Updated: Second COVID case reported in ACSD

MIDDLEBURY — Addison Central Superintendent Peter Burrows confirmed Friday, Nov. 27, that a “second member of the district community had tested positive for COVID-19.” That person has simply been identified as a “district staff” member. This individual is in addition to a member of the Mary Hogan Elementary community who tested positive back on Nov. 24. Burrows’ disclosures came on the heels of an announcement earlier that a member of the Robinson Elementary School community in Starksboro had recorded a positive test.
Burrows said he wasn’t at liberty to disclose the name of the individuals, due to privacy laws.
“While we had hoped to avoid positive cases of COVID-19 in ACSD schools, we expected this eventuality and are prepared with a plan to respond to it,” he wrote in an email to the community. “Earlier today, our team met with the Vermont Department of Health (DOH) to plan our response. We are confident that we’ve shared all critical information related to this positive case.”
He said the DOH worked closely with school staff to provide contact tracing guidance related to the positive case at Mary Hogan Elementary. He said contact tracers from the DOH or school staff contacted parents directly if their child had been considered a close contact of the person who tested positive.
Regarding the case announced on Friday, Burrows said this person “does not work in schools, and has no close contacts, so no contact tracing was necessary. The individual is completing the required quarantine and following guidance from the Vermont Department of Health.” “We remain in contact with the DOH and will take the steps necessary to protect the health of our students and staff,” he said.

In his Friday email to the community, Burrows also directed the public to look at the ACSD’s COVID-19 Dashboard. Like other dashboards, this shows the number of COVID-19 cases at individual schools — in this case, schools in the ACSD.
COVID-19 symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. Parents and guardians of students exhibiting symptoms are asked to contact their family physician, the DOH, and their school principal. Staff showing symptoms are asked to do the same in addition to notifying the ACSD’s  COVID-19 coordinator Kelly Landwehr.
District parents with questions are asked to contact their school principal, or Landwehr at [email protected].
In his Friday communique, Burrows included a “Health and Safety Update: Family Gatherings” produced by Landwehr. It said: 

On November 20, 2020, Governor Scott issued an Executive Order which suspended multi-household social gatherings.  This order does not allow people to gather with others they don’t live with, and engaging in such behavior will require quarantine. This includes all inside and outside social, recreational and entertainment gatherings.  For example, this means you cannot go over to a family member or friend’s house or go to a restaurant with someone you don’t live with.  You can’t host gatherings of friends or family from out of state or those that live in Vermont. Some exceptions include:

Those who live alone may gather with immediate family in one other household.

You  may take a walk, bike, or hike with one trusted friend/family member from another household while wearing a mask and maintaining physical distancing.

Small pods may gather for previously established childcare. 

Students may carpool with those outside their household if you have been previously doing so.

Custody visitation
We expect all staff, students, and families to adhere to the governor’s orders.  If any concerning situations are brought to our attention that could affect the safety of the school community while these limits are in place, students or staff participating in multi-household social gatherings may be excluded from attending in-person instruction, and they may be required to complete either a 14-day quarantine or a 7-day quarantine followed by a negative test prior to returning to in-person school. 
We look forward to seeing students back at school on Monday.  If you have questions about this guidance, please feel free to reach out to me, your school nurse, or your school principal. 
Kelly Landwehr, MSN, RN 
ACSD COVID-19 Coordinator


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