While the threat of COVID-19 remains low in Rhode Island and there are no known cases linked to East Greenwich, EG public schools are cancelling all larger events such as the annual talent show at the high school, family nights at the elementary schools and school dances.
“Once again, this decision is being made out of an abundance of caution,” said interim Supt. Frank Pallotta in a email to parents Wednesday. “We continue to take every precaution to keep our students and staff safe. Additionally, we have assembled a district school task force to begin to develop a distance learning plan.”
Pallotta’s email (find it Pallotta Letter COVID-19 3/11/20) matches recommendations from the state.
Gov. Gina Raimondo Wednesday said for the next two weeks she was urging all Rhode Islanders to avoid attending or organizing gatherings of 250 people or more where people will be in close proximity for a prolonged period of time. She said the recommendation was based on guidelines issued by the CDC Tuesday for areas with minimal or moderate community transmission of COVID-19.
“That’s where we are now,” Raimondo said. “We’d like to stay in that place for as long as possible.”
“At this time, we are not recommending that schools close,” Raimondo said of K-12 schools. She noted that children who contracted COVID-19 have been faring relatively better than adults. In addition, Raimondo said, closing schools would have a significant implication for families and communities. The closing of St. Raphael’s, she said, was different since a member of that school community contracted the virus.
The Rhode Island Interscholastic League has not yet decided how to handle this weekend’s playoffs, including the DII Boys Hockey state championship match of EG versus South Kingstown scheduled to start Friday at URI’s Boss Arena at and both Boys and Girls Basketball state tournament play.
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I hope they are also cancelling all outside groups who rent the schools as well. Otherwise there is no sense to this policy.