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Curley School Covid-19 numbers increase again; school again reminds families to self isolate

In e-mail to Curley K-8 School parents today, Principal Katie Grass said that 17 more people who spent time in the Jamaica Plain school have tested positive for Covid-19 since Tuesday, when officials announced 46 cases over the prior three weeks and shut the school for ten days to try to get the situation under control.

The e-mail does not specify if the positive cases were among students, teachers or other staffers for privacy reasons. The school has a total of roughly 900 students, according to state records.

In a separate e-mail, Grassa said all students and BPS staff who were in the school before its shutdown should be self-isolating until at least Sunday - or even later if they can't get a Covid-19 test by then.

With the weekend upon us, I remind you that the Boston Public Health Commission has asked all Curley students and staff to self-isolate and avoid groups or gatherings. Students and adults, irrespective of vaccination status, who have been inside the Curley K8 building must avoid community activities, practices and social events, for at least five days (until Sunday 11/14) and until you receive a negative COVID-19 test on 11/14/21 or later. Please stay home and seek guidance from your medical professional if you develop any symptoms.

The message assumes that families have been self-isolating since Tuesday; at a meeting that night with parents, officials acknowledged that might be difficult for some people.

The news comes after the state education secretary ruled that students would only get credit for some of the online-learning days during they will have and that they will have to return to their classrooms to make up at least three days of in-school learning.

BPS and Boston public-health officials said they had to shut the school in part because the case numbers had increased so rapidly and across numerous classes. This made the Curley different from the Manning School in Jamaica Plain and the Orchard Gardens School in Roxbury, which had outbreaks that were much smaller and contained to a smaller number of classrooms.


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self isolate

As Rocky the flying squirrel would say, "that trick never works."

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Scarlet C for you

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The e-mail does not specify if the positive cases were among students, teachers or other staffers for privacy reasons.

I'm getting very tired of this. (Somerville does it too.) There's a large number of people in each group, and "got covid" isn't particularly sensitive information in the first place.

They can very well give rough numbers of the incidence in each group without compromising privacy, and that's valuable information for the community.

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It's a pretty major liability issue for the school, and without a lawyer to dissect every communication she makes, I don't blame the principal for erring on the side of vagueness. You're right that each group is large enough that anonymity likely isn't a problem, but the flip side of that size is that narrowing it down to "faculty" or "students" doesn't actually give us any better information about possible exposure risks.

Totally unrelated: by any chance are you the same Tim Mc. who used to sit at a desk on the third floor of a building on Congress Street, slinging bits across the table from an Erik G? If so, hi former coworker!

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and thought that might be you. :-)

The reason I think it's worthwhile to know about staff vs. students is that the two groups have different exposure profiles. I believe that staff are disproportionately more likely than students to bring an infection into the school (staff are adults who go to restaurants, etc.; kids have less of that sort of exposure). I also think that breakdown by grade is useful and non-sensitive.

If you see that most of the positives are staff, that gives you (a parent) a clue that transmission is mostly adult-to-adult in offices and breakrooms; if it's first in students in one grade and then in another, there's probably transmission happening in the cafeteria or specialist classrooms. And then you have a better sense of what to advocate for.

Ideally it would all be taken care of by professional contact tracers, the staff enforcing all safety guidelines on each other and the students, and the district doing good modeling of spread... but I've seen too much to believe that parents can just have faith in that. We need more information so that we can participate in ensuring safe schools.

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Most of the in-school transmission now is student-to-student. Most staff are vaccinated; most kids are not yet. Students also don’t do a great job of either wearing their masks correctly or social distancing. It’s just not what kids do well.

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That they do not list students and teachers separately on the Covid Dashboard. It has not been updated to reflect this past week yet…


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Turns out, dog waste isn't the only thing that spreads disease, huh?

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Just how casually can BPS approach this? Children have died of covid, but they worry about invented privacy reasons. Breaking down the cases by category doesn't affect anyone's privacy.

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Please site your claim that they are.

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