Students, staff get COVID tested

Jan 11, 2021 by

Published January 8, 2021

MELROSE — The city’s public school students learned from home this week so two rounds of COVID-19 testing could be conducted.

All stakeholders were sent a message on New Year’s Day announcing the move, made possible by a vote Thursday night, Dec. 31, by the School Committee to transfer money to hold the testing events.

Students are just coming off the annual holiday break.

Here is part of the message sent by Supt. of Schools Dr. Julie Kukenberger:

“I hope you have been able to rest and relax during the Winter break. Last night, the Melrose School Committee approved a funding transfer enabling us to develop a comprehensive COVID-19 testing protocol both in the short-term and over time.

“As we prepare for our return from break I am happy to share with you that with the support of our Health Director (Ruth Clay), we have been able to successfully schedule two rounds and multiple days of appointment-based, COVID-19 testing clinics to be offered from Tuesday, January 5th through Saturday, January 9th, 2021 to MPS employees working in person and PreK-12 students learning in person. Accessible COVID-19 testing during the week after Winter break is a vital tool in our multi-pronged risk mitigation strategy. Together with mask wearing, maintaining physical distance, frequent hand washing, and staying home when you are sick, having timely COVID-19 test results for employees and students learning in person will allow us to keep our students and staff healthy. You can read the full plan here.

“All students will learn remotely January 4th-8th for testing to occur and results to be obtained. Free COVID-19 testing is available to all students who are learning in person. Any family who has traveled, gathered with members outside of your immediate household, may have been exposed to a COVID-19 positive person, or if your students are experiencing symptoms should be tested.

“All healthy Group C and Cohort 2 Hybrid students will return in person on Monday, January 11th.”

 FREE School Meals

Meal distribution will continue throughout the week at Melrose High School and the Lincoln School from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM. Complete breakfast and heat-and-serve lunch meals will be available through Friday, January 8th.

What if my COVID-19 test appointment is scheduled during the instructional day?

Students will be excused from class to go to their scheduled COVID-19 test appointment.

Kukenberger concluded, “Thank you for your anticipated support and flexibility as we learn remotely this week to offer COVID-19 testing to our school community. The information we gather from these four testing clinics will be essential in helping us develop the most strategic plans for a healthy transition from Winter break back to in-person learning for students in Group C and the Hybrid learning model.” 

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