Published in the December 11, 2020 edition.

WAKEFIELD — Rising COVID-19 cases in the schools have forced administrators to move POST Academy work on-line for the next week.

Supt. of Schools Doug Lyons wrote to parents last night, “POST Academy is a post-secondary program that provides experiential learning and educational opportunities for a small group of young adults. Due to the nature of our work at POST Academy and out of an abundance of caution we will be scaling back the in-person daily schedule at POST to an on-line schedule starting tomorrow, 12.11.2020 through Friday, 12.18.2020. We will assess how our students are doing throughout the time off and send an update with information about transitioning back to an in-person schedule on or before, Friday, 12.18.2020.”

His letter to all families in the system also stated, “I am writing to inform you that since our last correspondence on Monday, 12.07.2020, we have eight new COVID cases to report. One student and one staff case at Dolbeare, three student cases and two staff cases at Galvin, and one student case at POST Academy. Our school nurses and our Board of Health have completed contact tracing and have communicated with families.

“As I am sure you know, we cannot provide specific information about members of our school community who tested positive. A close contact is defined by the CDC as being within 6 feet of the person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes in a 24-hour period. Per the Board of Health, all close contacts should be tested and must self-quarantine for 14 days after the last exposure to the person who tested positive, regardless of the test result. We are also following all Department of Public Health protocols, including collaborating with our local Board of Health to complete contact tracing.

“These new cases, when added to the Wakefield COVID data dashboard numbers, bring our total case numbers, both active and recovered cases to 50 students and 14 staff members. As stated above, these new cases have been reported to the Wakefield Board of Health, the Mass Department of Public Health (DPH), and will be reported to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Due to the fact that we have been able to effectively contact trace, we will be continuing in our hybrid schedules at this time.

“To further prevent transmission of the virus to other staff and students, we will continue to sanitize the schools. We will continue to be vigilant in adhering to all of the protocols that have been put in place in an effort to continue teaching and learning. Our students in quarantine will be provided with guidance and support from their current teachers and counselors regarding remote learning expectations. Teachers will continue to provide instruction, structure, and an emotional connection to the classroom during a time that we know will be challenging for those students and families involved.

“For more information on COVID-19 symptoms and testing, visit: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/about-covid-19-testing#where-can-get-a-test?-.

“You can also find a map of testing sites at https://memamaps.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=eba3f0395451430b9f631cb095febf13. Please contact us immediately should you or someone in your home begin to show symptoms.

“We are committed to timely communication to support all of our families. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact me, Doug Lyons at [email protected] or Kara Mauro at [email protected]

“If there is additional transmission as a result of these cases or other cases to report we will send out another message as soon as possible.

“Thank you for your continued support.”