Limited in-person learning ends quickly in Lowell

Limited in-person learning ends quickly in Lowell

LOWELL, Mass. — A month of high-risk COVID-19 status leads to the end of in-person learning for several thousand students allowed inside Lowell Public School buildings.

About 75% of Lowell students were home already with plans to bring them back if health metrics improved, which didn’t happen over the past month.

“We just want to make sure we’re very careful,” said Lowell Mayor John Leahy.

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Leslie Ramos said her 11-year-old daughter Julissa Machuca was thrilled to win a school lottery spot that got her in for classroom instruction.

“They get tired of being in the house,” Ramos explained.

Monday, the short-lived run of in-person learning will end for Julissa who’ll join her brother, Julian for remote learning.

“Hopefully they can help each other,” said Ramos.

Leahy said the city is very concerned because the situation is serious and community spread is leading to more cases each week.

Lowell General Hospital is preparing should cases spike, but that’s not what infectious disease physician Adam Weston expects.

“It’s going to be a longer, broader peak,” Weston predicts.

Lowell General had 103 COVID-19 patients in the hospital in the spring Weston said, in August, there were three, right now there are 11 patients being treated.

As for being considered a community “in the red” on the state’s risk map, Weston feels that’s worth watching but not a major concern.

“Red, I interpret as an area where we need more attention,” Weston stated.

Mayor Leahy who also chairs the school committee said the school will keep high-needs students in-school while the rest are remote.

Lowell was one of the cities that took part in the state’s free COVID-19 testing, and the mayor said they want to have it back, efforts to do so continue.

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