Skip to Main Content

COVID 19 President Update May 1

Dear Cushing Community,

I hope that you and your families continue to stay safe and healthy during this time. As we approach the end of week seven, Cardinal Cushing is beginning to feel the surge of COVID-19. In addition to the two previously reported positive cases, this week brought three additional positive COVID cases to our community, one of which is an individual that we support. I want to report that all of those with COVID-19 have had mild symptoms and are doing well.


We will continue to provide you with weekly community updates on any positive COVID cases as well as our plans for reopening. If there is a situation where a student or adult that we support has had direct contact with a positive individual, parents/guardians will be notified by administration immediately. Human Resources and Program Directors will work on contact mapping and any staff person that has had direct contact with a positive individual will also be notified immediately. Please know that we will provide everyone with as much information as we can without compromising the confidentiality of those that are involved.


Just this week, Governor Baker extended the “stay at home” advisory until May 18th . Given our recent surge in positive cases, we will be extending all day program/school closures through June 1st.  As we know, this continues to be a fluid situation and dates may change. We continue to work with CDC and our partners at DDS, DESE & EEC for their assistance and guidance on these timelines as well as clear safety protocols for reopening. Cardinal Cushing’s administration, along with our Board of Directors, will also continue to assess the health and safety of our community in order to make decisions about when to safely and methodically begin to reopen the schools and adult day programs. We are also respectfully needing to continue to hold on any home visits through June 1st. Along these same lines, we are also requesting that family and friends postpone any plans to visit their loved one through June 1st . Again, our goal is to minimize unnecessary contact that may potentially spread the virus through our community. We will continue to revisit this as additional information comes out.


We still continue to offer remote learning for all of those we support. Many thanks to staff and families that have been sharing photos of their love one engaged in learning and fun! We know this is not an ideal situation however, I want to applaud all of our staff and those that we support as they have done an incredible job adjusting to these virtual classrooms and new way of learning. I also want to acknowledge all of our parents and caregivers for your patience and feedback as we work together through the challenges of distance learning. Please reach out to your child’s team with any questions or concerns about their programming and please follow us on social media to see all of the great activities we are engaged in.


As of Monday we will be closing down the school building to our residential students and will begin remote learning within their on-campus home environments. All of the education and vocational staff will be deployed to the on campus homes to work with students on their individual learning plans. This decision did not come lightly given the complex needs of our residential students, however, we feel it is now a necessary safety measure. The students will still have scheduled times to access the gym, rec hall, and swings in order to control group size and arrange for disinfecting in between uses. Please see the attached social story that is being shared with our residential students as they transition to on-campus remote learning next week.


Despite all the news and the fearfulness associated with the virus, we continue to do everything we can to keep everyone healthy, safe and engaged. We all look forward to when this pandemic will be over and our lives will return to some level of normalcy. I hope our families, coworkers, and those that we support will remember how we responded and treated one another during these challenging times – with kindness, respect, care, and concern.
Thank you for all of your continued support. It means so much.
Be Well,
Michelle Markowitz
Interim President & CEO