Cambridge Public Health Department Shares Information about COVID-19 Cases Linked to Summer Program

The Cambridge Public Health Department (CPHD) recently identified 32 cases likely connected to a children’s summer program in Cambridge. Of these cases, 20 were among students attending the program (all under age12); 3 were among staff and interns; and 9 were among household contacts of staff and students. Children and staff in the summer program were following proper mitigation measures, including wearing masks and washing their hands frequently. Several cases associated with the cluster were sequenced and identified as Delta variant cases.

The Cambridge Public Health Department believes transmission occurred through routine interactions among children and staff at the program. There was no single event. Those most affected were children too young to be vaccinated.

CPHD is optimistic that there will not be similar clusters in the Cambridge Public Schools (CPS) this fall. CPS has the clinical staff and resources to be able to detect infections early and prevent outbreaks. Robust mitigation strategies are in place in the Cambridge Public Schools including frequent handwashing, required indoor mask use in all school buildings, and surveillance and symptomatic testing for students, staff, and teachers.

To help prevent children — especially those who are unvaccinated — from getting COVID-19, the public health department reminds parents and caregivers to:

  • Get vaccinated. The best way to protect unvaccinated children is for everyone in your home age 12 and older to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Once the vaccine is available for children under 12, parents should get their young children vaccinated as soon as possible.
  • Keep sick children home if they have symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 or any other illness.
  • Wear a mask when indoors outside the home. Regardless of vaccination status, everyone age 2 or older should wear a mask indoors when outside the home. For children, this includes wearing a mask when indoors at summer camps, child care programs, school, friends’ homes, and playing sports.
  • Plan outdoor activities for your family. Risk of transmission is very low and people do not need to wear masks in most situations.
  • Avoid riskier activities with unvaccinated children, such as dining indoors and attending crowded indoor events.
  • Get family members tested if they have COVID-like symptoms. The City of Cambridge offers free testing three days per week on Sundays, Mondays, and Thursdays. Learn more about these sites and other ways to get tested at www.cambridgema.gov/testing
Page was posted on 8/12/2021 3:30 PM
Page was last modified on 8/12/2021 3:30 PM
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