Five staff members at St. Patrick Parish in Stoneham test positive for COVID-19; Mass. reports 2,455 new COVID cases; DESE commissioner wants to waive MCAS requirement for 11th graders; Red Sox Opening Day postponed until Friday because of the rain; Weekend forecast.
LISA HUGHES: Hi, everyone. I'm Lisa Hughes. This is a "WBZ News Update."
Easter services at St. Patrick Church in Stoneham, beginning with tonight's Holy Thursday Mass, are canceled because of a coronavirus outbreak. The pastor says five parish staff members, including a deacon, have tested positive and have been quarantined. Services are being shifted online through April 10, at St. Patrick Church.
Now to the latest numbers in the coronavirus pandemic in Massachusetts. There were nearly 2,500 new cases, hospitalizations are at 700, and the positivity rate was down just slightly, to 2.49%. 55 communities are now considered high risk, that's up from 32 last week.
The state's education commissioner wants to drop the MCAS requirement for graduating seniors next year. Commissioner Jeffrey Riley cites the learning difficulties that have been created because of the pandemic. Under his proposal, the class of 2022 would be allowed to skip taking the test next month. The Board of Education has to approve this. It would only affect the class of 2022, so kids who are juniors now.
A rite of spring is going to have to wait until tomorrow. The much-anticipated Opening Day for the Red Sox is postponed until Friday. Downpour soaked the field at Fenway Park for hours this morning. We even had ducks out there on the tarp. The Sox are going to take on the Orioles Friday at 2:10 in front of about 4,500 fans.
And it's not going to be a balmy day tomorrow, but, Eric, at least it will be dry.
ERIC FISHER: A little more time for the field to dry out, I suppose, as we head into Friday, but chilly. Cold enough there have been a couple of scattered flurries and sprinkles out across the area. They'll dry up over the course of the evening. We'll keep a lot of cloud cover and it will be a chilly night. Upper 20s to low 30s by the time wake up tomorrow morning.
A chance for some morning sunshine. I do think the clouds are going to fill back in for a mostly cloudy afternoon. And temps in the low to mid-40s, breezy out of the northwest. Not our finest, but not g-- or not all that surprising, I should say, for April 2 here in the Boston area. So layer up if you're heading out to Fenway Park, but they'll be able to play ball.
As for the weekend, a cold morning. 20s on Saturday morning. We'll rebound to the 40s to low 50s.
Easter Sunday looking partly sunny, low to mid 50s there. So a fairly quiet holiday weekend, no major weather issues. For any outdoor gatherings, just need a jacket. Lisa?
LISA HUGHES: Sounds good. Eric, thank you. And thanks for being with us, this has been a "WBZ News Update."