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Boston Latin School notifies families of 36 new COVID-19 cases

Boston Latin School.John Tlumacki

Boston Latin School has recorded 36 positive COVID-19 tests in the past week, an “extremely concerning” uptick of cases largely reported over the past two days, Rachel Skerritt, the head of school, wrote in an e-mail to families Wednesday.

Most of the positive cases “involved students in the upper grades,” and the many resulted from contact between students outside of school, Skerritt wrote in the statement.

“Many of these cases are the result of unmasked or improperly masked contact between students outside of school time, including weekend social events and contact amongst some of our athletic teams,” Skerritt wrote. “Very few of our cases to date this year have been from classroom transmission, which speaks to the effectiveness of mask use and ventilation.”

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Parents and guardians of students are asked to keep their children at home if they’ve been exposed to the virus or they are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms, even if the symptoms are minor, according to the statement. Families of students are also advised to limit exposure to individuals outside their home during the winter break.

“I am asking for your help as parents, guardians, and students to make the tough calls as we see a surge in cases across the Commonwealth and country,” Skerritt wrote. “I am setting those same expectations for myself and my family, as well as our faculty and staff.”

Students were sent home with rapid COVID-19 test kits on Wednesday, which they are required to take 24 hours before returning to school on Jan. 4, the statement said.

“This is an imperfect process. We are trying to be as responsive as possible to a rapidly changing situation,” Skerritt wrote. “Together we are stronger, and we hope that the new year brings health and well being for all.”

Skerritt said the school is “in active communication with BPS Health Services, as well as the Boston Public Health Commission and additional BPS departments” to identify all possible exposures related to the school cluster.

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