COVID-19 Announcement (7/19/21)
July 19, 2021
Dear parents, guardians, and faculty:
- COVID-19 Announcement: We are writing to inform you that we received confirmation that 2 faculty members have tested positive for COVID-19 according to PCR tests. Although the timing of these notifications has coincided, these have been identified as separate cases according to the guidelines and timeline set forth by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
- As Milestones has not experienced any COVID-19 cases since January, we would like to remind you that we have been continuing to plan for this potential scenario. We have a comprehensive plan in place to continue to sanitize the school each night (Monday-Friday), inform staff and families whose students were at risk of exposure or in close contact, and support the affected persons as they navigate this stressful experience.
- Our student body and staff have been closely adhering to the safety protocols including: mask wearing when indoors, practicing good hand hygiene, monitoring physical distancing, and high vaccination statistics. We are also grateful to our families and staff for their continued efforts to conduct daily health attestation screenings and to keep students and staff home at the first sign of symptoms. These diligent measures, taken in combination, greatly reduce the risk of transmission and have proven to be highly effective since we first reopened onsite in July 2020.
Contract Tracing and Follow-Up Notification to All Close Contacts:
- Milestones was required to conduct contact tracing for 1 case. One individual was identified as not on campus during the period of infectiousness, which rules out school-based contact tracing. The other individual was on campus during the period of infectiousness, and school-based contact tracing was completed today immediately upon our knowledge of this finding.
- Due to HIPPA regulations, we cannot provide specific information about our school community members who tested positive, however, any family whose student has been identified as being a close contact of the affected school member [i.e., defined by DESE in a school setting as being within (less than) 6 feet of the person for at least fifteen minutes in a 24 hour period while the person was infectious] has been notified already today and has been provided next steps. * Please note that the specific guidelines for required actions for close contacts changed in April 2021 (see below and attached), and these updated guidelines were applied today.
If you did not speak to an administrator earlier today regarding this situation, you (staff) or your child (families) were not identified as a close contact. As always, staff and families should please continue to monitor for symptoms according to our daily health attestations, and staff and students should stay home if they show any symptoms or are not feeling well.
Next Steps at Milestones: To further prevent transmission of the virus to other staff and students, the school will continue to be sanitized nightly. 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. Please note that our school remains open for in-person learning for those students who were not identified as a close contact that requires out of school quarantining. We are 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 all who are involved. Fortunately, Milestones’ students and staff have experience with remote learning so they have awareness that this process is designed to keep everyone in our community safe and is an appropriate alternate model for instruction, as opposed to assuming that they have contracted the virus.
For More Information Regarding COVID-19:
For more information on COVID-19 symptoms and testing, please visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/about-covid-19-testing#where-can-get-a-test?-.
You can also testing location sites at: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/find-a-covid-19-test
As a reminder, the protocols for responding to a COVID-19 case in schools were updated in Massachusetts in April 2021 to reflect changes to quarantining and testing requirements for close contacts. Specifically, these changes account for (a) vaccination status and (b) mask use, proximity (whether the exposure occurred within less than 3 feet of distance or between 3-6 feet), and the location where exposure occurred. These updated protocols have been previously shared with faculty and families, and we re-attached the document to this email. Please note that Milestones specifically adheres to all stated guidelines, with the exception that we require a minimum of a 10 day quarantine period outside of school (not 7 days), if warranted, which was supported by the Waltham Board of Health.
We are committed to continuous communication with and support for our families and staff. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact our school nurse and COVID Response Team Leader Lyn Ross at: 781-895-3200 ext.137 Monday-Friday from 7:30-3:00pm or by email anytime at: email@example.com. Thank you for your continued support. We wish our team members a speedy recovery, and we know that as a school community we will continue to support each other.