TEWKSBURY — Tewksbury teachers had just come back together to begin their professional development training in anticipation of school reopening when a letter from Superintendent Christopher Malone was sent to the district on Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. The letter explained that a faculty member had tested positive for COVID-19 and that the person had been present at Tewksbury Memorial High School and the Loella F. Dewing Elementary School.
“Today, we were notified by one of our staff members, who had been present at both the Dewing and Tewksbury Memorial High School during this time, that this individual has just received (today) notice of a positive COVID test result,” the letter stated.
Malone, while unable to share specific information due to HIPAA laws and confidentiality, did share that the staff member did not have any contact with students. The teachers had completed two days of professional development on that Wednesday and Thursday, according to the district calendar.
The letter from Malone when on to say, “In accordance with our reopening plan, DESE, and CDC guidelines, we are processing detailed contact tracing with our lead nurse, Kelly Constantino, and the Tewksbury Department of Public Health Town Nurse, Urvi Agarwalla. All close contacts have been contacted directly by Ms. Constantino or Ms. Agarwalla today.
“Additionally, the Dewing and Tewksbury Memorial High School will receive a deep cleaning over the weekend and all remaining schools will receive this scheduled deep cleaning next week, while teachers continue their reopening training remotely at home.”
The district is set to start school in a hybrid-model on Sept. 16, which is an all-remote day according to the schedule available as of this printing.
The letter concluded, “While we know that reopening schools in the midst of this ongoing pandemic will meet us with challenges, we believe being transparent in our communication is important. Please remember that staff and student safety remains our number one priority”.
The Town Crier has reached out to the district for additional comment but has not heard back by press time.