Revere Mayor Brian M. Arrigo will announce Thursday that city-sponsored events and programming are canceled for the foreseeable future in response to rising cases of the coronavirus, he said Wednesday night.
And Revere officials will gather Thursday morning for an emergency school committee meeting where they’ll discuss the potential of an all-online return to classes this fall, Arrigo said.
“We can’t plan for being anything other than fully remote at this point, because that’s where the data has us,” Arrigo said, adding later, “People need to be vigilant and need to be thinking about the fact that this isn’t going away.”
The committee will also discuss canceling the Revere High School graduation ceremony scheduled for Aug. 11, he said.
Arrigo also expects Revere to take advantage of a deal announced last week between state education officials and teachers’ unions that will allow districts to open schools up to 10 days later than scheduled, using the extra time to prepare for the challenges of the new academic year.
“At this point, everything’s kind of open and up for discussion,” he said.
Revere’s positive test rate for COVID-19 is above 6 percent for the second consecutive week, prompting the city to examine additional steps to slow the virus’s spread, Arrigo said. He is also concerned that Revere has seen a recent increase in coronavirus infections among younger people, he said.
“We know that there are people that are having small gatherings, and house parties, and things like that,” he said. “A lot of that is because of just the frustration with all of the things that we’ve had to do for so long. I think there has been a little bit of fatigue, and we’re really trying to be creative and think through how we can get different messages across.”
Arrigo said he expects to cancel city’s annual fall festival, as well as events planned for Halloween and even Christmas.
“We’ve got a long road ahead of us, and these are difficult decisions,” he said. “Until things really do start to trend in the right direction, we can’t be authorizing or sponsoring large gatherings.”