November 11, 2020
Dear Members of the Wellesley Community,
As a result of our weekly COVID-19 surveillance testing in the Wellesley Public Schools (WPS), today we have confirmed six positive cases at Wellesley High School. There is strong evidence linking these cases to the separate cases at the high school identified yesterday and late last week. We are still in the process of conducting comprehensive contact tracing with the affected individuals and any close contacts will be notified within the next 24 hours. Detailed information about case tracking is available on the Wellesley Public Schools website.
With this number of cases materializing in such a short period of time, the School and Health Departments agree that the most prudent step to take is to direct Wellesley High School to transition to full remote learning beginning tomorrow, November 12th, through the Thanksgiving holiday, with classes resuming in person on Tuesday, December 1st.
To ensure all students have access to breakfast and lunch during this transition, the food service department will create an on-line order system for all High School students. The form will be sent out tomorrow. Orders placed earlier this week for pick up tomorrow will be available at the High School. All WHS Athletics will also be cancelled for the remaining days of the Fall season. WHS Principal, Dr. Jamie Chisum, will follow up with high school families and students with more operational details.
WPS expects to receive additional viral test results tomorrow from samples collected on Tuesday from students and staff and will notify individuals if there are any new positive results. As outlined in the WPS COVID Response protocols, the high school will be deep cleaned and disinfected. All other WPS schools will continue to follow their regular schedule. Weekly viral testing will also continue for WPS staff at all other schools, as well as students at Wellesley Middle School.
While we recognize that this news is disappointing, we are also reassured that we were able to identify these cases rapidly to stop any further transmission. It remains critical that we each do our part to stop the spread of the virus including wearing masks at all times, social distancing, hand washing, and avoiding gatherings. WPS will continue working in collaboration with the Wellesley Health Department to further assess this situation and determine any additional action steps.
Dr. David Lussier
Superintendent of Schools
Director, Wellesley Health Department