By Justin Roshak, Contributing Writer
HUDSON – Over the weekend, five Mulready Elementary students tested positive for COVID-19, Superintendent Marco Rodrigues announced in a letter to the school community on Sept. 7.
The Hudson Public Schools had previously recorded one other case of COVID-19 since students returned to class on Aug. 31, according to a previous letter on September 2.
As a result of the weekend test results, a total of nine individuals, all students, have been quarantined at home after follow-up contact tracing procedures, Rodrigues said at a Sept. 7 School Committee meeting.
Students who test positive will be kept at home for ten days, according to the district’s policies for the new school year, which were announced during that same meeting.
Students can return to school on the eleventh day if their symptoms improve and they have been off medication for 24 hours.
The known cases were all isolated individuals, and do not appear to represent transmission within the school, Rodrigues said. He expected that a handful of additional quarantines would emerge as a result of contact tracing and testing follow-ups.
Parents and guardians of students who were in close contact have been contacted privately.
Speaking on Sept. 7, School Committee member Steven Smith expressed optimism about the practice of testing students out of school and keeping them home if they test positive. However, he also said he was concerned that students who are held at home early in the year could fall behind.
“We’re going to work on help for students who need to stay home,” Smith said. “I’m glad that we’re doing that, because I think that is important, especially this early in the year.”
State Education Commissioner Jeff Riley announced earlier this year that, following the 2020-2021 school year, remote learning could no longer be used as “a standard learning model” in districts.
In Hudson, per that state mandate, the district’s policy is not to offer the type of remote learning this year that was available last year.
A plan for take-home work was still being developed as of Sept. 7.