Seekonk Elementary School Reports COVID-19 Case

All fifth grade students at Aitken Elementary School will participate in remote learning for the week of Oct. 26 through Oct. 30, out of an abundance of caution, Superintendent Rich Drolet said.

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There has been a positive case of COVID-19 at an elementary school in Seekonk, Massachusetts, prompting all fifth grade students at the school to learn remotely for the upcoming week, the superintendent announced Sunday.

An individual at Aitken Elementary School has tested positive for the virus, Superintendent Rich Drolet said in a statement. Drolet did not say if the infected person is a student or staff member but did say the person is self-quarantining in accordance with Massachusetts Department of Public Health protocol.

"Out of an abundance of caution," Drolet said, all fifth graders at Aitken will participate in remote learning for the week of Oct. 26 through Oct. 30.

Fifth grade families received information from Principal John Haidemenos Sunday night, and any fifth grader who still needs a Chromebook can contact him at 508-336-5230, the superintendent said.

The Seekonk school district worked closely this weekend with the town's board of health to identify and contact all close contacts of the positive individual. Drolet said if you have not been contacted by the school as part of the contact tracing process, you are not considered to be a close contact.

Close contacts -- identified as anyone who was within 6 feet of the infected individual for at least 15 minutes up to two days prior to the positive test result -- have already been contacted and are required to quarantine for at least two weeks.

Anyone experiencing coronavirus symptoms, such as fever, chills, respiratory illness, aches or change in taste and smell, is asked to stay home and get a COVID-19 test.

The superintendent said a deep cleaning of all schools will continue to be conducted each night, while high touch surfaces are and will continue to be cleaned frequently and as needed throughout the day while school is in session.

Additionally, Seekonk Public Schools is asking students, families and staff to take the following precautions to mitigate the spread of the virus:

  • Stay home if you have a fever or are not feeling well. Students should stay home from school should any new or unexplained illness, no matter how mild, develop.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid close contact with others. When outside your home, please adhere to social distancing guidelines and keep a distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and others.
  • Wear a cloth face covering that covers your mouth and nose to protect others when in public areas.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
Dr. Paul Sax, who studies COVID-19 closely as the clinical director of the Infectious Diseases division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, is one of many local public health experts backing up what Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday about schools not appearing to be superspreaders.
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