Northborough school has first potential in-school transmission COVID-19 case


By Liz Nolan, Contributing Writer

Northborough – Robert E. Melican Middle School had its first potential COVID-19 in-school transmission case resulting in three days of remote learning on Dec. 1-3. 

An uptick in cases was anticipated statewide due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

During the Northborough School Committee meeting on Dec. 2 District Medical Advisory Team member Dr. Safdar Medina said that school cases are going to mirror the community.

“As has been seen in other locations, school itself is not a driver of community spread, it more reflects community spread,” he said. 

Dr. Medina referred to Rhode Island data that revealed there was more of an incidence of positive cases in kids who were remote learners versus in–person learning.

“The longer the holiday, the longer the chances are of more cases,” he said. “If we do have a two week closure, that is two more weeks of intermingling that can go on outside of school and that is our main reason for keeping the schedule we have.”

The Northborough Southborough Public Schools District is currently screening staff. The most recent screening of 564 staff members was the week of Thanksgiving. 

There was only one staff member who tested positive at this screening – that person did have symptoms. There were no asymptomatic staff members who tested positive.

The screening will continue every Friday in December and will also include town of Northborough administrators and employees.