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Schools Should Not Close Due To A Single COVID-19 Infection, Says CT Gov. Lamont

Isolated incidents of COVID-19 should not be enough, by themselves, to close a school, said Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont.

Since public schools began the fall semester at the start of September, a number of facilities have closed for a day or two to decontaminate the buildings following the discovery of COVID-19 infections.

Since Sept. 1, the Connecticut public education districts that have closed individual buildings temporarily due to COVID-19  include Bridgeport, East Hartford, Manchester, Naugatuck, New Milford, Somers, Wallingford, Waterbury, Westbrook, and West Haven.

On Monday, Sept. 14, Lamont was on WNPR when he said that he does not believe that entire school buildings should close when staff or a student is found to have a COVID-19 infection.

Instead, Lamont said because schools are keeping students more or less in pods - small groups that don’t mix with other student groups in an effort to avoid virus spread - that the damage one sick person can do is better contained. A pod may have to stay home and quarantine, but an entire school should not close due to a single COVID-19 infection, he said.

“If there happens to be an infection in that one class, it’s just those 20 students and that teacher who would have to quarantine - not the entire middle school,” Lamont said.

Connecticut’s Department of Public Health has advised deep-cleaning following the discovery of COVID-19 at a school but left it up to the districts whether a building should be temporarily closed.

While Lamont said he would like to see fewer entire schools closing temporarily, he is proud of how the state has handled back-to-school amid COVID-19.

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