Wildcat Wellness Newsletter

01/25- News from the School Nurse Leader, Rebecca McCaffrey

My Contact Info:

978-632-4158 x 1




GHS -18





GPS total cases of student (hybrid model only) and staff = 54

How many cases does Gardner have??!!!

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) Community-Level Data has Gardner as "RED". There is still an outbreak of COVID-19 at the North Central Correctional Institution located in Gardner. Many of the inmates have tested positive, which is impacting the case count and positivity rate for Gardner.

Here is the state's link to see the most recent data for Gardner as well as all cities/towns in MA.


Please see the following video for some information on new rapid antigen testing for COVID-19 that is available at school to students and staff with symptoms of COVID-19.

Parent/Guardian consent will be required prior to any testing. An email to all parents/guardians will go out soon through Plus Portals with information if parents/guardians would like consent in advance.
Recording #1

Safety Committee Data Tracking Graphs

Click here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ycWs85pos12mkNbZWj69b5uBveDqWVUN64RnAaQPEf0/edit?usp=sharing to see the Gardner Public Schools COVID-19 DATA TRACKING GRAPHS with the STATE, COMMUNITY, and SCHOOL DATA that we look at weekly.

We have been able to further break down the Gardner Community COVID-19 data by utilizing the daily reports from Department of Corrections on mass.gov. Click here to view the data from the Department of Corrections including Gardner's prison, North Central Correctional Institution (NCCI). https://www.mass.gov/info-details/doc-covid-19-inmate-dashboard. According to the data reported the test positivity rate at NCCI was 47% for the past 2 week period, which when factored into Gardner's community data causes a substantial increase to the test positivity rate for Gardner.

*Important to note is that week to week positive cases stay on the graphs unless they have been cleared from isolation. It is possible for a positive individual to stay on the graph for several weeks. The graphs represent what is actively current on the day that the data is shared. So, if you count the positive cases each week on the graphs, the number will not total the number of individuals that have tested positive total.

Massachusetts removed the Flu Vaccine requirement !!!

While DPH continues to strongly recommend that everyone age six months and older receive their seasonal flu vaccine each year, they have removed the requirement. This just happened recently, so our school nurses will no longer be sending communications about this to those that have not submitted proof of immunization. Here is a link to see what Massachusetts school immunization website in case you are looking for information on required school vaccines. https://www.mass.gov/info-details/school-immunizations

Lauren Saunders, Director of Gardner Board of Health provides information on COVID-19 vaccination plan for school staff

The Massachusetts COVID-19 vaccine program is currently underway. The City of Gardner Health Department is working in conjunction with the Montachusett Public Health Network, Heywood Hospital and the Greater Gardner Community Health Center on a vaccination plan for all community members and residents. The MA Department of Public Health is relaying information to our department as they receive it. We have multiple calls weekly with DPH which helps us to plan next steps for vaccination clinics. Locally we are doing our best to adhere to the guidelines Massachusetts has put into place in regards to the COVID-19 Vaccination Distribution Timeline.

Early education and K-12 staff are currently listed in the second step of phase 2. As we are still finishing up phase 1, phase 2 is expected to begin sometime in February. Once vaccines are available for your group, notification will be sent to you with instructions on how to register for a local community clinic. We know that many people are very anxious to receive the vaccine and we want to assure you that we are working very hard to ensure the timely administration of the vaccine to everyone, as we work our way through the phases. We appreciate your patience and want to let you know that we are available if you have any further or specific questions. For a more detailed description of the phases please refer to the following link:


Thank you,

Lauren Saunders

Director of Public Health

City of Gardner

95 Pleasant St. Gardner, MA 01440

(978)630-4013 [voice] (978)632-4682 [fax]

(978)407-7992 [cell]


Athletic Update from Dan Forte, GPS, Athletic Director

COVID-19 Athletic process for determining games/practice
Big picture


Nurse Tina, GPS School Nurse Care Coordinator, talks about precautions you should take outside of school.

Nurse Tina talking about COVID-19 Precautions to take outside of your home

Nurse Michele Mack from ESS talks about the new reduced quarantine guidelines from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health

WIN 20210108 17 21 20 Pro 1- Quarantine GPS

Nurse Erin from GHS speaks about what you should do if you are planning to travel

GHS travel

Nurse Becky from WSS talks about this importance of making sure you don't come to school with symptoms

WSS - Nurse Becky

Nurse Ben from ESS talk about support available for our fully remote students.

ESS - Nurse Ben
GMS Facemasks

Nurse Marloe, GPS float nurse, wants to remind bus students to make sure to sit in their assigned seats to ensure we are able to accurately trace contacts in case a person that tests positive for COVID-19 was on your bus while contagious.

GHS - Nurse Marloe