WEYMOUTH — The following is a statement from Superintendent Jennifer Curtis-Whipple regarding the state’s announcement of Weymouth being designated as a “high risk” COVID-19 community and the precautions and measures being taken by the district in response:
“On Wednesday, Oct. 14, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced that Weymouth was being designated as a ‘red’ high risk community for COVID-19.
“At the recommendation of the Weymouth Board of Health, the district is going to continue with its hybrid learning model at all schools.
“Last week and yesterday, the district announced to families that two students had tested positive for COVID-19. The students are currently self-isolating in accordance with Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocols. Neither of the students were in school while displaying symptoms of COVID-19. Under state and federal health privacy laws, no further information is available about the students.
“Individuals who were identified as close contacts to the positive cases have been contacted by a health official about the need to self-quarantine. If you have not been contacted by a health official about the need to self-quarantine, you are not considered a close contact.
“It is believed that the recent uptick in positive cases in Weymouth is the result of community spread, including some cases that were identified within youth sports programs in town, which are unaffiliated with the district.
“The district postponed all athletics practices on Thursday, Oct. 15, and Friday, Oct. 16, in order for coaches to revisit the importance of following proper social distancing measures and safety protocols with their players. All scheduled games will continue to go on as planned this week and practices will resume on Monday, Oct. 19.
“The district is in the process of creating an informational COVID-19 dashboard for its website that will provide important data about the current number of active positive cases within the district and a weekly overall look at the numbers.
“Cleaning of all schools will continue to be conducted each night. High touch surfaces are and will continue to be cleaned frequently and as needed throughout the day while the buildings are occupied. Sanitizing wipes remain available in each classroom to wipe down surfaces when necessary.
“As we continue to navigate through these unprecedented times, I want to reiterate that the district is following all state and federal health guidelines and protocols and we truly appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we work through the issues presented by COVID-19.”