January 1, 2021 --
Dear Medfield Families,
Happy New Year! I hope you had the opportunity to spend time with family and friends during our winter break. As we prepare to welcome our students and staff back to school on Monday, January 3rd, I would like to share some important updates with all of you.
The Massachusetts Department of Secondary and Elementary Education (DESE) and Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MADPH) have updated their guidance in conjunction with the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding isolation durations for those who have tested positive for COVID-19. The key details are:
Stay home and isolate for 5 days (reduced from 10 days)
The first day of symptoms or the day you test positive (whichever is earlier) is “Day 0”
Your child may return to school on Day 6 as long as:
They have improved symptoms
They continue to wear a mask whenever around others for 5 more days
They are fever-free for at least 24 hours without fever-reducing medication
We will make adjustments to ensure that students that tested positive and returned after 5 days will remain 6 feet from another student during lunch or snack time until Day 10. The recently updated Medfield COVID Illness Guidelines can be found here. Please remember to keep your children home if they have any symptoms of COVID-19 and be sure to notify the school nurse if your child tested positive over winter break.
We strongly recommend that our students wear masks that are multi-layer, preferably a surgical-type mask or an N95/KN95 mask. These masks will provide greater protection than a single-layer cloth mask. Our schools will continue to have a limited number of surgical masks available should a student need one during the day.
With this increased focus on the Omicron variant, it is important to remember that our schools are safe places for our students and staff. The combination of federal grants, local funds, and “Onward Funds” has allowed us to upgrade our ventilation systems, purchase hospital-grade air purifiers, and provide PPE to students and staff. These improvements along with our mitigation efforts like mask-wearing, pooled testing, “Test and Stay”, open windows in classrooms, and split lunch spaces provide our students and staff with additional safeguards. Our Fall 2021 Reopening Plan has additional information.
Based on the recent models and data, we do expect a challenging first few weeks in January with increased positive cases and potentially, workforce issues currently seen in other sectors. Our district continues to be committed to the safety of our students and staff, as well as full in-person learning. We look forward to our students returning on Monday!
I wish you all a happy and healthy 2022.