SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- On Thursday, the Massachusetts Teachers Association held a virtual conversation to talk about the safety of schools.

MTA LIVE CHAT

(Western Mass News photo)

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the Bay State, the MTA hosted a series of Facebook Live community conversations open to the public.

President of the MTA Merrie Najimy announced that people are worried about bringing students back to the classroom after the holidays.

"The surge is on the rise. We know from public health experts we're not going to see the effects of Thanksgiving for two weeks beyond," Najimy said. "People are frightened to death because there's not a reasonable way to set a baseline of how safe. What's happening in the schools and the risk after holidays."

The virtual event included educators, community leaders, and public health professionals.

Attendee Gladys Vega, the executive director of Chelsea Collaborative Incorporated, voiced concern over a lack of resources for students learning remotely.

"We continue to have limited resources, especially for children of color and newcomers," she noted.

UMass Amherst also took part in the conversation, Dean Robinson, who said their extensive testing efforts allowed them to catch potential outbreaks.

"Widespread testing, wearing masks, and social distancing on campus, proves to be very effective and mitigating the risk of COVID-19," Robinson said.

The weekly Facebook live conversations will continue every Thursday through January.

Copyright 2020 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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