CAMBRIDGE — Mace’s Lane Middle School was closed to in-person learning on Monday, after a COVID-19 outbreak. Superintendent of Public Schools W. David Bromwell made the announcement around noon, citing family and student activities outside of school.
The full text of Mr. Bromwell’s message follows: “As you know, we have been working over the last few months at bringing students back into school buildings and extending their time there gradually, and with the support of the community this approach has been successful. COVID cases within our schools among both students and staff have remained relatively low. The situation has remained stable enough to be able to take advantage of the CDC’s changes in school guidelines and allow us to plan to expand further this week, bringing all students whose parents have chosen in-person learning back together for four days each week.
“I’m here today to tell you these plans have hit a snag. COVID cases in Dorchester County have been climbing steadily for the past two weeks. Over the weekend we passed the state’s case rate average and, once again, have the highest rate on the Eastern Shore, significantly higher than our neighboring counties. And what happens in the community makes its way into our schools.
“This pandemic is not over. The fine weather this weekend brought groups of people out for activities, but too many were ignoring safety guidelines. If families and others in the community do not continue to take precautions, particularly wearing masks, we will not be able to keep schools open. It’s that simple.
“Over the weekend, information from the Dorchester County Health Department indicated that there is a COVID outbreak at Mace’s Lane Middle School. Health Department contact tracers have tracked this outbreak to travel sports activities and family gatherings where COVID safety protocols were not being followed. As a result, due to the number of positive cases and quarantines, we are having to close Mace’s Lane Middle School this week to in-person learning. We have no control over what happens outside our school buildings, but we need to take the responsible step when it is brought into our school buildings. This is not something we want to do, but it is necessary to stop the spread. “Furthermore, any student who is sent to school when they should be quarantining because there is a positive COVID case in their household, will not be able to return to a school building for the remainder of the school year and will need to become a virtual learner.
“I am extremely frustrated and disappointed that DCPS has to take such a rigid stance involving the pandemic, but community actions are forcing us in this direction. “With all of that being said, we will still be moving with our scheduled increased attendance on April 13, as planned. All schools will be open for in-person learning as planned except for Mace’s Lane Middle School. Our C group students will continue with their virtual learning platform.
“Thank you. Stay safe and abide by all CDC safety guidelines.”