Updated: Boston Latin School will be closed for the next week â€” beginning today â€” as public health officials respond to a surge in reported cases of "influenza-like illness and high absenteeism among students." The city has also announced that a private school â€” The Winsor School in the Longwood area â€” will also shut down for seven days for the same reason. The city is advising BLS students and staff to "stay at home for seven days and not to congregate at other sites."
Mayor Menino made the Boston Latin School announcement this afternoon at a press conference at City Hall.
â€œThis is not a time to panic, but it is a time to be cautious,â€ Mayor Menino said in a statement. â€œI understand this is an inconvenience, but the well-being of our students, teachers and staff is our top priority. We didnâ€™t make this decision lightly. We hope that this temporary closing will prevent new infections and avoid unnecessary illness.â€
The Public Health Commission said that 260 studentsâ€” out of 2,400â€” were absent from classes today. That's an increase of 60 students from the day before. On average, about 80 students are absent from classes at Boston Latin School on any given day, according to the BPHC.