Despite seeing a recent rise in new COVID-19 cases since the week of Thanksgiving, a Westchester school has vowed to stay open as long as possible, though that plan has become more tenuous as the cases pile up, according to the superintendent.
Bronxville Schools Superintendent Roy Montesano issued a notice to the community on Friday, Dec. 4 advising that there have been reports of an additional nine positive cases in the school since Monday, Nov. 23 among both students and staff.
In response to the uptick in cases, Montesano said that he will begin offering weekly updates to the community with information related to The Bronxville School and its response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“While we have had the practice of communicating with you each time we learn about a positive case, due to the increased number, this has become a bit unwieldy,” Montesano wrote. “Therefore, I will be providing you with weekly COVID-19 related information updates.
Building principals will continue to communicate whenever there is a positive case that impacts the students, faculty, staff, and families in their particular school.
Montesano also provided an update on what happens if Bronxville is designated a COVID-19 “yellow zone” hotspot.
Any school placed in one of the zones (yellow, orange, red) may stay open if they meet certain testing requirements. The requirements call for schools in a yellow or orange zone to randomly test 20 percent of the in-school population over a one month period.
If Bronxville falls into a zone, it would require approximately 400 tests for the bottom two tiers, and 600 if it reaches the red zone status.
“We are currently working on a logistics plan so we are ready should this become necessary,” Montesano said. “The test would be administered by members of our staff and is a simple nasal swab that gets placed in a card reader with results ready in 15 minutes.”
According to New York State's COVID-19 Schools "Report Card," Bronxville has seen 14 students test positive for the virus since September, with another five teachers and staff members with confirmed cases.
“As we have always said, our goal is to remain open and have as many students in school as possible in a safe environment," Montesano said.
“We do believe that the safest place for students to be is in school,” he added. “We know there is light at the end of the tunnel and that a vaccine is on the way. Until that happens, we all need to continue to do our part to keep everyone safe.”
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