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Newton limits use of City Hall, school buildings, senior center to combat coronavirus spread

Newton City Hall.
Newton City Hall.Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

Newton officials have canceled or postponed all large discretionary gatherings hosted by the city, and the school system has canceled all field trips as well as evening and community events, according to a statement released Wednesday. The Senior Center will also not be open for regularly scheduled programs.

Officials will limit the use of City Hall by outside groups, the statement said, while use of school buildings by non-school groups will be discontinued until further notice.

The measures are being taken to prevent and slow the spread of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, according to the statement.

The affected gatherings include programs offered by the city Parks, Recreation, and Culture Department and the Department of Senior Services.

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City government business and public meetings -- including sessions of the City Council and School Committee -- will continue for now, the statement said.

“When possible, we will encourage the public to send e-mails for public comment and will try to use alternatives like conference calls and other group communication tools,” the statement said.

The school department will continue to offer before-school and after-school care at the elementary schools, as well as school programs and classes run by Newton Community Education.

“After school activities at the secondary level will continue including athletics, rehearsals, and clubs, although we will not have outside spectators at indoor events,” the statement said.

In a statement released by the Senior Center, officials said all center-sponsored programs, classes, and events are canceled, as well as any activities for outside groups held at the center.

Senior Center programs held at other facilities are also canceled, the statement said, including those at the Scandinavian Living Center and the Hyde Community Center.

The cancellations do not include appointments for tax assistance, SHINE, and case management, the Senior Center statement said.

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Residents are asked to check the City of Newton’s website for information on specific programs and whether they will be impacted by the new measures.



















John Hilliard can be reached at john.hilliard@globe.com.