Brookline announced its first two cases of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, on Wednesday evening. This happens just one day after town officials reassured the community that the town was “at low risk.”
The Town Administrator Mel Kleckner stated that two adult residents have tested positive and are in isolation and are being monitored closely by medical personnel.
One of the adults has a child, who is a student at the Lincoln School. Despite the fact the child has not tested positive or shown symptoms, the school will be closed Thursday and Friday for cleaning. The student has been absent from school for several days.
“The [test] results from the [Massachusetts Department of Public Health] were not unexpected, and the Brookline Public Schools and the Town of Brookline have been working together to plan for such a situation,” wrote in his statement Mel Kleckner.
As a proactive measure, the town will prohibit any non-essential public meetings and events in town or school facilitates until April 30. The town also encouraged private organizations and institutions to cancel large public gatherings, urging 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,” Dr. Swannie Jett, Brookline’s health commissioner, said in the statement.
On the town website dedicated to COVID-19 updates, town officials wrote that stopping transmission is no longer feasible. Instead, the goal is delaying and slowing the spread in town.
“We recognize that this is only possible if we are providing a safe and healthy environment, and we are implementing measures to help maintain our safe environment by limiting — not eliminating — contact between people where possible,” the webpage reads.