Superintendent’s Update ~ Positive COVID Test at BHS ~ October 14, 2020

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Today [October 14],  I was informed by the Bedford Board of Health that they received a laboratory testing report indicating that a school community member (i.e., student or staff) at Bedford High School has been diagnosed with a probable case of COVID-19. Confirmatory lab test results are pending. If an alternate result is received from the confirmatory testing, I will send another notification. This is a separate school community member than was reported several days ago. Please note that the cases are not connected and neither is a close contact of the other.

Upon receipt of the probable report, the Bedford Board of Health immediately began case investigations. The first step in a school case investigation is to determine whether or not the probable case attended school during the infectious period. According to MA Department of Public Health (MDPH) guidelines, the infectious period for COVID-19 is two days prior to becoming symptomatic or, if asymptomatic, two days prior to testing.

The Board of Health determined that the Bedford High School community member was present at school during one day of their infectious period. Therefore, action was taken to identify possible close contacts while the school community member was in school. Investigative efforts revealed no close contacts at school. The COVID-19 probable individual verified not having any close contacts in the school community. This disclosure was verified by reputable sources present in the school setting, including teachers/school staff who are responsible for monitoring the classroom/school environment for any breaches of safety protocols.

Our first responsibility is to keep our school community safe. We have been planning for this scenario during our reopening planning process and have a comprehensive plan in place to sanitize the school each school day, inform families whose students were at risk of exposure or in close contact, and support the affected family as they navigate this stressful experience.

As a school community, we continue to adhere closely to the safety protocols including mask-wearing, hand washing, and six feet of physical distancing. We are grateful to our families for their continued efforts to keep students home at the first sign of symptoms. These measures, taken in combination, greatly reduce the risk of additional transmission. Though we cannot provide specific information about our school community member who tested positive, your child was not a close contact (defined as being within 6 feet of the person for at least 15 minutes) of the affected school member while they were in school during their infectious period. Please continue to monitor your child for symptoms, and keep your child home if he/she/they shows any symptoms or is not feeling well.

We will continue to be vigilant in adhering to all of the protocols that have been put in place in an effort to continue in-person learning via our current hybrid model. We are also providing remote learning for all students required to quarantine at home to continue to provide instruction, structure, and an emotional connection to the classroom during a time that we know will be challenging for those children and families involved.

We are committed to continuous communication with and support of our families. If there is additional transmission as a result of this case or a separate case, we will send out another message immediately. Thank you for your continued support.

Wishing you continued health.

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