Early this afternoon, North Adams Mayor Tom Bernard announced that North Adams Public Schools will be closed for the next two weeks in response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. The regular school schedule is expected to resume on Monday, March 30.

The following is according to the press release from the Mayor's office:

"In announcing this decision we are working in collaboration and alignment with superintendents and districts across Berkshire County.

Earlier today superintendents from across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts participated in a joint conference call with the commissioners of Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. These state officials provided guidance of the state response and recommendations for school districts to address and respond to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Among the recommendations was that communities that are seeing an increase in community transmission of Coronavirus should consider closing for 14 days. Community transmission means that there are patients who are diagnosed or presumptive for the Coronavirus who do not meet the patterns related to international travel or close contact with a confirmed Coronavirus patient.

The Department of Public Health (MDPH) data for Berkshire County indicates that we are seeing such an increase in community transmission. This condition, and the rapidly-changing situation in the Berkshires led us to join other Berkshire County school districts in making the decision to close for the next two weeks.

North Adams Public Schools district staff are working to ensure that all students will have access to meals during the closure period with meal distribution being made to Colegrove Park and Brayton elementary schools from 11 A.M. to Noon daily.

In addition, all NAPS district staff will continue to be paid for the next two weeks."

Complete information can be found on the district's website.

Hoosac Valley Regional School District Superintendent Aaron Dean, posting on the district's Facebook page, said that all Berkshire County schools would be closed for the two week period out of an "abundance of caution" surrounding the coronavirus. He also noted that "the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has provided relief from the 180 day school year requirement and has amended it so that schools are not to go beyond their “185th” day."