Covid Update: 20 active cases; 3 NSBORO potential in-school transmissions (Updated)

by beth on September 20, 2021

As of this morning, the Southborough Board of Health is showing 20 residents in isolation for active cases of Covid-19. The total cases over the course of the pandemic is now 600. That’s 25 cases in on week and 34 in two weeks.

Last week’s report from Mass Dept of Public Health (issued September 16th)* indicated 23 cases in two weeks with the % of tests confirmed positive as 1.47% (lower than prior report). The Average Daily Incidence Rate per 100,000 was 17.0 (higher than prior period).

For more details on the Town and State’s data for Southborough, see images below:

Sept 20 - tracking Covid in Southborough Sept 20 - Covid by ages in Southborough Sept 14 - Covid by ages in Southborough over time Sept 20 - Cumulative total Covid in Southborough Sept 20 - Confirmed per Day in Southborough over 14 days Sept 16 - Southborough covid map

This morning, the Northborough-Southborough Public Schools posted a District Dashboard. (One was also posted last Monday, following my writing of last week’s update.) 19 new cases were reported between September 13-19 (12 in Southborough K-8 classes and 3 in Algonquin). Those are in addition to the 7 cases confirmed September 1st-12th.

As of the 19th, 2 tests through the “Test & Stay” protocol came back positive, and 3 cases were identified as potentially contracted through in-school transmission. The report notes:

What happens when there is a potential in-school transmission? The Medical Advisory Team meets to review the data associated with the case, evaluate the mitigation strategies that are being employed and advise on next steps. Some of the things we look at are: the activities happening, air quality, distancing and masking in the areas where transmission may have happened.

This evening, Superintendent Martineau issued a message to parents about the situation. Scroll down for that.***

Last Thursday, the District shared some overlapping data for September 9-15. It reported that six students identified as close contacts in that period, but allowed to “Test and Stay”, with in-school rapid tests as long as they were asymptomatic. [Note: This week’s Dashboard indicates that future Dashboards will be issued on Thursdays.]

For more details on NSBORO figures, click thumbnails below:
Sept 19 - New cases in NSBORO schools by week 

As of last week’s report, from Mass DPH 8,574 Southborough residents had received shots (as of September 14th). 

Sept 14 - Vaccinations-tableMy data extrapolated from 2019 census reports indicates 89% of residents old enough to be eligible for shots are fully vaccinated, and another 8% are partially vaxxed. (I used census data since the state’s population data was clearly outdated.)

At this point more residents under the age of 50 are at least partially vaccinated than any estimated populations tracked for those age groups.

Since the data is based on vaccinations in state, the Board of Health is having difficulty tracking how many residents not confirmed as vaccinated are truly actually unvaccinated. (Especially senior “snowbirds”.)

More highlights by age group and gender are in charts the chart above right and graphs below. (They include vaccination progress charts that zoom in on summer months.):
Sept 14 - Residents vaccinated by age 

(For more details on those groups, plus race/ethnicity, click here.)

*The state’s report was based on tests taken in the 14 day period ending on the prior Saturday.

**Population figures are just estimates. I use demographics extrapolated from 2019 census data since the state’s population data was clearly outdated.

***Updated (9/20/21 7:38 am): A message this evening to parents from Superintendent Martineau followed up on the potential in-school transmissions:

As of today, the District has identified three potential COVID-19 cases that involved in-school transmission. With each case, the nursing staff evaluated the conditions and worked to identify any patterns that would require the District to add/shift health and safety mitigation strategies.  Additionally, last evening, Sunday, September 19, 2021, the Medical Advisory Team (MAT) met to review these data and make recommendations.  As a result of the examination of cases and hearing the MAT’s recommendations, the District is:

  1. Collaborating with faculty and staff to ensure indoor masking is happening with fidelity.  

  2. Observing lunch blocks to identify areas of concern.

  3. Continuing with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (DESE) Test to Stay program.

For this week, the District will continue to monitor cases closely and determine if health and safety mitigation strategies need to be added. Each Wednesday, the District will update the COVID-19 cases via the District COVID -19 Dashboard. For the latest District Dashboard, click here. 

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