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Superintendent's Letter - Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 - Tuesday, October 20, 2020

BPS Letterhead

Dear Members of the Belmont Public Schools Community,

I write to inform you about two new cases of confirmed COVID-19 in our school community.  We received confirmation from the Belmont Department of Health on 10/19/2020, regarding both of these cases. Please note that these cases were identified as close contacts of the confirmed case previously reported on 10/14/2020. Since 10/14/2020 that classroom has been closed and all students and staff have been working and learning remotely.

This is what we know for certain at this time:

  • The Department of Health received confirmation that they received two laboratory testing reports indicating that school community members (i.e., student or staff) at Chenery Middle School school have been diagnosed with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
  • According to MA Department of Public Health (MDPH) guidelines, the infectious period used for determining close contacts for COVID-19 is two days prior to becoming symptomatic or, if asymptomatic, two days prior to testing, up until the time the student/staff/teacher is isolated.  The Director of Nursing for BPS determined that the positive school community members were not present at school during their infectious period because they were quarantining and learning remotely.

These are the steps we have taken to date:

  • The Department of Health and the Director of Nursing for BPS immediately began case investigations.
  • We have been planning for this scenario during our reopening planning process and have a comprehensive plan in place.  All of those protocols have been implemented.
  • To further prevent transmission of the virus to other staff and students, we have sanitized the school with a focus on the areas frequented by the community members that tested positive.
  • Our student body and staff have been closely adhering to the safety protocols, including mask wearing, hand washing, and physical distancing.  We are grateful to our families for their continued efforts to keep students at home at the first sign of symptoms.  These measures, taken in combination, greatly reduce the risk of additional transmission.

These are the steps we are prepared to take, moving forward:

  • Parents/Guardians of students who were in close contact with the community members have been notified privately.  All close contacts should be tested but must self-quarantine for 14 days after the last exposure to the person who tested positive, regardless of test result.
  • We will continue to be vigilant in adhering to all of the protocols that have been put in place in an effort to continue our current educational program.
  • Although we cannot provide specific information about our school community members who tested positive, please continue to monitor your child for symptoms, and keep your child home if he/she/they shows any symptoms or is not feeling well. 

I am grateful for the proactive, swift, and responsive measures that have been taken to ensure the safety of everyone in the Belmont Public Schools community, and I thank you for your partnership.

We wish all members of our community continued health.  Please let me know if you have any additional questions or concerns.


John P. Phelan
Superintendent of Schools