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COVID-19: School District In Westchester Will Stay Remote Through At Least January

Port Chester schools will be closed until at least the end of the Winter Break. Photo Credit: The Daily Voice File Photo
Based on data metrics, Port Chester's yellow zone will make the transition, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday, Nov. 11. Photo Credit: New York State
Port Chester has been labeled as a "yellow zone" COVID-19 hotspot. Photo Credit: ny.gov
New communities in Westchester have been given the "yellow zone" COVID-19 designation. Photo Credit: ny.gov

A Westchester school district in one of the state’s hottest spots for COVID-19 will be sticking with its distance learning plan through at least the end of the year.

Port Chester Schools Superintendent announced this week that the district will not even attempt to reopen until after the winter holidays as COVID-19 cases continue climbing in the village and county.

In September, Port Chester became the first community in Westchester to be designated a “yellow zone” due to a rise in new cases and infection rate. As the virus continued to spread, before being upgraded to an “orange zone” earlier this month.

If the numbers keep trending in the current direction, Port Chester may soon be Westchester’s first to hit the “red zone,” which is the most restrictive for businesses and residents.

A district in a “yellow zone,” would have been forced to test at least 20 percent of all students and staff members attending classes in-person each week, an expense that is not cost-effective.

Any district in an “orange zone” would have to test 100 percent of people entering the building.

According to the latest data from the Westchester County Department of Health, Port Chester reported 24 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, Nov. 19, and there are currently 241 active cases. There have been a total of 1,799 confirmed cases of the virus since the pandemic began.

Since returning to in-person learning several weeks ago, there have been 33 confirmed COVID-19 cases in students in the Port Chester-Rye School District, according to the state Department of Health, while three teachers have tested positive.

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