Dear BHRSD Community,

As previously communicated earlier this week, I want to thank you for your continued partnership in keeping our entire school community safe and healthy.   It is my hope that everyone is able to spend time with loved ones and enjoys this winter break.  Our collective goal remains the same, to keep the schools open, which is vital to our children’s emotional health and education.  I encourage you to continue with the preventative measures we all know which include practicing social distancing, washing your hands, and wearing masks.   We are grateful in participation in these measures to help stop the spread.

On December 20th, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health released a review of breakthrough COVID-19 cases in vaccinated residents.  “The data are clear. This review shows that fully vaccinated people in Massachusetts have near-universal protection from severe illness and death and that boosters are demonstrating even stronger protection from COVID,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. “Amid the season of gathering indoors and the emerging Omicron variant, the time to get vaccinated and boosted is now. It is the best gift of protection for yourself and your loved ones.”

The review found unvaccinated residents are five times more likely to become infected than fully vaccinated residents (two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or one dose of Johnson & Johnson) and unvaccinated residents are 31 times more likely to become infected than fully vaccinated residents who have received a booster.   The COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective against infection, serious illness, hospitalization, and death.   Getting your child vaccinated will limit COVID-19 spread in our community, and it can help keep your child and their schoolmates in school.   I hope to share more information on possible vaccination clinics soon.

Please note that there continues to be no testing requirements in the event you were to travel domestically or internationally. Testing is not required for arrival back to school.  Individuals are encouraged to follow the recommended travel guidelines set by the CDC found here as they can change at any time (https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel).

If you or someone in your household develops symptoms of COVID-19 during this holiday break, please call your medical provider to get tested or call the BHS COVID-19 at 1.855.262.5465.   During the days ahead, my hope for you is to take time to pause, reflect and cherish your time spent with those you love.

Best wishes for a joyous and restful break.

Peter Dillon,  Superintendent