The new coronavirus (COVID-19) has now made its impact in Wellesley.
Upham Elementary School and Wellesley Middle School students are being sent home before noon on Friday after a parent of Upham & WMS children has tested positive for COVID-19.
Wellesley Public School parents on Friday morning received robocalls about the situation from Wellesley Public Schools Supt. David Lussier, who also issued this memo:
“Dear WPS Families and Staff,
“We learned a short while ago that a Wellesley resident has tested positive for COVID-19 (Coronavirus.) This individual is a parent of children who attend the Upham Elementary School and Wellesley Middle School. It’s important to know that these children are showing no symptoms and are healthy. Out of an abundance of caution, we have made the proactive decision to release students early at Upham and WMS in order to fully clean and sanitize both buildings. All other WPS Schools will complete their day on a regular schedule.”
We will continue to work closely with the Wellesley Health Department and other Town officials in providing additional updates.
Wellesley schools are actually renowned for being green and clean.
More ramifications of Wellesley’s coronavirus situation will involve rescheduling and cancellation of events in town. For example, a girls’ youth basketball game planned for Friday night at WMS was initially relocated to Sprague Elementary School, but later that game was called off for tonight.
Separately, Wellesley United Soccer Club in light of the coronavirus situation in town has suspended its remaining winter programming, affecting all sessions scheduled between March 6-20. “We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. But our hope is that this action will ensure that WUSC families are not subject to COVID-19 exposure at WUSC events and our community is 100% healthy for the upcoming spring season that begins in early April,” a WUSC memo read.
Wellesley Public Schools also announced late Friday afternoon that “In accordance with guidance from the state, we have cancelled all international trips scheduled for Spring and Summer 2020. Families with children who were participating on these trips are working with their trip’s teacher to manage reimbursements and vouchers.”
Wellesley Health Department coronavirus update
The Wellesley case is one of 2 presumed positive cases in Norfolk County that are linked to a recent Biogen event held in Boston at the Marriott Long Wharf. “This individual was identified by the company as having close contact with a person who became ill after the meeting,” according to the Wellesley Health Department.
“The Wellesley Health Department remains in regular contact with [the Massachusetts Department of Public Health] and is following the guidance of [the Massachusetts Department of Public Health] and the [Centers for Disease Control]. We are working with State officials to trace anyone who may have had contact with this presumptive case.”
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health said as of mid-day March 6 that the state has 1 confirmed case of COVID-19 and 7 presumed positive cases. State and Boston officials held a press conference on the latest coronavirus news on Friday afternoon.
More coronavirus communications
Wellesley businesses and organizations have also begun reaching out to patrons. One church assured parishioners that it will “attempt to provide individualized pastoral care to all folks in self-quarantine. If you need help (groceries, coffee, etc) while in self-quarantine please contact the church office. ” A fitness club reached out to customers, letting them know that they are adhering to government recommendations, continuing their deep cleaning and advising staff on “Avoiding kissing, hugging and the sharing of cups and water bottles.”