Red Scare?

Published by Chris Wangler- October 29, 2020.

How will Waltham’s red coronavirus surge affect the return-to-school plan?
The Waltham decision will be made based on four weeks of COVID data from public health officials and local school-based data.
Waltham schools superintendent Brian Reagan will make an announcement on Friday on the phased reopening plan after a discussion at last week’s school committee meeting.
If implemented, Phase 2 would bring back grades 2, 3, 6, 11 and 12 for hybrid in-person learning, provisionally scheduled to start on Monday, November 9.
Currently the majority of students in Waltham schools are in preschool, kindergarten and first graders. There are also older special education students and ELL students. All others are learning remotely.
It’s a moving target situation. Rapidly changing coronavirus data is causing school officials in red communities statewide to alter reopening plans as new public health data is released.
In spite of Waltham’s worsening red trend since October 7, Reagan said that there is no evidence of significant coronavirus spread in Waltham schools.
As of Monday, the number of cumulative confirmed cases of COVID in Waltham schools was 43, and only 14 were in-person (the majority are among remote learners).
Every in-person case was immediately isolated to prevent spread. Reagan said that mask-wearing, social distancing and other measures in schools have been effective.
But that does not mean that outbreaks aren’t a real worry.
“Where we’re seeing the spread is in households,” the superintendent told the school committee.
“It’s often multiple people from one home,” he said, adding that school officials are monitoring the situation carefully and urging parents to observe their children for symptoms and follow all coronavirus safety protocols.
If return is not deemed appropriate, Reagan recommended delaying the plan to the next phased opening dates of December 7 and January 4.
A modified return-to-school plan could also be considered if the data continues to skew in the wrong direction.
If things get really bad, school officials would have to consider the “least popular option” of moving students currently attending in-person to fully remote.