Covid Update: Town rates declining; Trottier and ARHS to increase in person learning in April

by beth on March 8, 2021

It’s time for an update on Covid numbers in Southborough and the public schools.

Southborough’s cases and rates trending down

Last week’s Mass Dept of Public Health’s report showed that Southborough’s % positivity rate for tests taken had decreased again. I have been wondering how much increases in cases are related to increased testing.  I dug through the archived reports to look at the impact on increased testing over the course of the pandemic.

The state didn’t detail that by town prior to mid-May. But I was able to piece together the following graph from data posted since then.

Feb 27 - Southborough Testing and Positivity Rates

The data reveals that since early January, the number of tests residents have taken every 2 weeks has gone up, while the % of positive tests has declined. (Click on graph above for details.)

The Town updated its Covid-19 figures “as of” 2:30 pm today. The case rate declined again with only 13 cases confirmed in the past 2 weeks. Based on these numbers, there’s a good chance the state will move Southborough from yellow back into green in Thursday’s report.

The Town’s cumulative total over the course of the pandemic was increased to 409 cases with 40 cases currently labeled active. (For details, click on graphs below.)

  March 8 - tracking Covid in SouthboroughMarch 8 - Covid by ages in Southborough March 8 - Covid by ages in Southborough over time  

NSBORO Schools

In-person learning plans

The big news out of the Northborough-Southborough schools isn’t its latest Dashboard. It’s Friday’s announcement from the Superintendent that the return of middle and high school students is targeted for April. More details are to be shared sometime this week.

The district appears to still be on track to move the the 4 day in-person/1 day remote model for K-5 the week of March 22nd. That’s ahead of an April 5th deadline the state’s Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner just announced for elementary schools. The deadline is to offer students a full return to in-person learning.

The Commissioner did indicate that districts can apply for a waiver to ask for a phased in approach. I don’t have word yet on whether the administration plans to apply for a waiver or alter its plans. That’s bound to come up at the Southborough School Committee meeting this Wednesday.

District Dashboard

The latest District Dashboard for February 28th-March 7th shows 8 cases were confirmed in the district, 234 over the course of the pandemic. That includes a small uptick in Algonquin and Southborough K-8 students/staff. 105 students/staff were isolated or quarantined last week. 

The report shows that participation increased in the district’s screening program:

  • District staff participation increased from the prior week by 3% to be 81%.
  • For student participation:
    • ARHS increased by 5% to 45%
    • Trottier increased by 6% to 47%
    • Neary increased by 4% to 58%
    • Woodward increased by 3% to 52%
    • Finn increased by 13% to 43%

The samples collected February 28th & March 7th successfully screened out 2 infected asymptomatic students.

(Going forward the District will be shifting Dashboard reports to run Monday to Sunday, to better group and report the screening conducted at the end of each week.)

Below are charts and info from the latest Dashboard and my tracking of their data since the start of the school year.

 March 7 - NSBORO Covid-Dashboard p 1 March 7 - NSBORO Covid Dashboard p2 March 7 - NSBORO Covid Dashboard p3 March 7 - New cases in NSBORO schools by week March 7 - NSBORO Students-Staff in Quarantine-Isolation March 7 - Algonquin Students-Staff in Quarantine-Isolation March 7 - Southborough Students-Staff in Quarantine-Isolation

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