CoronaVirus (COVID-19) FAQ

Frequently asked questions about Perkins School for the Blind During the CoronaVirus outbreak

a overview of perkins school for the blind campus
March 24, 2020

Boston, MA—The following frequently asked questions (FAQs) reflect Perkins School for the Blind’s current CoronaVirus guidelines. We will continue to update our guidance and update these posted FAQs as needed.

If you have questions not covered here, please contact CoronaVirus@Perkins.org.


Campus operations 

Is Perkins closed?

As of March 13, 2020 at 3:00 p.m., Perkins School for the Blind closed its day and residential programs until May 4, 2020 unless otherwise notified. However, the work of educating our students continues. Teachers and educational program staff are coordinating efforts to provide enrichment materials for students through our Perkins Connections portal. 

Additionally, following Governor Charlie Baker’s March 23, 2020 Emergency Orders, Perkins’ operations continue remotely where possible with exceptions as necessary to perform essential services. 

Is Perkins School for the Blind Infant-Toddler Program providing any services via phone or video?

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) is temporarily allowing Perkins to use phone and video to provide valuable early intervention services to children and families enrolled in its Infant-Toddler program.

Our mission is to promote the healthy development of children and support families and we stand ready to safely provide continued services to you and your family.

For more information about using telehealth services to support your family, visit the Infant-Toddler page of our website.


Health

Is the CoronaVirus Task Force working with state and local health officials?

The Task Force is working in concert with state and local officials, and policy decisions are being informed by the guidance of national and international health organizations.


Events and meetings 

Will scheduled on-campus meetings and events be held?

Effective immediately, any in-person event with the potential for more than 10 total attendees (including both Perkins participants and external attendees) that is scheduled to take place between now and May 31, 2020, will be postponed, cancelled or “virtualized” it. Nearly all external events planned on the Perkins campus during this period have already been rescheduled.

What is the plan for events after May 31, 2020 such as graduation?

It is too soon to make a decision about graduation and other events after May 31, 2020. Perkins is actively working on contingency plans and will communicate those plans at the appropriate time.


Visitors and volunteers

Are visitors allowed on campus?

No visitors are currently allowed into campus buildings. Our neighbors may continue to walk through our campus, but the recreational areas (such as the playground and track) are closed until further notice.

Are volunteers allowed on campus?

For the safety of our volunteer and on-campus populations, effective March 10, 2020, we have suspended the use of volunteers on campus through May 15, 2020. Reducing the density of the campus population is a public health measure intended not only to protect our students but to reduce risk for those of us who remain here, including our dedicated staff. Volunteers will be notified when we believe it is appropriate to resume having volunteers working with students once again.

Are volunteers allowed to continue work they do off campus?

If a volunteer works off campus, with our Community Living Program participants for example, these activities can continue, provided that both parties are agreeable. If either the volunteer or the participant experiences any symptoms, they should stop the in-home visits immediately.