March 11, 2020
The Town of Brookline's COVID-19 Task Force continues to monitor the impact of, and develop measures to limit, the spread of the coronavirus in our extended community. To date, we have implemented enhanced cleaning across all town facilities, provided greater access to hand sanitizer, and made contingency plans for the continuation of essential public services. A coordinated effort between Greater Boston communities and Brookline is ongoing. The Town Administrator, Director of Public Health, interim Superintendent of Schools, and other relevant department heads have been working to respond to the State of Emergency as announced by Governor Baker. We continue to receive updates from the Department of Public Health, the Center for Disease Control, and our regional partners.
We recognize that this developing situation is causing anxiety in Brookline and beyond. We want to reassure the public that we are working diligently to protect the community.
On Wednesday, March 11, 2020, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health notified the Town of Brookline that two adult residents have tested positive for COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The two residents are in isolation and are being monitored closely by appropriate medical personnel. One of these adults is a parent of a student in the Lincoln School. Although this student has not tested positive, has been absent from the school for several days and is not showing any symptoms of illness, out of an abundance of caution the Superintendent of Schools will close the Lincoln School beginning tomorrow, March 12 and Friday, March 13 to allow for complete cleaning and sanitization. Updates to the current plan, if necessary, will be announced to the Lincoln School community. The results from the DPH were not unexpected, and the Brookline Public Schools and the Town of Brookline have been working together to plan for such a situation.
In addition, in order to proactively slow and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community, all non-essential public meetings and events in town or school facilities shall be prohibited effective at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 11 through April 30, 2020.
Consistent with Governor Baker's emergency declaration, the Town also encourages private organizations and institutions to cancel large public gatherings and urge older adults and those with health issues to avoid large crowds and large events.
“I believe the most effective public health measure to prevent wide spread of COVID-19 is to encourage social distancing up to six feet and avoid any meeting or public gathering if possible”, said Dr. Swannie Jett, Health Commissioner for Brookline Public Health (BPH).
The mitigation efforts in Brookline are aimed to limit the opportunities for disease transmission by encouraging social distancing. The goal, known in public heath terms as “flattening the curve,” is to take steps early to contain COVID-19 by interrupting its flow. We need the community's support and cooperation to protect our vulnerable populations and all residents.
For further information, please contact Dr. Swannie Jett, 617-730-2300. Urgent information related to Brookline will be posted on the Town of Brookline website www.brooklinema.gov/covid-19 communicated through the town’s reverse 911 program, and updated on the Health Department Information Line (617-730-2295). Sign up to receive alerts at www.BrooklineMA.gov/Alerts