Lynnfield schools respond to spike in COVID | #coronavirus | #kids. | #children | #schools

The spike has been particularly alarming in the schools, with the district’s number of cases more than doubling in one week, from 18 cases to 44.

“The rise in cases in Lynnfield tells us two things,” said Fire Chief and Emergency Management Team Director Glenn Davis. “Although much of our society has reopened, which is great, COVID is still a major challenge and threat to our community and our country and we all must remain vigilant in our safety practices.

“Vaccination works. The new data shows that the vast majority of new cases are children under the age of 12. This is the only group that, until recently, did not qualify for vaccination.”

In an attempt to stop the spread, the town is offering two free COVID-19 vaccine clinics for children, ages 5-11. First-dose clinics will be held on Saturday, Nov. 13 and Sunday, Nov. 14. Both clinics will be held from 9 a.m. to  4 p.m. at Lynnfield Middle School. Second-dose clinics will be held on Saturday, Dec. 4 and Sunday, Dec. 5.

Last week, Town Administrator Rob Dolan addressed the then-second straight week of rising case numbers, which was particularly prevalent among schoolchildren under the age of 12. 

“The current surge among children under the age of 12 is particularly concerning for us,” said Dolan in a post on the town website, which noted that more than half of cases — 27 of the 57 — were seen in children between the ages of 1 and 9.

After this troubling data was released, Dolan said the Emergency Management Team and Lynnfield Public Schools had taken many steps, which included an increase in contact tracing, implementing a robust test-and-stay program, and providing an updated COVID dashboard, which included the most up-to-date statistics. At the same time, the town has taken steps to support families and respect their confidentiality.

Despite these steps, numbers continue to rise at the town’s public schools. 

The district’s COVID-19 dashboard shows that, as of Monday afternoon, there were 31 active cases at the Summer Street School; this represents an increase from the 13 that were seen last week. Cases at Lynnfield Middle School also rose significantly, going from one to nine. 

But there were some bright spots. Numbers remained unchanged at Huckleberry Hill School, which has four active cases. And there were no reported cases in Lynnfield High and the district’s preschool. 

The town continues to advise residents to take the following precautions: 

— If eligible, get vaccinated.
— Limit indoor gatherings (birthdays, play dates, etc.) when possible during this surge.
— If quarantined as a close contact, remain at home and do not participate in activities as directed.
— Report symptoms to your child’s school building nurse and, if sick, please keep children home from school and activities.

The upcoming vaccine clinics, in partnership with Pelmeds Pharmacy, will be offering the Pfizer vaccine, which has been authorized for children, ages 5-12, by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

Appointments are required and can be reserved on the district’s website. Walk-ins will not be accepted. If you have any issues or problems with registering for a clinic, email for assistance. After first doses have been administered, the town will send out a link to register for second doses.

“We encourage all Lynnfield residents to get vaccinated,” said Davis. 

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