Western Massachusetts school remains closed for third day due to confirmed COVID-19 cases
Farmington River Primary School, a Berkshire County school with just over 100 children enrolled, closed on Friday pending test results from students and staff.
The school remained closed Tuesday and Wednesday “due to a positive case or some pending tests,” Farmington River regional / principal superintendent Tom Nadolny told Berkshire Eagle. He added, regarding personnel issues with the bus company used by the district, “The fact that we cannot transport the students is the reason for the closure.”
There are currently at least three confirmed positive cases of COVID within the school community.
“Due to the district closure, transportation to and from Great Barrington and Lee will not be provided,” Nadolny told families in a district-wide email on Sunday. “If other schools are open, but the District of Farmington is closed, you will need to provide transportation for your children to attend school.”
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The primary school started the 2021-2022 school year last week.
The school year began across Massachusetts with COVID protocols put in place in August by state education officials. A mask warrant is in effect for all students and staff of Massachusetts public schools.
“Effective immediately, public school students (ages 5 and up) and staff in all classes are required to wear masks inside schools,” the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education said. in a press release. “Masks are not compulsory outside. All visitors must also wear a mask in school buildings. “
The mandate will remain in force at least until October 1, when “the commissioner will reconsider in the near future the requirement to revise it as justified by public health data,” the ministry said. “The mask requirement is an important additional measure to ensure the safety of students in school at this time. “
Following this decision, a similar measure was adopted for daycare centers and after-school programs.
The Board of Early Education and Care voted unanimously this week to align its masking policies with the COVID regulations put in place for public schools in Kindergarten to Grade 12.
Beginning September 7, all staff and children ages 5 and older enrolled in state-approved child care, after-school and after-school programs are required to wear a mask indoors. Children between the ages of 2 and 5 are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings as well.
The preschool decision has been put into effect with no end date while K-12 schools could see a policy change on October 1.
Massachusetts middle and high school staff and students can forgo masks starting in October if they have an immunization rate of at least 80%. The mask’s mandate would remain in effect for unvaccinated employees and students.
The Food and Drug Administration cleared the Pfizer COVID vaccine for children as young as 12 in May.
In the months that followed, 65% of children aged 12 to 15 in Massachusetts received at least one dose, as did 68% of those aged 16 to 19, according to data from the Department of Public Health. state as of August 17.