Page 6 THE MALDEN ADVOCATE–Friday, February 12, 2021 More than 120 Malden residents receive second quarter honors at Mystic Valley Regional Charter School M ystic Valley Regional Charter School (MVRCS) recently released its second quarter Honor Roll for the 2020-2021 academic year.All in all, 327 MVRCS students in grades 7-12 achieved either High Honor Roll or Honor Roll Recognition. One hundred twenty-nine Malden students were part of this list. To be on the Honor Roll a student needs to finish the quarter with no grade lower than a B-, to be on the High Honor Roll a student needs to finish the quarter with no grade lower than an A-. High Honor Roll Grade 12: Sidra Alani, Sofia Augeri, Angelina Casucci, Simantha Chan, Jennifer Cheung, Jaime Cochran, Katherine Gately, Kara Hollis, Jessica Li, Rebecca Verrill and Alaa Zeabi. Grade 11:Adam Housni, Rintaro Inomata, Son Tran and Amora Velic. Grade 10: Daniel Nguyen and Eric Wang. Grade 9:Rim Badaoui, Lucas Deguire, Nora Fatimi, Angelica Nocera, Rakshit Rangaprasad, Alexander Sokolovic, Aimy Tran, NhatMinh Tran, Diora Velic and Jason Yan. Grade 8: Brianna Gesnaldo, Sophea Geich, Isabelle He, Sophia Marcus, Melissa Moura, Jenna Pilleri, Anthony Rutkauskas, Anirudh Seethamraju, Sierra Sores, Crystal Tang, Ina Tolete, Hailey Tran and Matthew Weng. Grade 7: Yukino Inomata, Jacob Lee, Nicholas Li, Shrayva Medarametla, Britney Naiyga,Celeste Offiong, Raphael Orcino, Addison Romprey, Robensline Seide, Minhduy Tran and Iris Zhao. Honor Roll Grade 12: Connor Cargill, Connor Cavanaugh, Vanessa Cenat, Jeffrey Chan, Kelly Chen, HONORS | SEE PAGE 11 Lawrence A. Simeone Jr. Attorney-at-Law ~ Since 1989 ~ * Corporate Litigation * Criminal/Civil * MCAD * Zoning/Land Court * Wetlands Litigation * Workmen’s Compensation * Landlord/Tenant Litigation * Real Estate Law * Construction Litigation * Tax Lein * Personal Injury * Bankruptcy * Wrongful Death * Zoning/Permitting Litigation 300 Broadway, Suite 1, Revere * 781-286-1560 lsimeonejr@simeonelaw.net DPW workers recognized for service Employees at Malden’s Department of Public Works (DPW) were recently delivered a sweet surprise. Individually prepared packages of chocolate chip cookies were provided by Cookies for Caregivers Boston in appreciation of the DPW employees’ continued work during the pandemic. From snow and trash removal, to maintenance and upkeep of street and sidewalk repairs, the Malden DPW is at it 24/7 and Cookies for Caregivers Boston acknowledged and personally thanked employees for their service and commitment to the community. Local doctors weigh in on top COVID-19 variant By Christopher Roberson D espite the downward trend in COVID-19 cases, the variant strain, known as B117, continues to gain momentum. Although other variants exist, Dr. Lou Ann Bruno-Murtha, the division chief of infectious diseases at Cambridge Health Alliance, said B117 has been the most prevalent variant thus far. Yet, she remained confident in the vaccines that were developed by Moderna and Pfizer at the end of last year. "Fortunately, the three variants that have received recent attention appear to remain susceptible to antibodies produced in response to the two authorized vaccines currently in use,” she said. “Although the mRNA vaccines may be mildly less effective against this variant, most vaccine experts do not believe this subtlety will be clinically relevant.” However, Bruno-Murtha said the situation could easily spiral out of control just as it did when the original COVID-19 virus surfaced nearly one year ago. “More variation will occur as the virus continues to widely circulate,” she said. “If infections can be reduced and quickly controlled, there will be less of an opportunity for the viruses to mutant and gain selective advantages. Given some evidence that these variants are more transmissible, ongoing efforts to maximize personal safety remain essential.” Dr. Benjamin Linas, an infectious disease specialist at Boston Medical Center, said B117 is simply the product of “natural mutation.” “It is 100 percent normal and expected for viruses to mutate,” he said, adding that errors are inevitable at some point during the replication process, thus spawning a new variant. “There are a lot of viruses in an infected person’s body and even a tiny percentage of successful mutations will result in new variants emerging. This is an evolutionary survival of the fittest situation” Linas also said the spike protein found in B117 is much more potent than the spike protein in the original COVID-19 virus. “This is what makes the virus more infectious -- it is better at getting into host cells,” he said. In addition, Linas agreed with Bruno-Murtha regarding the efficacy of the vaccines. “The good news is that the same things we do to prevent COVID will also work against B117,” he said. “The vaccines we have now are effective against B117.” COVID-19 | SEE PAGE 11 Representative Ultrino continues virtual office hours in February S tate Representative Steven Ultrino has announced that he will continue to hold virtual office hours into the month of January over video conferencing platform Zoom. February office hours will be held on Thursday, February 18 from 7-8 p.m. Those interested in joining February office hours should visit bit.ly/UltrinoOfficeHours2021 to register and receive the link to join. “We started off 2021 with a strong showing at our January office hours and hope to continue to see folks from around the community join us to share their thoughts in the coming months,” said Ultrino. “As we head into this new session, please don’t hesitate to register and join me for office hours so I can hear your priorities and discuss what my office will be working on over the coming months!” If you have any further questions about these office hours, or have trouble registering, please contact Representative Ultrino at 617-722-2460 or send email to Matthew.Walsh@MaHouse.Gov.

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