*Masks will be mandated for all students and staff*
Mayor Sarno and HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris Provide COVID-19 Coronavirus Situational Update, Including Details About Schools
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Health and Human Services (HHS) Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris held a COVID-19 Coronavirus Situational Update briefing today to discuss the City of Springfield's ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic and what measures will be taken to help mitigate the community spread of the new Delta variant.
Mayor Sarno and HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris stated, “This is not to be alarmist, but a continued preemptive strike to be proactive so that we can continue to balance public health and moving our economy forward. We are in a much better position to handle this recent uptick with all our prior stockpiling of PPE’s, disinfection cleaning, and retrofitting all our schools and municipal buildings above and beyond the ASHRAE standards with state-of-the-art air flow ventilation systems, and of course, the vaccine ‘is the ace in the hole’.”
Following the recent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) based on the new evidence on the Delta variant of the virus, the City of Springfield will now make the following recommendations to help preserve and protect our workforce and the pubic and to maximize the protection of vulnerable individuals.
• Per the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education – full in-person learning will commence in the fall
• 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 all students, teachers, staff and visitors – regardless of vaccination status
o Exceptions include for medical and/or religious
• 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
City Hall and all Municipal Buildings
• City Hall and all municipal buildings will remain open to the public
o No temperature checks to enter public buildings
o No appointments needed
• Per the CDC and DPH recommended guidelines, it is strongly recommended that all visitors who are NOT vaccinated wear a mask while indoors
o Exceptions include for medical and religious
• It is recommended that those who are vaccinated, especially those who may have an increase risk due to pre-existing health conditions, weakened immune system, or other at-risk measures, wear a mask in indoor settings under certain conditions
• City employees are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated
• City employees who are not vaccinated will be required to get tested frequently
• As of today, the City will not mandate getting the vaccine as a condition of employment, however, the City will not hesitate to implement this condition if COVID-19 numbers do not improve to help preserve and protect our municipal workforce and the public
The CDC has recently listed Hampden County as a ‘Substantial Risk’ for community COVID-19 transmission.