NORWALK, CT — At least three people in Norwalk Public Schools have tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19) this week, and a fourth person is "presumed positive," Schools Superintendent Dr. Alexandra Estrella announced Saturday.
The district was notified about the positive tests on Friday, and as is standard, officials did not release the identities of the patients due to privacy concerns.
"In accordance with our health and safety protocols, the affected persons have been instructed to remain home in self-isolation for 10 days and have been provided with additional instructions to follow prior to returning to school," Estrella wrote on the district's website. "Family members have also been instructed to contact their healthcare provider about getting tested. Any student required to self-quarantine will have access to virtual instruction."
The infected individuals were last in school facilities on Tuesday and Thursday, Estrella said, and people considered "close contacts" with those individuals have been notified, or will be soon. Those people will be given instructions on next steps.
"Some members of our community will receive instructions on a mandatory quarantine," Estrella said. "A staff member will contact you if your student has been impacted."
As a result of the positive tests, the district said it has taken the following precautions:
All P-TECH students and staff will transition to virtual instruction for 14 days effective Monday, September 21.
One Silvermine Dual Language Magnet School classroom and several Silvermine staff will transition to virtual instruction for 14 days effective Monday, September 21.
Bus routes serving Brien McMahon High School, Ponus Ridge STEAM Academy and Silvermine Dual Language Magnet School have also been impacted and those families have been contacted individually. These bus riders will transition to virtual learning for 14 days effective Monday, September 21.
Friday's positive tests are not the first the district is dealing with. In August, Kendall School teachers had to quarantine following a positive test at the school, and over the summer, Norwalk High School temporarily closed during summer school due to a positive test.
Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling praised the school district for its quick action following the latest positive tests.
"We know COVID-19 is still here and having positive reported cases in the school community was a likely scenario," Rilling said in a statement. "With how easily COVID-19 can be transmitted, it is critically important that we have proper protocols and guidelines in place, and most importantly, follow those precisely to slow the spread of the virus. I commend Norwalk Public Schools for acting quickly under the guidance of the Norwalk Health Department and school medical advisors, and alerting families and staff who may have been affected. This is no doubt challenging, but I ask for the public’s continued patience as we work through these challenging times. I encourage families and staff to closely monitor for symptoms, and if they may have been exposed, to be tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible."
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