WEST NEWBURY — Superintendent Justin Bartholomew and Athletic Director Dan Thornton report that all practices and competitions for the boy’s hockey team are being postponed for two weeks following a positive case of COVID-19.
The district was notified today that an individual involved in the boy’s hockey program, a regional co-op team with Georgetown Public Schools, has tested positive for COVID-19. The individual who tested positive is self isolating in accordance with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocol. Under state and federal privacy laws, no further information is available about the individual.
The Georgetown Athletic Director has also been notified of the positive case.
Close contacts of the individual are being identified, notified by public health officials and instructed to quarantine. If you are not contacted, then you are not considered to be a close contact. All students and their families, as well as coaches on the team have been notified by the district of the positive case.
Following guidance from local public health officials and out of an abundance of caution, all practices and competitions for the boy’s hockey team will be postponed for two weeks from its last practice date. The team may resume its activities at the earliest on Dec. 30.
No other athletic teams or programs at Pentucket have been impacted by this situation at this time.
“This decision has not been made lightly, but the health and safety of our student athletes and coaches is at all times our top priority,” Thornton said. “We’ll welcome the team back to practice as soon as we can do so safely, and appreciate the flexibility and understanding of all those involved in the hockey program.”
“This was the best decision for our students, coaches, their families, and the community, although we know it is a hardship on our athletes,” Superintendent Bartholomew said. “The health of everyone involved comes first, always, and postponing activities for now means that hopefully the team can get back together safely in January.”
To reduce the spread of the virus in the community, Pentucket officials also wish to share the following public health guidance:
- Remember that an infected individual can spread COVID-19 before they have symptoms, which is why social distancing — maintaining a minimum of 6 feet from others — is critical.
- Those who must go out are urged to:
- Avoid gathering in groups
- Maintain 6 feet from people outside your household
- Do not shake hands or hug
- Wash your hands often
- Those who are at a high risk for COVID-19, including those over the age of 65 and with underlying health conditions, are advised to stay home and avoid non-essential tasks and errands
- Wear a mask in indoor and outdoor spaces at all times.
- Face coverings should:
- Cover the nose and mouth
- Fit snugly and comfortably against the side of the face
- Be secured with either ties or ear loops
- Permit breathing without difficulty
- Be able to be washed and machine dried without damage. Face masks should be washed regularly depending on the amount of use.