November 30, 2021
Dear APS families and staff,
As we anticipated last week, we have seen an increase in positive COVID-19 cases in the community. This has resulted in higher number of COVID-19 cases in our schools as we return from Thanksgiving recess.
As of today, the district has 21 positive cases, and we expect that number to increase over the next couple of weeks, and possibly through the holiday season. Our nursing teams are currently engaged in contact tracing and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (DESE) Test & Stay and Symptomatic Testing programs. Both Test & Stay and Symptomatic Testing require advance consent, if you have not yet signed up, you can do so here for yourself (staff) or your children (families).
We ask our families and staff to monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and have a test performed if you or your child aren’t feeling well. Vaccines are now available in Massachusetts for individuals five (5) years old and older. The state’s website offers the best resource for finding a location for vaccination appointments.
We recently tested students who were identified as close contacts in a non-school program. We have consulted with DESE and moving forward, any individual who has been identified as a close contact outside of the school day, including before and after school childcare, is not eligible for the school districts’ Test and Stay program as provided by DESE.
Unfortunately, we remain in a global pandemic. We have seen many breakthrough cases in the community, i.e., positive COVID-19 test results on individuals who are fully vaccinated, and a number of individuals have tested positive while experiencing mild and even no symptoms at all. Therefore, we advise you to monitor for symptoms and perform testing as a precaution.
Rita Casper, MBA RN NCSN
Director of Nursing
Andover Public Schools