Over the weekend, BPS custodians and Tufts Medical Center staffers converted the Quincy Elementary School cafeteria, just down Washington Street from the hospital, into a clinic for screening people with Covid-19 symptoms.
Among the steps: Installing "an industrial-level HEPA filter negative pressure HVAC system in the cafeteria," to ensure no air from the cafeteria gets into the rest of the school, according to a letter from BPS Superintendent Brenda Cassellius to school parents and teachers.
This auxiliary clinic will provide a critical service necessary to help stop the spread of the virus and ensure the safety of our community. As the COVID-19 emergency continues to develop, the facility may need to be used for additional purposes. We are in constant, daily communication with the Mayor's Office and public health officials to closely monitor and address all concerns as this unprecedented situation continues to evolve.
Nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of our students and staff, and we are proud to play a role serving our entire community during this crisis. The nature of the Quincy facility allows for the part of the building used for the screening clinic to remain separate from teaching and learning areas. Strict safety protocols, rigorous infection prevention and control procedures, and the same thorough daily cleaning measures taken at the Medical Center are also in place to ensure the safety of everyone in the community. These measures are in place above and beyond the guidance of the current public health standards. Following Tufts MC's use of the Quincy School space, we will work with Tufts MC's Environmental Services Department, BPS custodial staff and our City partners to ensure the area is fully sanitized and disinfected.
Boston public schools are currently closed until at least May 4.