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Message from Your School Nurses - September 2023

Message from Your School Nurses - September 2023

Message from your school nurses - September 2023

Dear Belmont Public Schools Community,

We hope you are enjoying the final days of summer vacation and we look forward to welcoming our students and staff back to school.

There have been some exciting changes that have taken place within the nursing department. Some of these changes are a result of the Middle School opening!

We would like to welcome Amie Carmillo (BHS Nurse) who will work alongside Carolyn Schwartz, Nadia Abdulrazak (part time Middle School Nurse), and Patricia Lundin (part time Wellington School Nurse).

Stephanie Chan has moved from the Chenery to the Middle School

Izabel Keremian has moved to the Chenery Upper Elementary

Please refer to our Meet your school nurse page for office information

In preparation for the upcoming 2023-24 school year, the Belmont Public Schools Nurses and the Belmont Health Department have updated the COVID-19 protocols to continue to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We will update guidance and practices if and when new guidance is released from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH). 

As always, we thank you for your cooperation as we work together to minimize the risk of transmission of illness while providing effective, in-person education for our students.


While masks are not required or recommended in K-12 settings any individual who wishes to continue to mask, will be supported in that choice.


Following a positive test result and after at least 5 day isolation - a high quality mask should be worn through Day 10:

  • If the individual has a negative test on Day 5 or later, they do not need to mask.

  • If the individual is unable to mask, they may return to programming with a negative test on Day 5 or later.

Following exposure to a COVID positive individual, masks should be worn for 10 full days.

For symptomatic individuals - Best practice would also include wearing a mask, if possible, until symptoms are fully resolved.


Vaccines continue to be the best way to protect individuals against the effects of COVID-19. DESE and DPH strongly recommend that all faculty, staff, and students, including the Commonwealth’s youngest children ages 6 months – 5 years, receive the COVID-19 vaccine primary series and all boosters, as they become eligible for them.

COVID-19 Vaccine Stay Up to Date CDC


Staying home when sick can lower the risk of spreading infectious diseases, including COVID-19, to other people.

Possible symptoms include:

  • Fever (100.0 degrees Fahrenheit or higher), or chills or shaking chills
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Muscle aches or body aches
  • Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough)
  • Sore throat, when in combination with other symptoms
  • Nausea, vomiting,diarrhea, when in combination with other symptoms
  • Headache, when in combination with other symptoms
  • Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies), when in combination with other symptoms

Please visit the Health Services website for Illness Guidelines for illnesses/symptoms other than COVID BPS Illness Guidelines


Individuals who present with symptoms of COVID-19 during the school day:

  • Symptomatic individual should be sent home and allowed to return to their program or school 

    • If symptoms remain mild and they test negative, OR 

    • They have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication AND 

    • Their symptoms are resolving, OR

    • If a medical professional makes an alternative diagnosis. A negative test is strongly recommended for return.  

  • Best practice would also include wearing a mask, if possible, until symptoms are fully resolved. For symptomatic individuals, DPH recommends a second test within 48 hours if the initial test is negative.

Please consult your school nurse with any questions.


DESE/DPH are NOT funding, or recommending weekly surveillance testing of asymptomatic individuals, or contact tracing. 

COVID-19 Positive Reporting Form

Please report all COVID-19 positive test results to your school nurse using this LINK

You will receive an email from your school nurse with guidance for a safe return to school. 

Call your school absence line to report your child’s absence.

The Belmont Health Department and Belmont Public School Nurses will monitor the positive case counts.


If you test positive for COVID-19, stay home and isolate for at least 5 full days 

  • If an individual has COVID-19: regardless of vaccination status, you must isolate from others for 5 full days. This means stay home and not participate in any activities outside of the home or have visitors in the home.

The day of the positive test or the first day of symptoms, whichever is first, is day 0. You are likely most infectious during these first 5 days.

RETURNING TO SCHOOL after 5 full days of isolation guidance

Children and staff who test positive must isolate for at least 5 days. If they are asymptomatic or symptoms are resolving and they have been fever free without the use of fever-reducing medicine for 24 hours, they may return to programming after Day 5 and should wear a high-quality mask through Day 10:

  • If the child has a negative test on Day 5 or later, they do not need to mask.

  • If the day 5 test remains positive, they may return to programming but should continue to mask through day 10.

Please note: K-12 schools and childcare settings have their own exposure and isolation protocols, which differ slightly from guidance for the general public.

COVID-19 Isolation and Exposure Guidance for Children and Staff in Child Care, K-12, Out-of-School Time (OST) and Recreational Camp/Program Settings


Quarantine is no longer required nor recommended for children or staff in K-12 settings, regardless of vaccination status or where the exposure occurred. All exposed individuals  may continue to attend school as long as they remain asymptomatic.

Those who can mask should do so until Day 10, and it is recommended that they test on Day 6 of exposure. If symptoms develop, follow the guidance for SYMPTOMATIC INDIVIDUALS.

Contact tracing is no longer recommended or required in K-12 settings. BPS Nurses will continue to work with the Belmont Health Department in the case of outbreaks.

BPS COVID-19 Protocols

Wishing You All a Healthy and Successful School Year!

Belmont School Nurses

Categories: Uncategorized, Health and Nursing Bulletin