Shrewsbury superintendent reveals additional possible in-school virus transmission

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By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter

Shrewsbury – Dr. Joseph Sawyer, superintendent of schools, told the School Committee at their Jan. 6 meeting that there have been 23 new cases of COVID-19 reported within the school community since Jan. 4.

Three of those cases have been traced to possible in-school exposure. Two have been via student to student contact and the third between faculty members.

Noelle Freeman, director of nursing, said that there have been 236 positive cases within the district. Of those, 147 were classified as close contact and 47 attributed to winter sports activities.

“I want to stress that the determination of possible in school transmission is not made by us. It is made by our public health partners,” Freeman said.

The current positivity rate is 6.83 percent – Shrewsbury remains in the red zone of high-risk communities.

Sawyer shared that the district plans to return to hybrid learning next week but they will monitor cases over the next few days.  The final determination will be made Friday, Jan. 8.

The district is exploring pool testing of Shrewsbury staff and students but it hasn’t been done yet due to the lack of funds.

Sawyer said that federal stimulus funding may provide an opportunity and testing could “assist with maintaining in person school while awaiting the vaccine.”