Hamden Public Schools has decided to switch to a remote learning day for all students on Friday, due to the extreme cold and wind chill expected.
The state’s Severe Cold Weather Protocol has now been activated through Sunday. The governor’s office says that helps communities open up shelters amid the bitter temperatures.
“These severe weather conditions can be really dangerous,” said Mayor Curt Leng, D – Hamden.
Leng says among the precautions is a switch to remote learning for all students on Friday.
He said it’s a challenge heating the buildings right now because they are pulling in more fresh air to follow COVID-19 guidelines.
“What the superintendent has said, once it gets into the teens or single digits it becomes very difficult and the buildings can fall below 60,” said Leng.
There’s also help for those needing to escape the frigid conditions.
“We will always try to find a warm, safe place for anybody who needs one,” said Margaret Middleton, the CEO of Columbus House.
Middleton said they are providing warming center spaces including at hotels in some cities and at Breakthrough Church in Hamden.
This year, COVID has made things a little more tricky.
“Now because everybody has to be kept six feet apart and we have to make sure we have adequate air circulation for the airborne virus, our capacity in all of our work this winter is greatly reduced,” said Middleton.
The Breakthrough Church space will be open straight through Monday morning.
There’s also a warming spot in the lobby at the Hamden police station.
Until the worst of the cold is over, many are preparing to just hunker down for now.
“I’m not happy. I’m not ready for this cold weather,” said Dawn Langston of Hamden. “I’m staying indoors. I’m buying everything today so I can cook in advance, make some hot meals.”
With the possibility of wintry weather on the way early next week, the district also urged parents to plan for the possibility that remote learning could continue next week.