachers, staff and visitors (regardless of vaccination status)
- Social distancing within the classroom will be done to the best of Springfield Public Schools (SPS) ability up to three (3) ft.
- Face masks will be required for travel on all SPS buses
- SPS will continue with pool COVID-19 testing
- SPS will continue to work with students and parents on permission slips to vaccinate students
For a full listing of all back-to-school announcements, please visiting the Springfield Public Schools website at www.springfieldpublicschools.com
The City of Springfield will continue to monitor and provide up-to-date information on the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. For more information, please visit the City of Springfield’s website at www.springfield-ma.gov