September 24 2020

Burlington Public Schools Report Positive Cases of COVID-19

By: BNEWS

Burlington Public Schools have been made aware of three positive cases of COVID-19 in three different school buildings this week, with two of the cases found in people who attended school. 

According to a letter from Superintendent Eric Conti and Director of Public Health Susan Lumenello, three students or staff members have tested positive to the virus. The cases were at Francis Wyman, Pine Glen and Marshall Simonds Middle School. 

“The Burlington Board of Health immediately began case investigations,” the letter states. “The first determination in a school case investigation is to determine whether or not the positive case attended school during the infectious period.”

 According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health guidelines, the infectious period for Covid -19 is two days prior to becoming symptomatic or, if asymptomatic, two days prior to testing, the letter states. The Board of Health determined that the case at Francis Wyman School did not attend school during their infectious period, therefore, no additional action was needed. 

“However, the cases at Pine Glen and Marshall Simonds School did attend school during the infectious period and it was necessary to determine who was in close contact with the positive staff/student during the infectious period,” Conti and Lumenello say. “A close contact is defined as anyone within 6’ of the affected individual for greater than 10 minutes. All students/staff members determined to be close contacts, both through activities inside or outside of school, were  immediately contacted by the Board of Health and were required to quarantine. Testing was recommended for all close contacts, however, any close contacts testing negative for Covid-19 must still complete quarantine requirements as issued by the Board of Health.”

According to the letter, out of an abundance of caution, it is the policy of Burlington Public Schools to close any classroom when a student/staff member with a confirmed or probable case of Covid-19 is present in the classroom during their infectious period. Classrooms will be closed based on the last date of possible exposure, which is determined through Board of Health case investigation, and will be no longer than two weeks.  Prior to reopening classrooms, a thorough cleaning of the classroom and shared materials will be conducted in accordance with Department of Public Health recommendations. Only the students/staff members notified by the Board of Health are  required to quarantine.  

 

“If you are not contacted by the Board of Health, then your child is not considered a close contact and does not need to quarantine,” the letter says. 

Conti and Lumenello say parents/guardians should be aware of the signs and symptoms of Covid-19.  If you believe you or your child may have symptoms of Covid-19, you can check symptoms here.  Anyone exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19 should avoid contact with others and contact their health care provider and/or get a molecular diagnostic Covid-19 test.  Free testing sites can be found here.  

For additional information on Covid-19, go to Burlington.org, public health alerts or call the Board of Health at 781-270-1955 or email boh@burlington.org. For school related questions, please feel free to contact Assistant Superintendent Patrick Larkin larkin@bpsk12.org

We appreciate your patience and support as we work to continue to educate our students safely during this global pandemic,” the letter concludes. 


 

 
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