Group of local high school students return to class day after staying home amid coronavirus concerns

MILFORD, Mass. — Thirty-two students from Hopedale and Milford High School went on a school trip to Italy during school break in February. For precautionary reasons, the school’s superintendent told the students who returned to stay at home on Monday due to concerns about coronavirus.

“I think it was smart of them,” said senior Brooke Butler of Milford High School. “If they did have the virus, they would spread it throughout the school.”

Students at Milford High School tell Boston 25 News that teachers are educating them about what the coronavirus is.

When reached for comment on Tuesday, schools across Massachusetts described the situation as fluid, adding that they are monitoring it and even canceling trips to Italy.

Nycolas Ferreriera’s younger brother is a student at Milford High School.

“I hope he doesn’t get sick, if he does, I will take care of him,” Ferreriera said. “Fingers crossed.”

According to reports, Italy now has the highest number of coronavirus infections outside of Asia. More than 50 cases were reported in northern Italy overnight, bringing the total to more than 300.

One student says his fellow classmates shouldn’t be traveling abroad right now.

“The coronavirus, it could’ve came back here and started it here in Mass.,” said junior Dylan Wang of Milford High School. “I don’t think they should’ve gone.”

Officials at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention say to prepare for a world pandemic right now as the global health toll rises to 2,700. Locally, school officials aren’t taking any chances.

Assumption College officials in Worcester say they have been closely monitoring the virus in Italy as they have a student group over in the country.

“It is important to note that, as of today, most cases are confined to the northern region of Italy,” said Michael K. Guilfoyle of Assumption College. “Rome, where our campus is located, is in the central part of the country.

“Regardless, given the increase in the number of confirmed cases of Coronavirus, we decided yesterday to suspend all College-sponsored travel to the northern region and suspend all independent student travel to the region.”

In the meantime, other school districts are also taking precautions by canceling some of the trips, and even postponing them as the virus is still very fluid. As for the 32 students who were told to stay home Monday, they were given the all-clear to return to school on Tuesday.

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