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Westchester School District Closes For 10 Days After Faculty Member Tests Positive For COVID-19

Scarsdale High School
Scarsdale High School Photo Credit: File

A school district in Westchester will be closed for 10 days after a faculty member tested positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Scarsdale Public School District made the announcement on Sunday night, March 8, saying:

"This evening the district was informed that a faculty member at the middle school tested positive today for COVID-19. 

"The district is working with the Department of Health to discuss the full extent of precautions that we should be taking. 

"We have spoken with the Westchester County Health Commissioner this evening, and she recommended that we close our schools in an abundance of caution and take additional remedial measures as outlined below. 

"Therefore, we will be closing all district schools from March 9 through March 18 for continued cleaning, progress monitoring, and social-distancing.

"The impacted faculty member is exhibiting mild illness, and the district's response is designed to demonstrate vigilance and recognition of individuals who may be immuno-compromised. 

"The DOH indicates that individuals of primary concern would be those who experienced direct, close contact with the affected faculty member.

"We are approaching this closure with the following priorities:

"The first priority is the health and safety of those potentially impacted. We are already working with DOH Officials to contact any families who DOH officials feel need to be notified and given guidance for further actions. 

"This communication will be ongoing and is likely to take time to complete, please understand that the Administration and DOH are working as fast as possible, but we must make sure that the information provided to families is correct.

"Our second priority is to complete the thorough disinfection of all buildings, so as to minimize the possibility of contamination in our instructional spaces, common spaces, offices, etc.

"Our third priority is to complete the development of systems and plans for continued instruction so that our faculty is ready to engage in e-learning starting Monday, March 16.

"We recognize that this news will be concerning to many of our students and families. We ask that medical questions be directed to your family doctor/healthcare provider. Although staff will not be reporting to district buildings, principals and central office administrators will be available through email, and we will make every attempt to address your questions and concerns, as time allows.

"Please note that a district-wide closure means all school-activities, meetings, and events, including sports, PTC events, etc. are canceled. We do not have any information on the makeup of any of these activities at this point. This will be communicated when, and if, these activities are rescheduled."

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