Concerns as students return

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lizbr...@aol.com

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Aug 16, 2020, 8:05:26 AM8/16/20
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Dear Friends and Neighbors,


I share your concern about the imminent return of thousands of college students to our neighborhood in the midst of a pandemic.

I first raised these concerns in May and have been in conversation with college representatives in the interim.

I was the lead sponsor of a Council hearing on this matter along with Councilor's Janey and Councilor Bok to raise up concerns about students returning to live in our communities.


Yesterday I wrote to the Presidents of Boston College and Boston University asking that they shift to a remote learning model for the fall.


In partnership with the Allston Brighton CDC and the Allston Brighton Health Collaborative we are planning to distribute masks and information on public health precautions, Census 2020, voter registration and tenant rights/responsibilities. This outreach will occur in the last week of August. Volunteers welcome!

 

Boston College is hiring a Boston Police detail on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights to monitor and shut down parties. I have requested that the City reactivate the "PartyLine" to report partying and disturbances as residents are reluctant to call 911 in these circumstances.


Please be assured that our office takes this issue very seriously. Please alert us to issues that arise.


Be safe and well,


Liz Breadon

Councilor Boston City Council

District 9 - Allston Brighton

Liz.B...@boston.gov





Dear President Brown and President Leahy:


We are in the middle of a global pandemic the likes of which we have not seen for over one hundred years.   Covid-19 is highly contagious has infected five million and taken the lives of over 160,000 Americans. It has wreaked havoc on all aspects of our public life and it is far from over.  People coming to Massachusetts must quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative Covid-19 test administered 72 hours before arrival. The penalty for non-compliance is a $500 fine, yet I have little confidence that we can enforce this regulation for returning students living off campus.  


It is of great concern to residents of Allston-Brighton that off-campus students are already  returning from numerous places around the country which are experiencing  out-of-control surges in infections, and that many people are asymptomatic while spreading infection to others.


It appears that off-campus students will not have the same level of access to quarantine facilities, medical support and monitoring as those living on campus. The physical proximity of off-campus students to neighborhood residents increases the risk of community spread beyond the university campus. 


Specific issues of concern are:

  • How can we ensure that a student who tests positive while living with non-positive roommates will adhere to a 14 day quarantine confined to their own apartment?

  • What medical support is available to a student whose condition deteriorates while living off-campus?   

  • What is the contact tracing apparatus for off-campus students? 

  • What are the penalties / consequences for students who do not adhere  to their quarantine?

  • What are the penalties / consequences for hosting / attending large group parties?

  • What are the penalties / consequences for not appropriately wearing a mask and socially distancing in public?  


As an elected official for this district, I would like to see a more robust plan to support the health and wellness of students living off campus, and an enforceable code of conduct, not just for student’s safety but that of the community at large. 


Given the large number of off-campus students from Boston University and Boston College who live in Allston-Brighton I urge you to rearrange your plans and shift to remote learning for the majority of the student populations this fall, and continue to monitor the virus and public health guidance as the year progresses.


Respectfully yours,

Liz Breadon


Rev. William P. Leahy SJ

President - Boston College


Dr. Robert A. Brown

President - Boston University


20200814_BreadonBCBU.pdf

Philip Tackel

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Aug 16, 2020, 10:20:42 AM8/16/20
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Dear Councilor Breadon,

 

Thank you for your efforts but even more needs to be done by BC.

 

They need to hire a Boston Police  Officer stationed at the Chestnut Hill Reservoir and enforce the mask requirement. Not just for the BC community that considers it an extension of their campus and refer to it as the BC Reservoir.  Last week, a pack of BC related runners, about 25 (all wearing BC T shirts/colors) running at the Reservoir – only a few masked.  Are citations now allowed in Boston? Then non mask wearers at the reservoir should be cited.

 

BC should have a Boston police detail 24/7 at the Motel Boston to enforce the ‘isolation’ rule so that the infirm do not leave that ‘hotbead’ of infection through the independent access to the outdoors.  That was a thoughtless, disrespectful, and reckless move on choosing this location and hotel design.

 

Please publish the special weekend Boston Police emergency number for student disruptions in the neighborhood. There are other young people who ‘party’ and not just the BC community. So as you know, we cannot rely on calling BC police – they will not respond.

 

Thank you,

 

Phil Tackel

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Paula Rosenstock

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Aug 16, 2020, 10:26:37 AM8/16/20
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Yes, as a daily walker around the reservoir, I would agree with Phil that we need more enforcement at the reservoir and in the neighborhood. I had been seeing increased masks, but in the past few weeks, I see daily vans and young people moving in, increasingly without masks during the moving process.  That forces me to walk in the street, facing cars with high speeds even on these small back streets in Aberdeen.
Thank you,
Paula 

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Ray's is http://www.joshuarosenstock.com/rayro/     Please visit us!


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David Strati

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Aug 16, 2020, 10:49:36 AM8/16/20
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Good idea Phil

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On Aug 16, 2020, at 10:37 AM, 'for...@aol.com' via Homeowners Union of Allston-Brighton <homeowners-union-o...@googlegroups.com> wrote:


Good, this is to the point.

F.


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Bosteye

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Aug 16, 2020, 12:05:32 PM8/16/20
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Great point that you raise, Phil. Thanks very much for bringing our concern to Councilor Breadon's attention.

-- Myrtle

Eva Webster

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Aug 16, 2020, 1:09:30 PM8/16/20
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There was a "talking head" on one of the network TV channels lately (it may have been Faucci, but I’m not 100% sure - I was multi-tasking) saying that the Covid–19 pandemic may be with us for as long as 4 years, and additionally other pandemics may happen too, sooner or later.  

The Motel Boston on Mt. Hood Rd. is slated to be demolished for a large condo project.  So I wonder, where is BC going to be housing students who test positive for covid (or some other virus that may hit us down the road) when that hotel/motel is gone?  Does anyone know when the demolition is supposed to start?

Like Phil and others, I do not like the idea of grouping covid-infected individuals in that motel if they were to be allowed to mill around and patronize Whole Foods around the corner, and other local businesses that are frequented by un-infected people.

I do remember that this past spring the City of Boston designated Motel Boston as a place that would be used to house first responders who were testing positive for Covid (I think I read about it in the Globe).

We had no say in that decision (not surprising) — but the City (or the staffers of local elected officials) should have informed the neighborhood what safety precautions, if any, were going to be undertaken to prevent infected persons residing in that motel from spreading the virus.  To act like we don’t exist and don’t matter is disrespectful.  This area has lots of seniors in nearby senior housing complexes, as well as long-time residents in private housing who are seniors or close to being seniors — for whom catching covid is a near death sentence.

 

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