Curley School Staff Member Tests Positive for COVID-19; Parents Not Yet Notified

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A Mary E. Curley School staff member recently tested positive for COVID-19. This is the first known case of a Curley School community member.

Principal Katie Grassa sent an email to staff members last week. That email was provided to Jamaica Plain News by a member of the Curley School community.

"We were recently notified that a member of the Curley K-8 community has tested positive for COVID-19. We are working closely with the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) to respond to this news and protect the health of our community," wrote Grassa.

Her email included BPS protocol steps that had been allegedly taken at that time, which included informing the school community of the diagnosis. As of this past weekend, parents hadn't been notified, according to parents who have discussed the matter with Jamaica Plain News.

"We do not communicate identifying information about cases, nor do we disclose if there are cases within a school community unless there are more than five. If there is a case within a school community, community members are notified," said BPS Director of Communications Xavier Andrews in an email to Jamaica Plain News.

BPS protocol defines “community members” as those who accessed the building within two weeks of a positive diagnosis. That may mean exclusively staff, or staff and families.

Grassa wrote that BPS Health Services was in communication with BPHC and the Commission determined there were no additional members of the school community who were in close contact with the person who tested positive while within the building.

BPS reports information about positive cases on its website, which can be seen here.

There are fewer than five cases in the Curley School, and every other BPS school, according to the website. So far this year, all of BPS schools have had combined 35 positive tests. That number jumped last week after eight positive tests from Nov. 5 to Nov. 11.

All BPS students have been remote learning since Oct. 22 after COVID-19 positive test rates rose in Boston. It is unlikely students are headed back to schools anytime soon considering the rise in cases across the city and state. All BPS students will receive remote education until there are two full weeks of falling infection rates.

While students are all remote, some educators have been going into school buildings because they may prefer to teach at school rather than their homes.