PSB Health Update
May 11, 2022
The communication below provides important information from the Public Schools of Brookline.
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Dear Brookline Parents, Guardians and Staff,
On Monday, March 14, 2022, following guidance from DESE, the Public Schools of Brookline made the decision to implement a Mask Friendly protocol. However, with recent increases in COVID-19 cases in all of our PSB schools and community, the district now strongly recommends masking for all staff and all students when inside our school facilities.
Members of our Health Services team have met with, the Brookline Department of Public Health and some members of Panel 4 to review PSB and community data and actively discuss possible recommendations.Norfolk County, which includes Brookline, was determined to be in the CDC Red Zone late last week.The metrics used to determine this are as follows:
Case Rate per 100,000 population (254.25)
New COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population (10.1)
% Staffed inpatient beds in use by patients with confirmed COVID-19 (2.5%)
Given our rise in COVID-19 cases in our schools, and our increased number of clusters (three or more cases in a class over a seven-day period) at our schools, we made the decision to strongly recommend masks for all staff and all students. We will continue to monitor our case counts and the community metrics and remain open to altering these guidelines in the near future. The Brookline Department of Public Health, the Advisory Council on Public Health and Panel 4 will meet on Wednesday, May 18 to again review all data and metrics.
Our Health Services Department continues to share reported positive cases every week through the COVID-19 Dashboard. This dashboard can also be found through the Superintendent's weekly updates. We want you to know that in response to these increased numbers we have taken a targeted approach to our mitigation strategies. In classrooms where we have seen a cluster of cases, we communicated with staff and parents and mandated that masks be worn in school for a designated period of time. In addition, we have strongly encouraged additional at-home testing and provided test kits for use at home. We continue to ask staff and students to be mindful of symptoms and to stay home when ill.
The CDC individual and household recommendations for Red Zone are to wear a mask indoors in public, stay up to date with COVIC-19 vaccines, get tested if you have symptoms, and consider additional precautions for people at high risk for severe illness. Please see the CDC recommendations for suggestions on how you can best protect yourself and your families.
DESE has announced that the at-home surveillance testing will continue through the end of this school year. We encourage you to continue to test each Tuesday and to report positive results to your school nurse. It’s not too late to opt-in to receive the at-home test kits if you have already done so. Click here to sign up now.
PSB Student Health Services Team