Spike in Covid Cases at Shawsheen Tech Reported by Superintendent Jackson

A spike in reported Covid-19 cases at Shawsheen Valley Technical High School “is cause for concern,” the superintendent-director advised parents in a communication Friday.

And Dr. Bradford Jackson is calling on parents to “strongly consider limiting your student’s attendance at indoor social gatherings where a number of unmasked students will be present.”

Shawsheen Tech is the regional vocational high school that serves Bedford, Billerica, Burlington, Tewksbury, and Wilmington. Jackson earlier this week delivered a detailed overview of the technical high school during a virtual meeting of the Bedford School Committee.

The number of student cases between Nov. 4 and 10 was 13, and there were also three staff members diagnosed. These are the highest seven-day counts since the start of the school year, according to data provided to parents by Jackson.

Since Sept. 9, the total of student cases until this latest period was 36. There were only four total cases among staff.

“While I am hopeful that this week’s increase was the result of the increase in off-campus student interactions that coincided with Halloween, I recognize that not all transmissions are happening outside of school,” Jackson wrote. “In fact, eight of the cases we have seen this year are suspected in-school transmissions.”

Still, he continued, “the source of most of our COVID-cases remains out-of-school exposures.” That has been verified by contact tracing over the course of the pandemic.

“We have found that a significant number of the cases we have seen in school can be traced to a student’s attendance at an after-school, indoor social gathering, where most if not all of the attendees were unmasked,” he wrote.

In school, the superintendent reported, “we will be carefully monitoring our case count and reviewing our internal prevention and safety practices to ensure widespread compliance.”

Mike Rosenberg can be reached at mike@thebedfordcitizen.org, or 781-983-1763

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