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Springfield, MA – Following the Commonwealth’s updated phased reopening plan that was announced last week, the state’s Youth and Adult Amateur Sports Activities plan, and the City of Springfield’s phased reopening plan, Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Health and Human Services (HHS) Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris announced today that the City of Springfield Department of Parks, Buildings, and Recreation Management (PBRM) will tentatively reinstall the basketball hoops on all public basketball courts during the week of May 17, 2021.  All hoops should be installed and ready for use by Saturday, May 22, 2021.

 

As part of the Commonwealth’s updated phased reopening plan, effective May 10, 2021, youth and adult amateur sports tournaments are now allowed for moderate and high-risk sports.

 

The COVID-19 case rate in the City of Springfield and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has decreased over the past two weeks, including the start of this week.  It is the expectation that the downward trend will continue.

 

In addition, as part of the City of Springfield’s phased reopening plan and guidance from theDepartment of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), the Springfield Public Schools are preparing to have our high school students return to full-time, in-person learning by May 17, 2021.

 

The City of Springfield’s phased reopening plans are based on a combination of monitoring the public health metrics that continue to trend in a positive direction with a decrease in the average daily and weekly COVID cases and hospitalizations, the increase in residents being vaccinated, the success of community neighborhood vaccination clinics, and following the Commonwealth’s updated reopening guidelines for all sectors – including the key dates the Baker-Polito Administration announced for further reopening the Commonwealth.

 

Mayor Sarno states, “Public health and safety has been my administration’s number one priority since the start of this COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.  Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris and I have been unyielding in our efforts to protect our residents from this deadly virus.  We were very concerned about our youth possibly catching this virus and potentially exposing their family at home.  However, as the vaccine becomes more readily available and more and more of our residents become vaccinated and follow the proper public health and good hygiene measures, we are noticing a positive trend of mitigating the community spread of the virus.  We are confident that these public health trends will continue and we are prepared to take the next step in our City’s phased reopening plans, to coincide with the return to in-person learning for our high schools, the City of Springfield Parks Department will also be reinstalling the basketball hoops.  I want to thank all of our residents for their patience and understanding and encourage everyone to continue to be vigilant as we work together to defeat this COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic.”

 

HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris stated, “Following the Commonwealth’s updated reopening plan and upon seeing that the City of Springfield and the Commonwealth are trending in the right direction during the past two weeks and the start of this week with a decrease in COVID-19 case rates.  I am confident that the combination of our public health trends of COVID-19 cases and more of our residents being vaccinated will allow us the move forward with our phased reopen plan.  I want to thank our residents for their patience and understanding during this challenging time.  Our first concern has always been and continues to be the public health of our residents.  I am hopeful that those individuals that said they would monitor the outdoor courts to assure our youth are safe, follow through with their commitment.  This is about the public health of our residents, not politics.”