Olsen issues coronavirus update due to the recent global situation



Griffin Parker, Social Media Editor

On Thursday, March 5, Superintendent of Schools Bill Olsen issued a statement to Westford Public Schools’ staff regarding the coronavirus and measures being taken to control and prevent its spread. Olsen attended a meeting on Wednesday, March 4 with the Westford Health Department, who reported information from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. The information is as follows:

  • Until further notice, there will be no international travel for public school students and staff in Massachusetts.
  • There is currently no ban on domestic travel.
  • There is currently no guidance on holding events with a relatively large number of attendees.
  • Any resident who has recently traveled to and from China needs to be quarantined for 14 days, but family members do not need to be quarantined.
  • Residents traveling to and returning from Italy or South Korea do not need to be quarantined if they do not present any symptoms of illness.

Additionally, sprayers with disinfectants have been ordered for every building and a cordless electrostatic backpack sprayer for faster and more effective disinfection. Nightly cleaning routines are being altered to allow disinfecting every night in various parts of many school buildings.

Olsen is currently in the process of developing “sustainability of operations” plans, which includes talks of possible distance learning and flipped classroom models. Distance learning was tested a couple of years ago to make up snow days but was quickly discontinued after the state discouraged its use.

Students are currently disinterested in the distance learning program and are more worried about their international trips, such as the German exchange, Spanish exchange, and Japan trip,  that may be cancelled.

“All I’m gonna say is, the German exchange trip better happen. I swear to God it better happen,” said sophomore Joshua Moore.

For more information, visit the Westford Health Department’s website.