BOSTON (WHDH) – Mayor Michelle Wu helped sort test kits for teachers and school staff members in Boston on Monday as COVID-19 cases continue to spike.
Wu joined Boston Public Schools Superintendent Brenda Cassellius and the district’s Operations Team to unpack, sort and prepare 10,000 COVID-19 tests that are being distributed at schools to teachers and staff following the winter break.
In a statement, the mayor’s office said, “This is one part of the City’s broader efforts to protect city workers, students, and families, keep schools open and maintain core services while addressing the COVID-19 winter surge.”
The state attempted to hand out more than 200,000 rapid COVID-19 tests over the weekend but due to supply chain issues, many teachers received one test instead of two.
Getting tested in-person has also proved to be a struggle as many people have had to wait in hourslong lines.
“It’s absolutely unacceptable that in the City of Boston, our residents have been having to wait two, three-plus hours to get a test and stay safe and keep their families and communities safe,” Wu said. “There’s no reason why in the cold, people need to stand and wait for three hours. There’s better ways to address this so we’ll get going on that right away.”
In Boston, students were sent home with COVID-19 tests and are encouraged to use them before heading back to the classroom Tuesday.
“Educators and families are anxious about going back tomorrow, and the district is certainly scrambling,” said Boston Teachers’ Union President Jessica Tang
BPS says they are anticipating sick calls for Tuesday after 155 teachers and staff tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend.
Cassellius said school officials will be addressing staffing shortages on a case-by-case basis.
“Our goal is to keep classes going and our students in person,” she said. “We have had to do case by case, as you know.”
The head of the Boston Teachers’ Union said there should have been better plans in place weeks ago.
“We want to be back in school with our students in person. We know that is best for our families and we know there are families who don’t have other options in terms of their childcare. And at the same time, it has to be done safely,” said Tang.
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