The decision by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's commissioner to only count a portion of the Curley K-8 School's at-home learning days following a COVID-19 outbreak doesn't do right by the school community -- and the Boston community at large -- and ought to be reconsidered. Boston Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius announced this past Tuesday, November 9, that the Curley K-8 School would close for 10 days and switch to remote learning due to a proliferation of COVID-19 cases in the school. That day, BPS officials said they had identified 46 cases spread across 21 Curley classrooms. Given the infection spread, the entire school closed on the advice of the Boston Public Health Commission. On Friday, BPS announced another 17 positive cases, bringing the total to at least 63. This news came on top of BPS announcing that the Manning School in Jamaica Plain had at least 17 positive cases.
The Curley K-8 School and the Joseph P. Manning Elementary School have both had outbreaks of COVID-19 this week. The Curley K-8 community received an email around 5:30 pm today saying "that 24 members of the Curley K-8 community recently accessed the building and tested positive for COVID-19." The email said school officials are working closely with the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), and due to the advice of the BPHC "one or more individuals are now in quarantine and have been provided with specific next steps according to their situation..." The email did not provide information about whether those who tested positive are students, faculty, or staff. This news comes on top of the Manning School having 16 confirmed cases in a school of 175 students, according to WBUR.
The First Baptist Church recently received a $100,000 grant from Mass General Brigham to grow its sit down meals and food deliveries service. When COVID hit, First Baptist could no longer provide meals inside its location, said Rev. Ashlee Wiest-Laird. "We said, let's deliver to them. It was two meals a week, which quickly became three meals," said Wiest-Laird. Soon they were providing three meals a week up to 300 households in Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, Roslindale, Dorchester, Hyde Park, and more.
Face masks will be required for anyone age two and up in all indoor public settings in Boston beginning 8 am on August 27th. Acting Mayor Kim Janey announced the public health order issued by the Boston Public Health Commission on August 20 as part of a plan for the Delta variant, a more contagious COVID-19 variant that is now the primary strain of the virus. Janey stressed that the city is proactively implementing this health order ahead of the thousands of returning college students from all over the world, and before 50,000 students return to Boston Public Schools. The majority of most of the 100,000 children who live in Boston are too young to be eligible to be vaccinated. “There is nothing more important than Boston’s safe recovery, reopening, and renewal from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Janey.
Acting Mayor Kim Janey announced on Thursday that all city employees must report their COVID-19 vaccination status or submit to weekly testing. But the testing mandate will be phased in during two months. The updated policy applies to all city employees, onsite contractors and volunteers who provide services onsite at city worksites. That includes all full-time, part-time, seasonal, emergency and probationary workers. The requirement to report one's vaccination status doesn't begin until August 30, when employees can begin to upload their vaccination verification information into the Vaccination Verification online portal.
The Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center is hosting a free Back to School COVID-19 Vaccination clinic for anyone 12 years old and older on August 9th. The clinic is a partnership of the Boston Public Health Commission, Brookside Community Health Center, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital Mobile Vaccine Van team. The Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center is located at 10B Green St. The clinic will be available noon to 7 pm, and there will be giveaways, including school supplies, ice cream, and more. This event is not just for patients, but for anyone in the community.
Sherrill House, a Jamaica Plain not-for-profit skilled nursing and rehabilitation center, recently announced that it will require all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as part of its efforts to ensure the health and safety of patients, residents and staff. The vaccination requirement will go into effect once the U.S. Food and Drug Administration fully approves at least one of the currently available vaccines as expected later this year. The vaccines, shown to be safe and effective for millions of Americans, are currently used under the FDA’s emergency use authorization. Sherrill House employees will be able to request an exemption for medical and religious reasons. “As an organization providing health care to a vulnerable population, we feel strongly that requiring our staff to be vaccinated from COVID-19 is another important step that we can take to ensure the health and safety of our entire community,” said Patrick J. Stapleton, CEO of Sherrill House.
The Jackson Square Stop & Shop in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services on Thursday, June 17. The clinic will be held from 10 am to 4 pm in the store’s parking lot. Stop & Shop’s vaccine clinic will offer the single-dose Johnson & Johnson and the Pfizer vaccine, which is now approved for ages 12+. Patients under 18 must have written consent of a parent or guardian to receive the vaccine and those under 16 must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, or authorized representative. No insurance is necessary, and vaccines are given at no cost.
The Dimock Center will be hosting walk-in COVID-19 vaccine clinics at the Bethel AME Church Sanctuary on Walk Hill Street in Jamaica Plain from June 8th through Aug. 31st. Join us Tuesdays from 2-6pm and Saturdays from 9am-3pm, except for Saturday, July 3rd. The clinics are being offered Tuesdays from 2 to 6 pm, and Saturdays from 9 am to 3 pm, except for Saturday, July 3rd. The AME Church Sanctuary is at 40 Walk Hill St., Jamaica Plain from June 8th through August 31st.
To celebrate the success of the first 100 days of the Biden/Harris administration, the Ward 19 Democratic Committee (JP, Roslindale) is launching Spring Back Better, a campaign to help local community groups and businesses to fully re-open. With the benefit of the COVID-19 Relief Bill and COVID-19 vaccinations widely disseminated, we’re able to start venturing out and opening back up. We know that our community in Jamaica Plain and Roslindale has gone through a lot. Some small businesses and community organizations have been able to function online or through take-out and delivery. Others had to close due to the absence of clients and revenues.