Covid Updates for Summer

June 24, 2022.  Summer is finally here with warmer & longer days.  We thank and appreciate all who managed getting through the school year filled with challenges brought about by Covid.  Our hearts go out to families who have lost a loved one and / or endured symptoms of PASC (Post-Acute Sequelae SARS COV2) infection, aka:  "Long Covid". 

Please keep in mind the following:

* "Long Covid" is an emerging science.  The World Health Organization states that those who experience persistent or recurring symptoms 3 months after being infected likely have PASC and would benefit from being evaluated.  Further information and a map of specialty treatment centers is available on the Survivor Corps website.

* Following recent surges in our region, case rates have now trended down to "low" levels.  The CDC Covid Case Tracker provides updated case rates by county with recommendations for what to do when case rates rise.  It helps to consider these trends over time:  the early days of the pandemic when testing opportunities were very limited in June, 2020, when vaccines were widely available for adults and adolescents in June, 2021, and through today.   For example, MA state rates have varied somewhat on single dates with the following case #s  reported:                                                      

                      on 06/23/20 =229; on 06/24/21 =78; on 06/23/2022=1865 (NY Times).

* For those of you who are unable to get vaccinated, we encourage you to consider your surroundings and local positivity rates when making decisions about whether to mask.  Both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons should consider masking when at a crowded venue; even if outdoors.

* For those of you and your children over age 5 who completed your primary vaccines (2 dose Pfizer/Moderna or 1 dose J&J), consider getting your booster -all have waning immunity after about 6 months.

* For those of you who are eligible to get your 2nd booster, consider booking your appointment with the MA Vaxfinder Site; a handy way to find vaccine sites and clinics near your home.

The CDC recently joined the FDA in approving emergency use authorization for both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for young children ages 6 months - 4 years.   

* If you or a member of your family have a known exposure, administer the home test,  If no symptoms, 3 & 5 days after exposure is best practice.  If symptoms develop (even if mild), test right away.

* If you need a home test kit for use this summer, please let us know.  We have several free kits in stock at both schools.  Note that the expiration ("use by") dates posted on the box have recently been extended with more info available here.

* If you or a member of your family tests positive, here are the current MA DPH Isolation & Quarantine Guidelines.

* The FDA has granted emergency use authorization of Paxlovid, an oral antiviral medication and Bebtelovimab, a monoclonal antibody infusion for those who do not meet paxlovid or other treatment eligibility requirements.  These treatments may only be given to those over age 12 who weigh at least 88 lbs and who have mild to moderate symptoms.  These, along with other treatments, have been found to be effective in reducing the effect of symptoms.

While we still have much to learn, we've come a long way since the earlier days of the pandemic. 

We wish you and your family a healthy, safe, and refreshing summer.