COVID Notification Process Changes

December 8, 2021

Dear Amesbury Families,

I am writing to you today to inform you of some important changes to our COVID notification process. These changes will take place on Monday, December 13, 2021. Please take the time to read this information carefully:


Close Contact Notifications (less than 3 feet):


Grades 5-12:

    • We will NO LONGER be making phone calls to the close contacts of a positive case in school. Instead, we WILL be sending an email to all close contacts at less than 3 feet that outlines three options and requires an email response.


The Three Options Are:


1. My student is fully vaccinated:


  • The student in question will have received both shots of either Moderna or Pfizer and two additional weeks have passed since receiving the second dose.

OR

one dose of J & J with two additional weeks passing since receiving the dose.


  • Please email the school nurse to provide this information if you have not already done so.


2. My student will participate in the Test and Stay Program at school:

  • The student in question has a signed consent for testing on file. If not, please use this link to complete the consent.

  • Contact the school nurse via email to confirm that the student will participate in Test and Stay.


3. My student will not participate in Test and Stay and will be kept out of school to quarantine at home:

  • Please contact the school nurse by phone email to confirm the dates of quarantine and return to school.


Grades Pre-K - 4:
    • We will CONTINUE to notify close contacts of a positive case in school via phone call. There is no change to this process.


Close Contact Notifications (3-6 feet)

  • Families will continue to receive emails notifying them that they are close contacts but do not require additional action steps other than monitoring for symptoms.


School Community Notifications:

  • Principals will no longer be sending home emails notifying families that there is a positive case (or cases) in their school. Instead, a COVID dashboard will be updated each Thursday (to align with the mandatory DESE reporting on Wednesdays).

  • On this dashboard, interested individuals will see the weekly case count for each building as well the history of each week’s cases.

  • Here is the link where the case counts will be posted: APS COVID Dashboard


What Does This Mean?

  • When you get a COVID email or phone call from your child’s school, it means your child IS a close contact. If your child is a close contact of three feet or less, families are required to take additional steps in order to allow your child to return to school. If your child is a close contact between 3 and 6 feet, there is no additional action needed.

  • I will continue to include a COVID Dashboard in my newsletters on the first and third Friday of each month. However, you will have to go to our website to get the information during weeks that are not “Superintendent Newsletter weeks”.


Why Are We Doing This?

  • We are doing this to reduce the amount of emails that need to be sent and to focus on the students and families who need to take additional steps.

  • We are doing this to reduce the number of phone calls that our school nurses need to make and families must receive.

  • We are doing this to create an accessible, centralized location for updated COVID information across the district.


Test and Stay Eligibility:

  • This program is designed for in-school close contacts only. By definition, the Before and After School Programs offered by the Amesbury Recreation Department are considered part of our school community.

  • Out of school close contacts are not eligible for this program.

  • I realize that we have recently allowed an exception to this policy. This exception was implemented based on direct input from MDPH and DESE. Otherwise, it would not have been permitted.


Self Reporting a Positive Case on the Weekends or at Night:


  • Please go to the Amesbury Public School Website and complete this form designed to gather information about positive COVID test results that are received OUTSIDE of school hours.

  • This information will be shared with Tina LaCourse, our public health nurse, Kristin Tierney, APS Lead Nurse and AIHS Nurse, and Elizabeth McAndrews, Superintendent.

  • You should keep your positive child home from school and expect communication from either the school nurse or the public health nurse within twenty-four hours.


As always, should you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me elizabeth.mcandrews@amesburyma.org.


Have a happy and safe weekend,


Elizabeth McAndrews

Superintendent

School Nurse and Principal Contact Information:

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