Covid Update: Southborough numbers spike; NSBORO recommends wearing masks this week

May 4 - New cases in NSBORO schools by weekLast night, the Northborough-Southborough Public Schools issued a message. It warned of a spike in cases in Southborough schools and strongly encouraged district students to wear masks for the remainder of the week. However, they are not reinstating a mandate at this time.

According to the latest NSBORO Dashboard reports, 103 cases were reported in the week ending Wednesday, May 4th – 64 from Southborough K-8 and 10 from Algonquin. Daily Counts through yesterday showed an additional 84 cases – 53 from Southborough and only 2 at Algonquin.

 

Apparently, the overall NSBORO attendance rate dipped below 93%, causing the Medical Advisory Team to study the situation. According to Superintendent Gregory Martineau’s message, the figure represents the district as a whole, not the schools.

Between the lines, Southborough schools’ attendance is lower. Our schools’ and town’s case count is higher than Northborough’s. The message reminded that students can opt in for take-home tests. (For the entire message, scroll down.)

As of yesterday morning, the Town of Southborough reported 59 new/probable cases in one week with 53 labeled active. There were 99 in two weeks (an average of 7.1 per day.)

May 9 - tracking Covid in Southborough May 9 - Confirmed per Day in Southborough over 14 days May 9 - Cumulative total Covid in Southborough May 9 - Covid by ages in Southborough May 9 - Covid by ages in Southborough over time 

Given the rising numbers, residents over the age of 50 might be interested in the Town’s clinic for 2nd Booster shots. You can find those details here. (For other vaccine options, click here.)

An overlapping report from the state last week, indicated 79 cases in two weeks with an Average Daily Incidence Rate per 100,000 of 58.5 (an increase from the prior week). The % of tests confirmed positive was 12.36% (also an increase). (The reports issued on Thursday evenings are based on results from tests taken during the 14 day period ending the prior Saturday.)

April 30 - Southborough Testing and Positivity Rates April 30 - regional map Covid cases

Below is the message from Martineau:

Dear Parent(s) and Guardian(s),

We have seen a steady rise in COVID-19 cases in the state, Town of Southborough, and Public Schools of Southborough over the past two weeks. We have not seen this trend in cases in the Town of Northborough or the Northborough Public Schools. All schools throughout the District employ the same mitigation strategies. The most updated Daily Case Count is available on the District Website.  

The Medical Advisory Team has been reviewing information every week.  The predetermined attendance threshold (93% at the school level – not the class level) has triggered a detailed review of the relevant data, including:

  • Number of COVID-19 cases at each school
  • Number of students out for non-COVID-19 medical reasons, including other respiratory pathogens
  • Number of students out for non-COVID-19, non-medical reasons, including recent travel and religious holidays
  • Community metrics: positivity, case counts
  • State and regional metrics: wastewater trends, hospitalizations for and with covid
  • Current vaccination and variant data

As a result of this review, the MAT recommends the schools employ the following mitigations (many of which have been ongoing):

  • Send notification to parents/guardians in classrooms with more than 3 cases and recommend masks and daily testing
  • Strongly encourage masking while indoors (which is also a recent CDC recommendation)
  • Open windows, and check ventilation by measuring CO2
  • Move as many activities as possible outside
  • Encourage and reinforce proper hand hygiene
  • Request postponing any “buddy” activities with other classrooms 
  • Encourage pooled testing on Mondays and Antigen testing on Thursdays

The MAT recommends the following mitigations for families and staff:

  • Diligently monitor for symptoms using the Daily Checklist
    • if you have any symptoms (even mild ones)
      • STAY HOME
      • Call the school nurse
      • TEST (antigen or PCR)
        • If antigen negative, get a  PCR or medically proctored rapid test
  • Wear a mask while indoors at school for the remainder of the week (through 5/13/22)

Masking is still optional, but it is highly recommended that your child wear a mask while indoors at school for the remainder of this week.

  • Participate in the at-home antigen testing on Thursday (5/12/22)

(For families who have not registered for the at-home test kits and wish to get some tests, please complete this opt-in form).

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