COVID 19 Update – October 27, 2020

Hello Georgetown Community! I hope you are well and hanging in there with all that is going on in this world right now. This is a very challenging time and I have been hearing a lot about “COVID fatigue” lately which is something we need to resist especially given the significant increases in COVID cases and more deaths within our state and throughout the country. We can’t lull ourselves into a false sense of security even though our average number of daily cases per 100,000 and the percent of positive cases has been low in our town for many weeks. This past week, Georgetown was listed as yellow which in and of itself will not change our plan for our schools, however we will be watching these numbers over the next couple of weeks to determine if further action will be needed. We need to pull together and more strictly adhere to the safety measures of social distancing , mask wearing, proper hand hygiene and staying home if sick. This is how we have kept the numbers low and need to continue to make these safety precautions a priority. Additionally, I want to pass along the advice regarding large gatherings and travel restrictions. If you are planning to travel to a place that is not on the Massachusetts safe list, be sure you are tested before returning or quarantine for 14 days. Large gatherings even with family and close friends may not be completely safe if members of the group are going to work and moving throughout their lives. As you have seen recently, there have been a number of high schools that have been forced to go to remote learning because of large parties. We can’t be too careful if we want to keep our schools open so I sincerely appreciate your help and assistance. We’ve got this Georgetown!

I am writing to let you know that over the past several days we have received confirmation that two staff members, one at Penn Brook and one at the MHS and one student have tested positive for COVID 19. Contact tracing is continuing and close contacts (7 staff and 10 students) are quarantining and being tested. We are tracking the test results to determine if any further tracing will be required. We are using the most recent guidelines as to what defines a “close contact” and everyone we have contacted has been very responsive and cooperative. Many people have asked us to share more information and I understand the reasons behind this request however due to privacy restrictions we are limited in the information we can provide only to people who are directly affected. HOWEVER I can assure you that all close contacts will be contacted directly and we will do everything possible to keep COVID out of the schools and, most importantly, from spreading cases within the schools. I am proud to say that we have the necessary precautions in place in our schools that will significantly reduce and virtually limit close contacts within the school. That is our goal.

If you missed the School Committee meeting last Thursday, you may not be aware that we are working with a medical team that has presented a flow chart and the metrics that we will use to make decisions about moving from one model to another ( remote, hybrid). This information will be posted on our website for your information. If you have any questions, please reach out to me at jacobsc@georgetown.k12.ma.us .

Carol