New Bedford mayor says schools will not fully reopen this fall

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NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell announced Thursday that school will not fully reopen in the fall because of the potential risk of an outbreak.

During the mayor’s state of the city address, he said that although he is aware that remote instruction is not an equivalent substitute for in-person learning, the risks are to high to fully return.

“A full reopening of schools at this point, however, would pose in my view an unacceptable risk of an outbreak,” Mitchell said. “The reason is essentially that there isn’t enough room or staff to separate out students sufficiently to lower the risk.”

The mayor also mentioned the difficulties that would come with feeding and transporting the students for similar reasons.

Mitchell then spoke to the students who he said, “have been forced to sacrifice.”

“Know that the adults who made these decisions have done so for the sole purpose of protecting you,” he said. “It is our hope that you will grow in strength and wisdom for this experience, and we will do everything we can to keep you on track to pursue your aspirations.”

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