December 29, 2021
Dear Staff and Families,
We have received guidance today from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) based on the recently updated guidance from CDC on December 28, 2021 https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s1227-isolation-quarantine-guidance.html
and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) guidance on December 29, 2021 http://mass.gov/.
At this time, DESE has adopted the CDC and MDPH guidance for isolation, effective immediately. However, at this time, DESE will continue current guidance for quarantine. DESE, in collaboration with MDPH, are reviewing guidance on quarantine. We may see an update in the next few days. I will send another communication if guidance changes.
Updated Isolation Guidance. If an individual tests positive for COVID-19 and shows no symptoms, the recommended isolation period has been shortened from 10 days to 5 days, followed by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others.
Update on Home Tests. Home test results are now sufficient for reporting positive cases. Although it is recommended to follow-up with a PCR test, we will no longer require the PCR test as confirmation or ask staff and students to follow-up with a PCR test after testing positive during our Test and Stay program. Therefore, we will follow all guidance based on a home test result.
Massachusetts, Cape Cod, and Falmouth are seeing even greater numbers during this holiday break. Please do not return to school if staff member or student is COVID positive or is experiencing COVID-like symptoms. Please follow the guidance if exposed to someone who is COVID positive.
Although we have seen a spike in positive cases in school, the majority of cases have been attributed to an outside source. It appears our protocols, especially mask wearing, have been successful in reducing transmission. Thank you for your continued vigilance during this new spike in COVID cases. I know we all agree, we want our students in school.
Be safe. Be well.
Lori S. Duerr, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools