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COVID Outbreak In Swampscott Forces High School To Go Remote

SWAMPSCOTT (CBS) -- The town of Swampscott is dealing with its largest COVID-19 cluster since the pandemic began. Contract tracing has determined a high school off-campus party could have exposed as many as 100 people.

Swampscott Public Schools Superintendent Pamela Angelakis says she had no choice but to have the high school go fully remote for two weeks.

"I am disappointed more than anything. We've been trying to get kids back in person and this really sets us back," Angelakis said. "There was a confirmed gathering and I don't know whether they were masked or unmasked, I'm not going to make judgement on that but this is certainly the largest outbreak the town has seen and that's concerning."

Kristine Phelps has a child in pre-school and the 2nd grade. "I think its careless and unfortunate that the whole town is being affected by this. I wish people were taking it more seriously and being more careful," Phelps said.

Due to the outbreak, several high school sports have been put on hold.

On Monday, the COVID-19 Community Mobile Unit will be at the high school offering free testing to students and faculty.

"Tomorrow's slots include juniors at the high school, seniors at the high school, the sports teams and all high school staff if they want to. This is optional but available and I think it would be really silly for people not to take advantage of this," Angelakis said.

The superintendent encourages all students and parents to remain vigilant even though it's been a year.

"I would really emphasize that we are still in the midst of this pandemic and I would want everyone to keep their guard up," she said.

The Swampscott elementary and middle schools will stay on normal schedule. Town and school officials are still trying to determine the scope of the outbreak, which could have a widespread impact on the town.

Residents, even if they have no connection to the high school, are urged to get tested.

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