HAVERHILL — Woodsville Elementary School will be closed from Monday through Wednesday due to high numbers of active COVID-19 cases.

The three-day closure is intended to reduce COVID transmission at Woodsville Elementary, which has 28 active cases representing about 15% of enrollment in grades PreK-3.

Superintendent Laurie Melanson wrote in a letter to families on Sunday that WES could proceed to remote learning later in the week if case numbers remain high.

“We will reassess the situation on Tuesday afternoon and, if necessary, prepare for remote instruction on Thursday and Friday. If that is the case, Chromebook computers, books, and materials will be made available for pick up on Wednesday,” Melanson wrote.

Overall, Woodsville Elementary has reported 65 positive cases total during the 2021-2022 school year, with 38 resolved.

The most recent case was a third-grader who tested positive through a PCR test, who was last in school on Jan. 20 without symptoms.

Melanson was hopeful that Woodsville Elementary’s COVID outbreak would pass quickly.

“Case counts in other states hit hard before [New Hampshire] are beginning to see the numbers go down. I am hopeful that will happen here soon,” she wrote.

Elsewhere in the Haverhill Cooperative school system, the middle and high school will remain open. The high school has 18 active cases and the middle school has 16.

The Haverhill Cooperative School Board, which had removed all student mask requirements on Dec. 13, resumed them earlier this month in response to pushback from staff and community members.

They agreed to the following three actions:

— Resume targeted, temporary masking in response to positive cases at Haverhill Cooperative Middle School and Woodsville High School

— Implement universal student masking at Woodsville Elementary School but allow students to opt-out with family permission. In the event of an outbreak, WES would suspend the opt-out policy and implement targeted, temporary masking.

— Increase COVID testing in schools to identify positive cases faster (and reduce transmission) and exclude negative cases quicker (and keep kids in school).

According to the state Department of Health and Human Services, Haverhill has 72 active cases. It’s the third highest community case total in northern New Hampshire behind Berlin (263 active cases) and North Conway (163).

Overall New Hampshire announced 18,462 active cases and 393 hospitalizations as of Jan. 21.

Community and state case numbers are increasingly inaccurate, and are most likely undercounts, due to unreported at-home testing.


The following are the latest COVID numbers for other North Country school districts.

Littleton Schools District: 18 active cases (12 students, 6 staff) and 19 student quarantines for exposure as of Jan. 21.

White Mountains Regional School District: 52 active cases as of Jan. 23, with 18 each at Lancaster and Whitefield Elementary and 16 at the high school.

Lisbon Regional School: 10 active cases in grades K-12 as of Jan. 20.

SAU 58 (Northumberland, Stark, Stratford): 6 active cases and 7 quarantines for exposure as of Jan. 21.

Profile Middle/High, Lafayette Regional Elementary and Bethlehem Elementary do not post updated COVID case information online.

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