- Sudbury Public Schools
January 6, 2022 // Superintendent's Update
Happy New Year, and we wish you all a healthy 2022!
As a Nursing Team, we are writing to update you on recent changes in the CDC and DESE/DPH guidelines. We hope to provide an update and answer some general questions on COVID-19 protocols. We will continue to partner with you as we work together to keep our students, staff and families healthy during this extraordinary time.
As you are aware, this week started with the distribution of at-home rapid tests to staff members on Sunday afternoon. The District provided each staff member with a free testing kit, and by the time students arrived on Monday, all staff members were accounted for and plans were adjusted accordingly to welcome our students for their first day in 2022. Once students arrived, pool testing was underway, and health mitigation strategies were further employed in each building. Prior to vacation, desks and tables were spread out anticipating the need to distance students as much as possible.
As expected, there was a significant increase in positive tests from the pool testing on Monday. Nurses are working to support families with individual timelines, communication, and understanding. Unvaccinated or not yet fully vaccinated, in-school close contacts seated less than 3 feet from the positive case, may participate in the Test and Stay Program, and we hope to keep as many students in school as possible.
New Changes to the DESE/DPH Guidance:
- 5 day isolation for positive cases with ability to exit isolation on Day 6, if symptoms have improved (including being fever free for 24 hours or more without the use of fever reducing medication).
- Students and Staff exiting isolation on Day 6 will follow strict masking guidelines while in school through Day 10.
- Test & Stay Program for unvaccinated in-school close contacts is shortened to 5 days
- Test & Stay Program students/staff are only “strongly encouraged” to quarantine outside of school
Q: Does the DESE/DPH guidance recommend that individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 take another test before returning to school after the 5-day isolation period?
A: No, the DESE/DPH guidance does not recommend repeat testing prior to returning to school, so long as individuals are asymptomatic and/or their symptoms are improving. Individuals must mask when around others for an additional five days after the isolation period.
Routine COVID-19 Safety Checks
If your child has tested positive and is enrolled in Routine COVID-19 Safety Checks (formally known as pooled testing), they will be removed from pooled testing for 90 days. Research has shown that individuals may continue to test positive on a PCR test for that long. If after the 90 days have passed, you would like your child to be re-enrolled, please contact the school nurse at that building. We are also strongly encouraging vaccinated students and staff to continue to participate in free weekly testing. We have experienced several positive individuals who were fully vaccinated and the weekly testing will help to identify cases. If your child is not currently enrolled in the weekly COVID-19 Safety Checks, you may give consent to participate by using this link.
As a reminder, please use this link to submit your child(ren)’s vaccination information. These submissions will only be available to the principals and the nurses. We also request that, if you have previously submitted your child’s vaccination status to the nurse, you re-submit using the link provided.
We will continue to partner with the Board of Health as we assess our current status, review mitigation steps, and follow protocols. Thank you for doing your part by keeping your student home if symptoms arise, as we hope to maintain the health and wellness of our community.
Symptoms are as follows:
One or more symptoms
Two or more symptoms
● fever (100.0 or higher), chills or shaking chills
● cough (new uncontrolled cough or for students with chronic allergic/ asthmatic cough, or a change in cough from baseline)
● difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
● new loss of taste or smell
● muscle aches/body aches
● runny nose/nasal congestion
● nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
● sore throat
We thank you again for your patience and support. Please see the resources below, and let us know if you have any questions.
The Sudbury Public Schools Nursing Team
When will the District notify families of a positive COVID case?
SPS COVID Notification FlowChart Jan-22
Highlighted and Updated DESE COVID Protocols Updated December 30, 2021
What are the recent COVID case numbers in the district?