Marlborough schools going to full remote learning Oct. 19

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By Vicki Greene, Contributing Writer

All sports and extracurricular activities to stop as well

Marlborough – Fresh out of a meeting with the City’s Board of Health, Superintendent Mike Bergeron recommended, and the School Committee unanimously approved, moving all schools to full remote learning Monday, Oct. due to the increase in positive COVID-19 cases in the city and in the schools.  In addition, all sports and extracurricular activities will stop on Oct. 19.

Students in Kindergarten, Grades 1 and 2 will no longer be in school full-time, however, students enrolled in the special education programs and the High School Drop-Out Prevention Program (two night per week) will continue to be in class full-time.

“We’ve been advised to look at data over a period of time and its been getting worse every week for the past four weeks and we expect to be a ‘red’ city when the state releases the map tomorrow (Wednesday, Oct. 14),” Bergeron explained to the Committee.  “In my mind, it’s the right thing to do.”

As a result of the ever-changing data, he said he is not recommending a specific date for returning to hybrid learning model, at this time.

There are currently 18 COVID positive student cases, up from seven, prior to the holiday weekend when Bergeron had released his report to the Committee.

He said that the positive student cases were mostly within families and “didn’t know of any student-to-student in school transmission.”  Due to contract tracing they did quarantine whole teams or classrooms prior to the decision to move to remote.

According to Bergeron, the Board of Health case count for the city, by age group, more than doubled over the past week in group ages 5 to 19, representing 30 percent of all cases in the city.

“We have to do a better job in the city,” said Mayor Arthur Vigeant, who also serves as the chair of the School Committee. “We have to be more vigilant.”

Vigeant acknowledged the frustration in the room and said it’s going to be a tough winter.

“I hate to say it but its (COVID) going to be with us for next nine months or until there’s a vaccine.”

He did acknowledge that there is currently only one active case in the city, and no one is hospitalized. He said there are no cases at nursing homes or assisted living facilities in the city at this time.