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BPS Health and Safety Bulletin #5

BPS Health and Safety Bulletin #5

Belmont Public Schools

December 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,


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

Please remember to follow the Massachusetts travel guidelines if you are planning travel out of Massachusetts or having visitors during the holiday break.

Large gatherings pose a threat of spreading the virus. Refrain from gathering with people outside of your immediate household to decrease the risk of spread.


The 12/31/20 deadline to submit your child’s flu vaccine documentation is fast approaching. If your child has received the seasonal flu vaccine, please submit the document now. 

If your child has not received his/her flu shot, please get it over the winter break. This is a Massachusetts Department of Public Health mandated requirement. Vaccine non-compliance may jeopardize your child’s access to learning until proof of the immunization is received. This is true for all required MDPH immunizations. Families in non-compliance have received many reminders from your school nurse since the beginning of the year.

2020 FLU Vaccine Requirement

Immunization Requirements for School

Please Note:

Belmont Public Schools and the Belmont Health Department will not implement any changes to the 14-day quarantine requirement at this time. All staff and students will be required to quarantine for the full 14 days when an individual has been identified as a close contact. We will continue to evaluate new information and update recommendations as needed.  

To keep everyone safe, we ask that everyone do their part and follow the following mitigation measures:

  • Look at the Student Daily Symptom Checker daily
  • MASKS are now required to be worn in ALL public places at all times
  • Maintain PHYSICAL DISTANCING (6 feet apart)
  • Frequent HAND HYGIENE throughout the day


If you answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions on the symptom checker, please complete the Attendance Follow-up Form for your school with the link found at the bottom of the symptom checker page.

If you need to be tested for COVID-19, please know that we require all tests to be PCR tests.

PROTOCOL for Reporting an Absence From School

Daily Symptom checker:

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. 
  • 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 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 


If you travel out of state:

  1. Refer to the Symptom Check Page and fill out the appropriate attendance form. This will begin the communication process with the school nurse. ***
  2. Get a PCR COVID-19 test no longer than 72 hours before your arrival in Massachusetts or when you return. Be sure to quarantine until you get your results. Only PCR tests are acceptable, no other forms of tests will be accepted to return to school.
  3. Forward test results to your school nurse; students and staff members may not return to school until they have been cleared by a nurse. Our nurses are generally available to review PCR test results on weekdays only, so please plan accordingly. 
  4. Please follow the protocols required before changing from hybrid to remote: Important Information on Procedures: Hybrid and Remote Learning and Snow Days

***This is especially important to note: PCR test clearances will not be issued from 12/24/20 until after the break on 1/4/21 when nurses return to school. Due to a possibly large amount of tests pending a review, your child’s return to school may be delayed.


  • Please plan ahead as many people will be looking for testing appointments.
  • Stop the Spread (Provides FREE PCR COVID-19 testing)
  • There are more than 350 testing sites across the Commonwealth, with no copay.  
  • You can order at-home test kits like Pixel, which are covered by insurance and available for uninsured individuals as well.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, please expect a call from your local Board of Health or CTC (Community Tracing Collaborative). It may take a few days, but they will call you. For everyone’s health and safety, it is very important for you to pick up the call. They will interview you and go over your close contacts with you, they will also provide you guidance on what you need to do now that you have tested positive and your earliest return to school date.

Please note the local Board of Health (BOH) is the community for which you reside. For example, if you are a Belmont resident, it is Belmont. If you reside in Burlington it is the Burlington Board of Health. 

If you/your family member has tested positive for Covid-19, please see the guidelines regarding ISOLATION.

If you have been identified as a close-contact to a person that has tested positive, please see the guidelines regarding QUARANTINE

Important links:

COVID-19 Travel Order - Lower Risk States

 While you wait for your COVID-19 test results

CDC Holiday Travel and Gathering

Potential Other Travel Scenarios

Areas affected by the Massachusetts Travel Ban

Thank you for doing your part to keep everyone safe at school. As always, if you have any questions, please contact your school nurse.

Be Well and Celebrate Safely!

-The Belmont Public Schools Nurses

Visit our COVID-19 site:

BPS Nursing Health and Safety

Health and Nursing slides

Holiday Celebrations and Gatherings

Categories: Health and Nursing Bulletin