MEDFIELD — Superintendent Jeffrey Marsden would like to share state and local guidance for families and staff as they as they finalize plans and prepare for their Thanksgiving celebrations this year.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), traveling increases one’s potential to be exposed to COVID-19 and of potentially spreading it to others, and the CDC strongly recommends that people do not travel for the Thanksgiving holiday. Staying home and observing the holidays with those in your household or hosting a virtual celebration are the best ways to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
It is important to note that small gatherings are also contributing to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases nationwide, according to the CDC.
Those who still choose to travel or host a small gathering are urged to consider lower risk alternatives and review the precautions they can take to protect themselves and others from COVID-19. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) offers public health guidance for families to consider in order to have a safe holiday celebration. Please visit the DPH’s Thanksgiving During COVID-19 to learn more about low- and high-risk celebrations and activities to avoid.
As part of the ongoing travel restrictions in effect throughout the Commonwealth, all travelers arriving from states that are not classified as lower-risk must complete a travel form and quarantine for 14 days or obtain a negative COVID-19 test result from a sample taken within 72 hours of arrival in Massachusetts. This includes Massachusetts residents returning from states other than those named. For the most up to date information on the state’s travel restrictions, click here.
Students and staff are asked to follow testing guidelines if they travel to states that are not lower-risk over Thanksgiving break, and should not enter the school buildings if they have not quarantined or obtained a negative test result upon their return. A negative result from a Gold Standard PCR test is required to return to school. A list of local testing sites compiled by Medfield’s school nurses can be found here.
Students and staff are also reminded of the importance of completing daily home symptom screening when they return to school following the holiday.
“Our families and staff have done an excellent job in following the protocols that will help to keep our students in school, and we are very appreciative of these efforts,” Superintendent Marsden said. “We encourage everyone to remember the importance of social distancing and wearing masks during the break, and review the public health guidance for a safe holiday.”
During the break, the district asks that all families and staff adhere to social distancing and other public health guidelines to help reduce the potential spread of COVID-19 within the schools. According to the DPH, any time you are around people from outside of your household, you should:
- Wear a face covering, except when eating or drinking.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
- Practice social distancing and maintain 6 feet of distance from others.
- Be cognizant of those around you who may be at a higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19, including older adults and those with certain medical conditions.
- If hosting or attending an indoor gathering, open windows and doors to improve ventilation.
For additional guidance on navigating the holidays amid COVID-19 from the CDC, including additional information on hosting or attending a gathering, food and drinks at small gatherings, travel and overnight stays, and what to do if you’re exposed to COVID-19 at a holiday event, click here. For more tips for celebrating Thanksgiving this year from the DPH, click here.
Anyone with questions or concerns is asked to contact their school nurse, or the Medfield Board of Health at 508-906-3006.