Student at Nissitissit Middle School in Pepperell tests positive for Covid-19

Case comes a week after school welcomes back students for hybrid year

A classroom at Nissitissit Middle School, which comes with cleaning supplies and socially distanced desks as a means to prevent new coronavirus cases

PEPPERELL — The North Middlesex Regional School District reported Tuesday that a student at the Nissitissit Middle School has tested positive for COVID-19

According to a release from the district, the student has been out of the middle school building on Chace Avenue since last Tuesday and will stay in quarantine until the Nashoba Associated Boards of Health clears the student to return.

The district said it was informed of the positive case late Monday afternoon and since then has been consistently sanitizing the middle school, supporting the family whose child tested positive and notifying families whose students were at risk of exposure or in close contact with the infected student.

“Based on the Nashoba Associated Boards of Health’s guidance, it has been determined that no student within our district is considered a close contact to the individual who tested positive for COVID-19,” Superintendent Brad Morgan said in the release. “This is an isolated incident and it is not indicative of any need for wider concern of COVID-19 exposure at our schools. Therefore, we have determined that we can continue to safely conduct our hybrid learning model within our schools at this time.”

Said guidance from the boards of health includes a period of contact tracing the district said has been completed. According to the district, a “close contact” is someone who was within six feet of the infected person for 15 consecutive minutes or more.

The middle school first welcomed children back for in-person learning last Monday, Sept. 14.

The district has been operating on a hybrid learning basis, with students coming into the building for a half day of classes followed by remote learning at home four days a week and doing a full day of remote learning on Wednesdays.

Students and staff have been required to wear masks inside the school while also staying six feet apart from each other.

The middle school itself took its own special precautions to ensure student safety, including dividing the hallways to have single-lane foot traffic going in and out of the building and ensuring only one student is permitted in the bathrooms at a time.

The district says it will continue to follow protocols established by the boards of health and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. It also asks student and staff to stay home if they have a fever or don’t feel well while washing their hands often, maintaining social distance, wearing masks and avoiding touching one’s face with unwashed hands.

As of Tuesday, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health have recorded 125,866 total confirmed cases of coronavirus with 9,118 total deaths among those cases.