I am writing to inform you that we received separate notifications today (Wednesday, December 9, 2020, at approximately 7:45 AM and at 1:30 PM) that two members of the Shawsheen community have tested positive for COVID-19. Based on the specifics of these two cases, we are confident that they are unrelated.
As we do in any case involving a positive case from either a student or staff member, we follow all Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) protocols, and consult and collaborate with the applicable local board(s) of health. We have conducted thorough contact tracing in compliance with all of these protocols and have identified the student(s) and/or staff member(s) who are considered to be a close contact (defined as being within 6 feet of the person for at least 15 minutes in one 24-hour period) of this individual during the period when he/she could transmit the virus to another person. All identified close contacts were informed within hours of our being notified and were ordered to self-isolate for a minimum of 10-14 days in accordance with recently revised DPH and DESE guidelines.
Due to the specific fact-pattern of one of these cases and the identified close contacts from this case, the Dental Assisting Shop is shifting to 100% remote beginning Thursday morning, December 10, 2020, through the end of the day on Friday, December 18, 2020. Students who are in these labs will be contacted directly with the necessary details regarding their remote shop.
As a reminder, we will never reveal the name or other individually-identifying information about any student or staff member who tests positive, but will directly notify anyone identified as a close contact.
Based on the information provided to the school, we are confident that these individuals tested positive as a result of out-of-school transmissions. To date, there is no evidence that Shawsheen has had any individual who tested positive due to an in-school transmission of the virus. To that end, I want to reiterate the need to follow precautions (frequent handwashing, social-distancing, and mask-wearing) in order to help ensure that Shawsheen remains safe and in operation so that we can support in-person learning. Unfortunately, these positive tests serve as an important reminder to all of us that out-of-school precautions are essential to the overall health and well-being of our entire school community. Your continued vigilance, cooperation, and support are essential in order to keep Shawsheen open to our students.