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BPS Health and Safety Bulletin #3

BPS Health and Safety Bulletin #3

Belmont Public Schools
November Travel and Absence 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Thank you for your efforts on behalf of our students and to provide a safe environment for everyone in our schools.

Holiday Gatherings Increase the Risk of COVID-19 Spread.

Protect Your Family and Please Read the Thanksgiving Guidelines and Travel Order.


Reminders for Thanksgiving and Travel

As we look ahead to the Thanksgiving holiday and break, it is important to follow state and CDC guidelines regarding social distancing and limitations on gatherings. We also remind all members of the BPS community that students and staff must get a COVID-19 PCR test if they have traveled to areas affected by the Massachusetts Travel Ban 

At this time, the only states that are not considered high risk are Hawaii, Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire. Weekly state travel data is released on Fridays. Please note that we review 2 weeks of data posted on www.covidexitstrategy.org to determine high-risk states. Maine and New Hampshire will be high risk effective 12:01 a.m. on November 21st.  For more information, please visit Covid-19 Travel Order

 Updates to Lower-Risk States

  • Fill out the Massachusetts Travel Form
  • Produce a negative PCR COVID test result per Quarantine and travel test requirements. Proof of a negative test result for COVID-19 from a test administered on a sample taken no longer than 72 hours before your arrival in Massachusetts.
  • Quarantine until you can produce a negative PCR test
  • Forward the test results to your school nurse

Quarantine and Testing

Belmont will continue to follow the 14-day quarantine guidelines. We will not allow testing out of quarantine except for travel and even that is not ideal. Please note that the nurses will need a negative PCR test from families and staff who travel to high-risk areas during the Thanksgiving break. We will process the results as we receive them during regular school hours only. 

Plan ahead as many people will be looking for testing to be done.

A negative molecular PCR test is the only type of test accepted. We will be adding a testing page to our Health and Safety site to clarify the different types of testing. There are many testing options available to people. Due to the variety of options available, the nurses will only advise that a molecular PCR test must be done. No other results will be accepted.

Important Links

If your student has recently traveled or plans on traveling, notify your student’s nurse by following the daily symptom check protocol below

In the event that your student has recently traveled to an area considered high risk, the following steps must be taken in order to return to school: MOST STATES ARE NOW CONSIDERED HIGH RISK... follow the daily symptom check protocol.

Please remember your individual responsibility to review the required Student Daily Symptom Checker each day prior to leaving the house for in-person school. If you answer “YES” to any questions on the symptom checker (symptoms, recent travel, close contact to COVID case), please stay home and fill out the Symptom Check Follow up Absence Form for your child’s school. 

We expect an increase in absences due to holiday travel. It is important that this process for reporting absences be done properly in order for your tests and absences to be properly recorded.

PROTOCOL for Absence From School

Perform Daily Symptom Checker: Daily Symptom Check Page

IF No to all symptoms and questions => come to school

IF Yes

  • Fill out the school absence form and call the school absence line - an email to a teacher will not suffice. The school nurse must be the first to receive information about an absence in order to allow for the proper medical guidance to be given. The nurses are responding to calls and emails and taking care of your children on a daily basis. This has been an extremely busy time and appreciate it greatly when you follow the process.
  • In most cases, expect to have a PCR test done, if one hasn’t already been done
  • Forward PCR results to your school nurse. Students and staff must be cleared by the school nurse before returning to any in-person school activities.
  • If an absence is due to travel 
    • Plan ahead and allow for enough time to test
    • Expect a backlog at test sites 


  • MASKS Are now required to be worn in ALL public places at all times

Face Coverings are REQUIRED in ALL public places 

  • FOLLOW CDC and DPH guidelines

As always, if you have any questions, please contact your school nurse.

Be Well!

-The Belmont Public Schools Nurses

Visit our COVID site often:

BPS Nursing Health and Safety

Health and nursing slides

Categories: Health and Nursing Bulletin