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Mass. High School Goes Remote, Citing Resistance to Contact Tracing

NBC Boston logo NBC Boston 1/5/2021 Lara Salahi and Diane Cho
a dining room table: File photo © Provided by NBC Boston

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Ashland High School in Massachusetts has switched to remote learning for the week after the town reported challenges while tracing close contacts for several students who tested positive for COVID-19.

In a letter to parents Sunday, Superintendent Jim Adams said some families have been resistant and uncooperative with the town's board of health and its nursing staff in their contact tracing efforts.

"It is upsetting that some in our community will not openly cooperate, thus their selfishness is putting the entire school system at risk," Adams wrote.

In a second letter sent on Monday, Adams said five additional people at the high school tested positive for COVID-19, but the district has still been unable to finish contact tracing.

The school has also cancelled its sports practices and games this week while it pivots to remote learning.

Adams called on parents to cooperate with the contact tracing efforts by having their child tested if they are showing symptoms, or if they have had close contact with someone who has tested positive.

"Your cooperation is critical to our ability to safely return to a hybrid model," Adams wrote. "If someone from the school district or board of health calls please answer and provide any relevant information."

Adams said he's aiming to have students go back to a hybrid model by next Monday, but that is contingent on completion of contact tracing and obtaining the results of pending COVID tests.

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