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10/7: COVID-19 Cases Affect Several Schools in Conn.

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Students have been back in school for a short time since the schools were shut down last March due to the COVID-19 pandemic and some Connecticut school districts have sent students back home due to cases of the virus.

Some schools are closing and switching to remote learning while others are staying open and sending small groups home to quarantine.

Beacon Falls

An assistant football coach in Region 16 has tested positive for COVID-19, and 26 players who had contact with him have been instructed to quarantine, district officials said last Thursday. The student-athletes have been tested and are awaiting results. No other COVID-19 cases have been reported in the district, which includes Beacon Falls and Prospect.

Berlin

Over the weekend, district officials said they learned another person within the school community has tested positive for COVID-19. The affected person has been instructed to remain home in self-isolation for 10 days.

Previously, officials said two members of the Berlin Public Schools community had tested positive for COVID-19. District officials said the two individuals were last at Griswold Elementary School on Friday, Sept. 18, and that close contacts are being identified.

Three staff members at Colchester Elementary School have tested positive for COVID-19 and other staff and some students who came in contact with them have been quarantined, according to the superintendent.

East Lyme

East Lyme High School will be remote for two weeks and reopen on Oct. 22.

East Lyme High School was remote Monday after the school district learned of a case of COVID-19. A letter sent to families said they hoped to resume in-person learning at the high school on Tuesday. Then families were notified Wednesday that East Lyme High School will be remote for two weeks after learning of two additional COVID-19 cases in the school community.

Learning will be remote for East Lyme High School starting Oct. 8 and the school will reopen on Oct. 22. Sports and after school activities at the high school will be suspended.

All other buildings are open for students.

A letter from the superintendent on Oct. 4 said contact tracing has been done at East Lyme Middle School and Niantic Center School based on last week’s COVID cases.

Fairfield

Fairfield Ludlowe High School in Fairfield was closed for another day last week after three positive cases of COVID-19 and more than 30 additional students were asked to quarantine. 

This brings the total number of students and staff in quarantine to more than 80.

“For the second week in a row, we find ourselves having to deal with the consequences of our students participating in weekend activities without masks and without appropriate social distancing. In this case, it wasn’t parties, but seemingly innocent activities like playing pick-up football or basketball, or any sponsored event,” Supt. Mike Cummings wrote last Wednesday.

Two weeks ago, town officials in Fairfield say as many as 100 people might have to quarantine after six people tied to the high school community tested positive for COVID-19.

Fairfield First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick said there were six positive cases tied to the high school community: five at Fairfield Ludlowe High School and one at Fairfield Prep.

The infected individuals are all currently in isolation.

During contact tracing, the health department discovered there were at least six gatherings that weekend of high school students that might have led to these cases. Four of the events were attended by students who then tested positive for the virus.

A Connecticut company surveyed more than 1,000 Connecticut residents to get an idea of how the pandemic is affecting people from different races and socio-economic groups.

Glastonbury

School officials said a total of 25 students and two staff members at Glastonbury Public Schools are in quarantine.

Of the students in quarantine, 16 are from Glastonbury High School, seven are from Smith Middle School, one is from Gideon Welles School, and one is from Buttonball Elementary School, according to school officials.

One staff member from Hopewell School and another from the bus yard are also in quarantine, the school district said.

One student at Glastonbury High School has tested positive for COVID-19.

The numbers listed for people in quarantine indicate people who were in direct contact with someone who tested positive, according to the school district.

The city of Hartford unveiled a plan to test COVID-19 symptomatic students in schools with the help of trained school nurses.

Groton

Groton Middle School is distance learning for all students through October 16. District officials said all students from both cohorts will be learning from home during this time. Students are asked not to come to the building and no in-person classes will be held.

Hamden

A student at Hamden High School has tested positive for COVID-19, according to Superintendent Jody Goeler.

The school district has reached out to anyone who had close contact with the student and provided them instructions on what steps to take, Goeler said in an email to parents. Students and staff who have not been in closed contact will remain in school.

Helen Street School in Hamden also reported a positive case earlier this month.

From Waterbury to Glastonbury to East Lyme and other communities big and small across the state, educators are sharing their personal thoughts on returning to school in NBC Connecticut’s Teacher’s Journal.

New Britain

Smith Elementary School in New Britain will move to remote learning after someone in the community tested positive for COVID-19.

District officials said that person will quarantine at home for 14 days. Several of their close contacts have also reported symptoms that may be COVID-19, and they have also been instructed to quarantine. The school was closed Tuesday and remains closed Wednesday. Officials plan to reopen for in-person learning on Thursday, pending the results of the contact tracing investigation.

There are other confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 at five schools in New Britain, according to the school district.

The positive cases are at New Britain High School, Pulaski Middle School, Lincoln Elementary School, Holmes Elementary School, and Chamberlain Elementary School.

For the high school and Lincoln Elementary School, the cases were determined to be isolated and those schools were open last Wednesday.

Because the district learned about the cases at Pulaski Middle School and Holmes Elementary school late in the day last Tuesday and they had not completed contact tracing, those schools moved to remote learning last Wednesday and Thursday, the district said. Those schools returned to in-person learning on Friday.

The district was notified about the case at Chamberlain Elementary last Wednesday afternoon. The New Britain Department of Public Health determined the individual had no close contacts with anyone else in the building and the school will remain fully open, according to the district.

Also in New Britain, a member of the CLIMB Program tested positive for COVID-19, according to the school district.

The school district was notified of the positive case last Friday afternoon and the person has been told to remain home and quarantine for 14 days.

The last day this person was at the program was on Sept. 21, school officials said.

New Canaan

In New Canaan, 53 students are quarantining at home after four classmates tested positive for coronavirus. The students who are quarantining were determined to have close contact with the students who tested positive. Those four students are not included in the quarantine count, according to the superintendent. A staff member at the high school is also in quarantine.

Three of the four cases at the high school appear to be connected through youth sports activities, according to the superintendent.

A staff member at West Elementary School is quarantining as well. It was not clear why that person is in quarantine.

North Branford

School officials said administrators were notified that a member of the North Branford High School community tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and immediate action was taken to isolate, perform contact tracing and notify anyone who was in close contact with this person.

New Britain

New Britain has multiple COVID-19 cases in the district. Last Friday, they reported cases at the Lincoln KEY Program, Roosevelt Early Learning Center, and Smith Elementary School.

Roosevelt Early Learning Center and two classrooms at the Lincoln KEY Program will move to remote learning for two weeks, resuming in-person on Monday, October 19. There will be no closures at Smith.

Norwich

Norwich Public Schools announced all students will move to remote learning for two weeks beginning last Friday. There are no active cases in the schools, but the city has seen a climb in COVID-19 cases and administrators made the decision to keep students learning from home as a precaution.

Plainfield

A staff member within the Plainfield High School community has tested positive for COVID-19.

The district said the person has been instructed to remain home and quarantine for 14 days.

The last day the person was in Plainfield High School was Sept. 21.

Plainfield High School was closed from Monday, Sept. 28 through Wednesday, Sept. 30. Volleyball was also canceled for the week.

Preston

Preston Public Schools moved to virtual instruction for Monday, Sept. 28 and Tuesday, Sept. 29 after a member of the school community tested positive for coronavirus. The superintendent said to be prepared for a possible shift for at least the next 14 days to full virtual instruction.

The infected person has been instructed to remain home in self-isolation for 14 days and family members have also been instructed to self-quarantine and get tested.

Simsbury

A support staff member at Simsbury High School tested positive for COVID-19. After determining that the staff member had no close contacts while working at the school, the district determined the school can remain open.

Southington

All classes at Southington High School are remote through Friday, Oct. 9.

At least 25 staff members are self-quarantining after three recent positive COVID-19 cases at the school.

The school district is not able to fill that many positions with substitute teachers, according to Superintendent Timothy Connellan. The district hopes to have students return to in-person learning on Tuesday, Oct. 13, barring any new positive cases.

A person at Hatton Elementary School also tested positive for coronavirus. That person and anyone who it is determined were in close contact with them, will quarantine at home for 14 days. Students and staff who did not come in close contact with the infected person will be at school for in-person learning.

Stratford

Bunnell High School closed after two additional people tested positive for COVID-19 and plans to resume the hybrid model on Oct. 12 .

School officials said in a letter on Sept. 25 that the high school was closed and students will be distance learning for two weeks.

School officials said they were notified of two additional positive COVID-19 cases within the Bunnell High School community. Anyone who was directly in contact with either person who tested positive will be contacted and should remain in quarantine for 14 days, they said.

The plan is to resume the hybrid model on Oct. 12, school officials added.

Trumbull

Hillcrest Middle School was closed to all students because of a case of COVID-19. Learning will be remote while the school is closed and students in Cohort B were able to re-enter the building on Thursday, Oct. 1, according to a statement from the principal.

"This decision was not made lightly, and was the result of careful and thorough contact tracing completed by the Trumbull Nursing Department. We are very grateful for their help and support," Bryan Rickert, principal of Hillcrest Middle School wrote in a letter to families.

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Waterbury

A student at Crosby High School in Waterbury has tested positive for COVID-19. The school will remain closed to in-person learning Wednesday for a thorough cleaning and disinfection. In-person classes are expected to resume Thursday.

A student at Washington Elementary School tested positive for COVID-19, school officials said on Friday. That student's specific class will transition to distance learning through Monday, Oct. 12.

Last Wednesday, district officials announced a student at North End Middle School tested positive for the coronavirus. That student is virtual and has not been in the building this year.

District officials announced last Tuesday that two people at Chase Elementary School have tested positive for COVID-19. Both classes will move to distance learning through Friday, Oct. 9.

A staff member at Waterbury Arts Magnet School has tested positive for the coronavirus. The school shifted to remote learning through Thursday while the building was cleaned and disinfected and contact tracers notify those affected.

The city's contact tracing team is working to identify close contacts involved with the in-person positive case.

As students across Connecticut head back to school, some school districts are seeing cases of COVID-19, which is forcing them to close. Dr. Thomas Murray, associate medical director of infection prevention at Yale New Haven Children's Hospital, discusses challenges schools face.

Waterford

The Friendship School in Waterford is reporting a case of COVID-19 and said the person who tested positive has been instructed to remain home in self-isolation for 10 days.

School officials said in a message to members of the school community that they were notified last Monday that a member of our school community has tested positive for coronavirus and that family members have also been instructed to self-quarantine and get tested.

Anyone who is considered a close contact with the person has been contacted or will be contacted by school or local health officials

West Hartford

West Hartford school officials said there has been a case of COVID-19 at Hall High School. The person participated in football practice last week and all players and staff who had close contact with the person are beginning a 14-day quarantine period.

Windsor

A student at Windsor High School and a student at Sage Park tested positive for COVID-19. All students who have been deemed to be a close contact were notified. A letter on the school website says the impacted class would quarantine for 14 days, retroactive to the last contact, and will participate in distance learning for that time.

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