Covid Update: NSBORO encourages students to sign up for weekly at home rapid tests; Town’s daily count continues decline

Jan 31 - Confirmed per Day in Southborough over 14 days

Above: The average daily count of new cases in Southborough has continued to decline. (click to enlarge)

This morning, the Town of Southborough posted their weekly Covid numbers. It shows that cases are still high but spread has significantly slowed since the start of the month. 

As long as I’m sharing that news, I’ll also share an update from the public schools, asking families to sign up to take part in a second weekly testing program. In addition to the weekly pooled screening swabs collected each Monday morning, participating students will take a (provided) at home test each Thursday morning. While pooled screening results take days to come back, the at home antigen tests will offer results in 15 minutes.

The change will require the district to discontinue its “Test and Stay” program. (The last day will be this Friday, February 4th.) The announcement was shared in Friday’s weekly update from NSBORO Superintendent Gregory Martineau. It linked to a detailed document that explained:

In review of the data, at the state level, 2% of individuals in the Test and Stay program have tested positive; in our District that number has been much lower at 0.7%. This tells us that exposures in the school setting led to a very low risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, even in people who were not yet vaccinated. This data also shows transmission from close contacts is a rare occurrence in school and therefore extensive contact tracing is not adding significant value as a mitigation strategy despite the demand they place on the time of the school staff.

Based on the data that has been shared in the weekly Dashboards, the weekly screening program has identified over 380 cases of asymptomatic students this school year, versus 32 through the Test and Stay program. For the administration’s full explanation and links to register to participate, click here.

As for the Town’s latest update, there were 59 new or probable cases confirmed in one week. Southborough’s cumulative official total over the course of the pandemic is 1769 cases with 49 cases labeled active. (Although, as I’ve previously reported, the Public Health Department believes cases have been significantly underreported this winter during the worst of the Omicron surge.)

Below are more of my updated graphs:

Jan 31 - tracking Covid in Southborough Jan 31 - Cumulative total Covid in Southborough Jan 31 - Covid by ages in Southborough over time Jan 31- Covid by ages in Southborough

For the latest options for getting tested, see the Town’s page here.

For my most recent coverage of the state’s data for our Town and the NSBORO weekly stats, click here.

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