Mr. Jim White, Director of Public Health for Natick (Town employee)
Dr. Peter Delli Colli, DMD, Board of Health Chair (Elected position)
On The School’s reopening position:
We support the schools starting in hybrid but know that these things can change quickly. The Board of Health will switch our decision based on infection rates.
The Department of Education has promised information on when schools would need to pivot to full remote, but if we have to wait much longer, the Natick Board of Health and NPS will develop a matrix for making this decision.
"We will be conservative in developing our threshold."
From a mental health standpoint, the BOH believes it makes sense for the students to go back. For those who cannot return, we know that is a difficult decision for families and will continue to try to support you with resources on the BOH website.
The hybrid model suggested provides 9 total days before that cohort comes back. This gives us time to watch that cohort to see if anyone gets sick.
We all are aware this is a scary time and want to protect our teachers, bus drivers, and custodial staff.
We are planning how to prevent a surge b/c we know that one child can infect 5 and those can infect 5 more and on…
If kids contract covid they can have headache, loss of smell but usually no fever
We need people to stay vigilant and continue to be as safe as possible.
One infection is too many.
The best precautions are … wash your hands often, stay 6 feet away from others, and wear a mask
Natick is in very low risk b/c we have only had 1 positive case in the last 4 days.
We always tend to be the conservative so we will take the route that will protect the children, administration and staff the best we can.
We are resonsoible for every sector in this community.
Public Health comes first and if anything changes we will contact Dr. Nolin.
The governor can shut the state down, but we have the authority, at the local level, to change course if we see changes in Natick.
Dr. Nolin shared that parents will fill out a Covid-check list daily and will be turned into your classroom teacher. Resources will be available on the sheet for parents to learn about how to get tested and symptoms for which to look.
On Covid-19 Testing:
It would be great if we could test everyday. We can’t and the lag time is the real problem.
Typically takes 3-4 days before you know you need to get tested.
The turn around time to get the test back can be 24 hours but also up to 5 days
Once it is reported we start contract tracing.
With any positive results, the BOH is contacted - within 72 hours. (Newton Wellesley can do it within 24 hours. Free testing places in the state can be up to 7 days.)
If you show symptoms, the test needs to be done. Those people you’ve been close to have to be tested and quarantined.
A comment was made by a member of the public to encourage “pool testing.” It was stated if a cohort of kids and families need testing x 3-4 classrooms the demand is going to eclipse what the testing site can handle and delay results which will delay the start of the contract tracing.
There are so many different kinds of tests - 60 - too many false negatives
RNA is the best kind of testing and that takes a few days.
MA is overall doing a good job with testing - trying to address the hot spots -
Closest pop up testing to address significant need is in Marlborough and it’s free.
Mass testing for students and staff members is a huge undertaking that they don’t have the capacity to do.
FDA is working on an in-home test between $1 and $5 but we don’t know how accurate it is.
We haven’t found the right partner in looking for testing for our school system at large.