Weeks after returning to the classroom after schools were shut down last March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some Connecticut school districts have sent students back home due to cases of the virus.
As cases pop up among students and school staff members, some schools are closing and switching to remote learning while others are staying open and sending small groups home to quarantine.
A staff member of the Colchester Elementary School community tested positive for COVID-19 and is isolating, according to a notice the superintendent sent to families on Sunday. They notified the Chatham Health District and reached out to people who were in contact with the individual who tested positive.
The school district remains open and students will continue to be taught in cohorts, according to the school district.
The school district notified families last Tuesday that person at Farmington High School tested positive for COVID-19, according to the superintendent.
The person will remain home and all students and staff who had close contact with that individual will also quarantine at home for 14 days. Those students and staff will continue distance learning while at home.
Helen Street School in Hamden has had a case of COVID-19.
Supt. Jody Goeler notified families that a staff member at Helen Street School has tested positive for coronavirus. Anyone who was in “close contact” is being contacted and given instructions on steps to take. Goeler said students and staff members who have not been in close contact are able to remain in school.
The Hartford School District said in a statement that there have been several confirmed COVID-19 cases and they are working closely with the city's health department to follow protocol and inform families.
Noah Webster Microsociety Magnet School will be closed through Tuesday, Sept. 22 to allow for further contact tracing, the school district said. The school is expected to reopen for in-person learning on Sept. 23.
"Positive cases remain low in Hartford County but we must all remain vigilant to keep our students, teachers, and staff healthy and safe," Superintendent Dr. Leslie Torres-Rodriguez said in a statement.
Hartford Public Schools announced two cases of COVID-19 in the community last Monday morning.
A student at Weaver High School tested positive for COVID-19 and through contract tracing, four students were determined to have come in close contact, the district said. The four students in close contact will have to self-quarantine at home for 14 days. In-person classes are continuing at the school.
On Sept. 11, Bellizzi Middle School's principal announced a community partner who was in the building tested positive. The person was asymptomatic before testing positive and was advised to quarantine at home. Through contract tracing, the district notified two staff members and a student of close contact and asked them to self-quarantine at home for 14 days.
Litchfield Public Schools was all remote on Friday after officials learned that several students across multiple schools had contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
School officials said the students attended a non-school event, which led to prolonged exposure with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
Those who are directly affected were being notified as part of contact tracing efforts. All schools will be on remote learning Friday while buildings are deep cleaned.
A cohort of students and staff at Waddell Elementary School in Manchester were asked last week to self-quarantine after a second-grade student reported symptoms of COVID-19.
That student also attended a rally in Hartford calling for the CIAC to allow a fall football season.
New Britain has several confirmed COVID-19 cases within the school district.
The Pulaski Middle School will move to all remote learning on Tuesday and Wednesday after two members of the school community tested positive for COVID-19. These people were last in the building on Friday.
One case involves a person at New Britain High School and the other involves someone at Slade Middle School, according to a release from the district.
The New Britain Public Health Department determined neither or the schools nor any of the classrooms will need to be closed, the release said.
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.
Classrooms and common areas are being sanitized and disinfected and schools are in session Monday.
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 High School has moved all classes to remote learning on Monday after a person tested positive for COVID-19.
The school district said the last contact in school was on Tuesday, Sept. 15 so the positive test affects Cohort A students and staff.
Students and staff who are identified as a close contact will be contacted within 24 hours. Those who don't receive a close contact notification are not believed to be at risk, the school district said.
Hillcrest Middle School is closed to all students because of a case of COVID-19 and school will be remote while the school is closed.
Students in Cohort B will be 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.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uC2RooXr7e0&w=560&h=315]
Parents were notified by the superintendent last Thursday that someone described as an individual who rides a bus tested positive for COVID-19.
The school district worked with the Wallingford Health Department and determined that the infected person came in close contact with one or more people on a bus. Superintendent Salvatore Menzo said families with students who had close contact with the individual will be notified.
Earlier in the week, parents were notified by Menzo that a second person at Dag Hammarskjold Middle School tested positive for COVID-19.
The Wallingford Health Department initiated an investigation and said it will handle contact tracing to identify anyone who came in close contact with the person.
District officials said early Sunday afternoon that they learned one student taking in-person classes at Generali Elementary School tested positive for COVID-19. His or her specific cohort/class will be transitioning to distance learning through Friday, Sept. 25, they added.
Six other students who were attending virtual learning for the district also tested positive for COVID-19, the district said on Sunday.
School officials said a contracted bus driver also tested positive for COVID-19 and will remain in self-quarantine for 14 days.
A specific classroom at Chase Elementary School in Waterbury is being quarantined after a student there tested positive for COVID-19. All of the students in the affected class will transition to distance learning until Sept. 24, the school district said. The rest of the school remains open for in-person learning.
Westbrook High School closed after a COVID-19 case there and switched to distance learning on September 14, 15, and 16
The district said that if a child was in the same class cohort or in close contact with the confirmed positive case then the district would contact the family and the child will need to self-quarantine for 14 days.
The entire district is temporarily remote learning for Monday, Sept. 21, after it learned about another case of COVID-19 over the weekend.
The school district said they learned about a Hurlbutt Elementary School student who tested positive for COVID-19 around 8:30 p.m. on Sunday.
"We need at least Monday to do additional contact tracing to determine the potential spread of COVID-19 in the District. We are taking this step out of an abundance of caution," the district posted in a statement on its website.
Wethersfield Public Schools underwent cleaning and disinfecting last Wednesday, which was a scheduled full-remote-learning day, after an individual from Silas Deane Middle School tested positive for COVID-19.
The superintendent said a staff member at Sage Park Middle School tested positive for COVID-19, but could not provide any additional information.