TEWKSBURY — Last week, more than 40 students and staff at Tewksbury Memorial High School were required to self-quarantine in their homes after returning from a school-run trip to Italy. The State Department of Public Health reported that a passenger on the same flight as the students was presumed to be infected with a case of novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
As a precautionary measure, students and staff were told to quarantine themselves by both the state and town DPH and the Town Manager. Participants in the trip were quarantined in their homes from March 4 to March 7, and were permitted to return to school on March 9.
The town informed residents by email that buses and schools will be undergoing “enhanced cleaning.” The school department could not be reached for direct comment.
The Center for Disease Control recommends that Americans should “avoid all nonessential travel... should avoid contact with sick people and clean their hands often by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60 percent — 95 percent alcohol... and should stay home and stay home and monitor their health during travel and for 14 days after returning to the United States.
As of March 11, the total number of confirmed and presumptive cases in Massachusetts is 91; however, the governor stated that the current risk is low.
For more information, residents are encouraged to visit the town website (tewksbury-ma.gov), the state Department of Public Health website (mass.gov/orgs/department-of-public-health), and the Center for Disease Control’s information page on COVID-19 (cdc.gov/coronavirus).