According to a story from WWLP/22 News Springfield, yesterday a new coalition of educators, school nurses and other support staff called for schools across the state to postpone any in-person learning and adopt a phased approach until a range of potential COVID-19 safety issues are addressed.

The group, known as The Coalition to Safely Reopen Schools, has the backing of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the Massachusetts Nurses Association, the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts and other labor groups.

The group outlined 16 specific concerns in a lengthy position statement offered to guide a return to K-12 education.

Among their priorities are requiring all schools to enforce six feet of social distancing rather than three feet and ensuring that all staff and students have access to personal protective equipment.

In a press release, Patty Comeau who is a member of both the Coalition to Safely Reopen Schools and the Massachusetts Nurses Association said, "This process represents one of the most consequential decisions our communities and our state will make as our state and nation construe to grapple with a pandemic that is still surging across the nation, showing signs of a second wave in our state, with the threat of the flu season looming."

In confronting this challenge a safe, scientifically guided, well planned, adequately funded and appropriately resourced process must be the priority for all involved, as the stakes couldn’t be higher and the outcome of our decisions truly have life and death consequences.

Patty Comeau

The coalition concluded that it does not believe schools can safely resume face-to-face instruction at current levels of testing, staff and PPE access, nor does it support staff conducting online classes from school buildings.

To check out the actual positioning statement from the Mass Nurses Association, go here. For more on the story, visit WWLP's website here and we thank them for the update.

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