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.

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