Over the past few weeks schools throughout Berkshire County have returned, or are preparing to return, to in-person or hybrid learning and the concern over the spread of COVID-19 is on the minds of parents and educators alike.

Just last week the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education confirmed that there were 64 students and 34 staff members among Massachusetts schools hosting in-person learning in just the first week.

Yesterday, Superintendent Barbara Malkas confirmed that a member of the North Adams Public School District has tested positive for the virus, the first known case in a Berkshire County school.

Superintendent Malkas released the following information:

Dear North Adams Students, Families, Staff and Community Members,

We would like to inform you that we have recently received information regarding one confirmed case of COVID-19 of a

student or staff person in the North Adams Public Schools.

Cleaning and disinfecting of the exposed location have been completed per DPH and CDC guidance. Every individual with a potential exposure has been given instructions on the course of action they need to take, including self-isolating and testing if directed. Please note that all information, including the name(s) of ill persons, shared regarding any Public Health investigation is confidential in order to protect patient privacy.

The district has coordinated with the Department of Public Health to follow all recommendations. If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the Nurse Leader for the district, Lauren Gage at 413-662-3240 ext. 2303 or lgage@napsk12.org.

Under HIPPA law, safeguards to protect the privacy of personal health information of an individual prevent the school from releasing any additional details about the individual testing positive, therefore it legally cannot be specified if the individual is a student or teacher.

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