On Monday, July 13, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, and Secretary of Health and Human Services for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Marylou Sudders visited The New England Center for Children.
In addition to touring the facility and meeting with NECC’s executive team, most notably Founder and CEO Vinnie Strully and Executive Director-Southborough Catherine Welch, Baker’s daily update regarding Massachusetts’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic was televised from the gymnasium. After this update, Baker announced a $16.1 million relief package for residential special education facilities throughout the Commonwealth and praised NECC for their handling of safely reopening the day program. In a short media availability session after his prepared remarks, Baker also noted NECC’s preparedness and safety measures while reopening the day school program, and how the state as a whole can learn from this as schools weigh reopening in the fall.
“I saw a lot of kids and a lot of teachers that were wearing masks and seemed okay with it, which obviously from our point of view is a critically important element to school reopening in the fall,” said Baker. “There’s clearly been a lot of work done here, and a lot of thought put into all the issues associated with disinfecting, cleaning and ventilation. And I think those are all issues from which we may have an opportunity to learn a few things we can incorporate into how we think about this going forward.”