In a co-authored letter by Mayor Brian Arrigo and Revere Public School (RPS) Superintendent Dr. Dianne Kelly that was sent home to parents last week, the city and RPS offcials announced a new dashboard that gives families the number of COVID-19 positive cases within RPS schools.
The letter comes as RPS offcials have been transitioning from a remote model to a hybrid learning model with more and more students attending in-person classes on a rotating schedule.
“All of our classrooms are following public health guidance provided by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and informed by medical experts,” reads the letter. “Our team of school nurses, supported by the Revere Board of Health and Department of Public Health, is working closely with students and their families who may have been exposed to COVID-19 to ensure that all recommended quarantine guidelines are followed and to prevent transmission within the school community.”
Given the nature of this virus, Mayor Arrigo and Dr. Kelly said that positive cases of COVID-19 are an inevitability, but RPS can ensure an environment that significantly reduces the risk of transmission.
The new RPS COVID Dashboard identifies any positive cases by school and can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/RPSCovid19Dashboard.
For example for the week ending April 5 shows that there were positive COVID cases at the Whalen, Garfield, Lincoln and the Rumney Marsh Academy. There was only one positive case at each school and each positive case was identified as a student and not a teacher or staff member.
Some cities across the nation have adopted the so-called “two-case” rule that closes school buildings for an initial 24 hours if cases from different classrooms at one school were reported and keeps them shut for 10 days if contact tracing can’t find a link between the cases.
However, that rule has been criticized in different parts of the nation witn NYC recently getting rid of the rule.
“On behalf of the entire Revere Public Schools team, we want to thank you for your continued partnership as we have successfully transitioned to a hybrid learning model over the past several weeks,” the letter said. “We look forward to welcoming some of our Cohort B students for the first time (this week). It’s been a long road to ensure our students, teachers and staff can return safely to their classrooms, and to see students learning in person over the past few weeks has been truly amazing. We are also encouraged by recent trials showing the vaccines to be safe and effective for students.”
However, the Mayor and Superintendent added that after a period of several weeks of steady decline, positive cases of COVID-19 are again on the rise in Revere, mirroring trends statewide and around the country.
“We are urging you to continue to practice COVID safe behaviors to help keep our schools open,” said the letter. “Wear a mask in public and anytime you are around people outside of your immediate household, limit gatherings and non-essential travel and practice social distancing. The end of this pandemic comes closer with each day as we work to vaccinate as many members of our community as possible. Please remain vigilant on behalf of our entire school community and help us ensure that all the progress we’ve made is not reversed.”