Statement of the Select Board Chairman Regarding COVID-19, March 16, 2020
On behalf of the Select Board, I would like to provide our entire community with an update on the Town of Brookline’s response to the global COVID-19 outbreak, which is impacting our lives locally.
As our community addresses this unprecedented situation, it’s essential that we work collaboratively and commit ourselves to practicing good hygiene and social distancing in order to curb the spread of the virus. This means limiting social gatherings, regardless of size, and remaining home to every extent possible. To that end, the Town of Brookline has taken several important steps. Last week, the Public Schools of Brookline announced they would close all buildings through the end of this month and, on Governor Baker’s orders, will now extend that closure until April 6.
While we understand the importance of socialization, especially for children, parents should not make playdates or other group activities for their children while schools are closed.
Additionally, all Recreation Department and Council on Aging activities are cancelled, and the senior center and libraries are closed until at least March 27. The latter is an essential step meant to protect our senior residents who are most at risk of becoming seriously ill due to COVID-19. Yesterday, the Town of Brookline further acted by closing all town playgrounds until further notice, as well as all public buildings – with the exception of Town Hall – until further notice. This morning, the Town of Brookline activated its Emergency Operations Center in order to streamline communications related to the COVID-19 situation.
Town Hall is open on a very limited basis as of today, and all residents are asked to seek to conduct their business with the town online at brooklinema.gov or by phone at 617-730-2000. Anyone who does intend to visit Town Hall should call that number prior to arriving.
The Town of Brookline is committed to mobilizing all of the resources at its disposal to protect the health and safety of our residents, but it’s incumbent upon all of as individuals to do our part to protect our neighbors by practicing social distancing, washing your hands regularly, covering coughs and sneezes and – above all – staying home when you are sick and seeking care from your doctor.
It’s critically important that we treat this time as the serious public health emergency that it is, and remember that the time away from work or school is in no way similar to a snow day or a vacation.
Right now, we are working to establish a call center that residents may use to ask questions they may have related to COVID-19. When more information about that call center is available, it will be announced.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation during this challenging time.