Here’s the latest Wellesley, Mass., COVID-19 news:
About half of school staff vaxed
Wellesley Public Schools Supt. Dr. David Lussier says about 450 members of the school system have received at least 1 COVID-19 vaccine dose, and that’s close to half of faculty/staff. Teachers and other school personnel have only become eligible for vaccines over the past week under state guidelines.
That all bodes well as WPS aims to get all students who aren’t in the remote-only school program back in physical classrooms in April. Lussier said at the March 15 Board of Health meeting that WPS seeks to get middle school students back ahead of the state’s April 28 deadline (hopefully the week of April 12, before school vacation) and to get high school students back shortly after vacation.
Numbers are looking good on the WPS COVID-19 dashboard.
One area in which Lussier said he’d like more guidance relates to office space capacity for returning staff. General office space capacity is now limited to 50%.
For those members of the public who aren’t school personnel and haven’t been eligible in vaccine rollout phases to date, you can still get in line via the state’s new preregistration system.
In other school news, WPS will be reaching out to parents and guardians of students in grades 3-5 about adding them to the viral testing program as full in-classroom school resumes in April. A webinar is slated for March 18 at 7pm.
The district will be surveying students, staff, and parents/guardians on the upcoming transitions to in-person schedules. This will be followed on Friday with a formal request of all parents/guardians to decide if their students will return to the full, in-person schedule, or remain/transition to the district’s remote learning school for the rest of the academic year.
iPads for Health Dept.
The Community Fund for Wellesley has awarded a grant to the Wellesley Health Department to provide 10 iPads initially designed to support vaccine distribution efforts in town.
While the town has been severely limited in receiving vaccine to distribute beyond first responders and those in public housing, the iPads will still help the Health Department mobilize other clinics, such as for the flu. They’ll also be used for health inspections and other field work.