WELLESLEY (CBS) – The Wellesley Public Schools are calling a timeout for all winter sports in an effort to get COVID cases under control.
Superintendent of Wellesley Public Schools Dr. David Lussier says the decision was made with the Wellesley Health Department after 26 student-athletes tested positive this week.
In a phone call Thursday morning, the superintendent said there has been a significant rise in cases across the district, including across several sports teams.
“A number of competitions had already been canceled, including practices, based on the number of cases across so many different sports. So that weighed heavily into making this broader decision,” said Dr. Lussier.
Wellesley High School teacher Dana Boucher said she feels for the students, but thinks it’s the right call.
“I feel really bad for the students, especially like the juniors right now. It’s been their whole high school career,” said Boucher. “With the COVID cases being so high, it’s probably the right thing to do.”
Wellesley Public Schools Athletic Director John Brown hopes the pause will be short, and he says they will do their best to make up missed competitions.
“We know how important this is to the kids and families, and even the spectators. And we’re hoping that we can get back going, have things back to normal as soon as we can,” Brown said.
As students and teachers prepare to return to school buildings on Monday after the holiday break, staff members are happy to hear they’ll be getting at-home rapid tests from the state.
“We’ve all been different places and traveled. I feel like it’s a good thing that we should get tested before we go back to school,” said Boucher.
Dr. Lussier says they appreciate the kits, but would like to see testing expanded even more.
“We’d love to see broader access to rapid tests for all students as well, not just for our staff,” he said.
Districts are also trying to figure out the logistics of distributing the at-home tests. The tentative plan in Wellesley is to hold a drive-thru at the high school on Sunday morning, but the details are still being worked out.