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Posted on: December 23, 2021

Health Information & Contact Tracing Updates from APS Director of Nursing

Dear APS families, 

As we begin the winter recess, I want to share a few COVID-19 updates with our families. We anticipate you may be attending many events throughout the week and encourage you to be mindful of health and safety protocols. During the vacation, we are expecting families to continue to monitor children for any COVID-19 symptoms. 

If your child is symptomatic, please quarantine your child, have them tested and consult with your family’s physician. Symptomatic students must not return to school after the break until you have received negative PCR test results. If your child is positive for COVID-19, please reach out to any identified close contacts during school vacation and weekends. 

Our nurses have worked tirelessly since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, which has taken a toll on their wellbeing. To help mitigate their workload, we will be making adjustments to COVID-19 contact tracing processes. Effective immediately, our nurses will no longer be available to perform contact tracing on weekends or during school vacation. Contact tracing will resume on Mondays or the next school day. 

Additionally, our nursing team will adjust how they will contact families whose children are identified as a close contact while at school. Nursing staff will continue to call those identified close contacts less than 3 feet and unvaccinated. All other close contacts will receive written communication via email from the school. 

We have seen a marked increase in positive COVID-19 cases across Massachusetts and nationwide, including cases from new variants. This holiday season, we encourage all families to remain vigilant and follow guidance from public healthcare providers to ensure a safe and healthy vacation for our school community. 

Best wishes for the holiday season. 

Rita Casper MBA RN NCSN

Director of Nursing, Andover Public Schools

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