BOSTON (CBS) — Boston Mayor Marty Walsh defended the city’s decision to keep some special needs students in Boston Public Schools for in-person learning. After the city announced Wednesday it would pause its reopening plan amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Boston Teachers Union said it was seeking an injunction to stop plans that would require educators to teach in person.
“We’re doing everything we can to make sure that we do the right thing, and the right thing right now is having school – right now – for our highest-needs students,” Walsh said Friday, at an event promoting flu vaccination.
He said he spoke with the union representatives that morning and thought they came to “some agreements.”
“Our schools are safe. We’re cleaning them down and we have all the proper protocols in place and PPE,” he said, ”There’s been some talk that we don’t have enough personal protective equipment. That’s just simply not true; we have that. There’s been some talk that we don’t have the cleaning supplies for buildings. That’s not true. We have all of that in place.”
Fans were brought into buildings that didn’t have proper ventilation, according to the mayor.
“If those numbers get to a point where it’s dangerous with coronavirus, or we feel we can’t keep our students safe, then we will do the right thing and postpone school down the road.”
Walsh expressed concern over the possibility of reverting back to the shutdown of May and June, including the closure of schools. He said city health officials closely watch the daily coronavirus infection rates and the seven-day averages, as well as hospitalizations, which have slowly been increasing.
“I wouldn’t be telling you the truth if I stood here and said that I was as confident as I was back in June and July and August. We had a 1.8 to 2.8 percent infection rate. That was a manageable rate. We’re seeing numbers go higher,” said Walsh. “The trend doesn’t feel good today. With the virus, it’s very unpredictable and it literally changes from day to day.”