BEVERLY — A staff member at the Centerville Elementary School has tested positive for COVID-19, according to city and school officials.
Superintendent Suzanne Charochak said officials were notified on Sunday that the staff member had tested positive. The person is self-isolating at home, as are others who were considered close contacts, she said.
Charochak pointed out that no students have been in the school buildings. Teachers reported to their schools on Aug. 31, but the first day of school is not until Sept. 16.
Charochak said that no other staff members have tested positive. "It really was an isolated situation with a staff member," she said.
Charochak released a statement that did not identify the school where the staff member works, but Mayor Mike Cahill confirmed it was the Centerville School.
"The safety of our students and staff is always our top priority," Charochak said in the statement. "We have kept strict social distancing, cleaning, and sanitation protocols in place which include having staff maintain physical distancing and the wearing of masks throughout the day."
The Beverly Public Schools require any student or staff member who tests positive to remain at home, monitor their symptoms, notify the school, notify personal close contacts, and assist the school in contact tracing efforts, according to Charochak. For most people who have relatively mild symptoms, they will need to stay in self-isolation for at least 10 days and until at least one day has passed with no fever and with improvement in other symptoms, she said.
Charochak said officials notified the Beverly Board of Health and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health of the positive case and are following their instructions. The school deployed a facility team and used an "electrostatic cleaning process" to help clean the building, she said.
Charochak said in the statement that the district's facility team will conduct a "second thorough deep cleaning of our facilities" following any notification of a positive COVID test.
Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2535, by email at email@example.com, or on Twitter at @heardinbeverly.