Three Quincy summer school staff members have tested positive for the coronavirus since July 11, leading school administrators to ask 12 students and five other staff members to get tested and quarantine for 14 days.
The first positive test came from a staff member at the North Quincy High School on July 11. The person had been at the school from July 6-8, Quincy Public Schools Deputy Superintendent Kevin Mulvey wrote in a letter to staff members, students, and parents. Five students and one additional staff member had potentially come in contact with the person.
The next two cases both arose on July 15 and were confirmed the next day. First, at the Della Chiesa Early Childhood Center summer program, a staff member reported having “exposure to COVID-19 positive contacts,” Mulvey wrote. They had been at the school from July 6-9 and again on July 13-14. A positive test result came back on July 16, and seven students, plus one additional staff member, have been asked to self-quarantine.
Also on July 15, an administrative staff member at Quincy High School reported having coronavirus symptoms; their positive test came back the next day. The staff member had been in the office from July 6-10 and again on July 13-14. Three other administrative staff members are being asked to get tested or quarantine for 14 days.
All students who have been asked to self-quarantine will continue summer school programming remotely.
“Please know that in all cases, as soon as information about presumed or confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 was shared, the notification process began to staff and families, and the custodial staff was notified to give extra attention for cleaning and sanitizing the affected areas,” Mulvey wrote in his letter. “At all times, the health and safety of our students, staff, and their families is of the utmost importance to me and I will continue to share information as it becomes available.”
School officials also cordoned off the rooms used by the summer programs for 24 hours, opened the windows for air circulation, and then did a “deep disinfection,” according Ruth Jones, health commissioner of the Quincy Health Department.
Jones said her department has been working in close collaboration with the school district and the mayor’s office to coordinate their efforts to keep students and faculty safe when coronavirus cases crop up.
“That collaboration is extremely essential in coming up with a safety plan,” she said. “We are in constant contact, and I think that’s really important.”
The health department led the charge on investigating the three coronavirus cases in the Quincy summer programs, including comprehensive contact tracing efforts that Jones said are similar to the contact tracing they’ve done for decades with “any type of communicable disease.”
Jones said Quincy officials have acted proactively to keep students and faculty healthy.
“The school departments have a big responsibility here,” she said. “And especially as schools may open more, this is a huge responsibility to keep people safe.”