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COVID-19: Westchester School District To Remain Remote Longer, After Staffer Tests Positive

Schools in New Rochelle will remain remote slightly longer.
Schools in New Rochelle will remain remote slightly longer. Photo Credit: CDC

A Westchester school district will continue learning remotely at least a little longer to allow proper time to test students and staff for COVID-19 after being designated as one of the state's "yellow zone" micro-clusters." 

New Rochelle Schools Superintendent Alex Marrero announced that the district would remain on all-virtual learning through Wednesday, Dec. 9, at which point elementary and middle school students will return to a hybrid model in two phases.

The news comes a day after the district reported that a staffer at Trinity Elementary School, which has been open for three in-person classes for special education students, tested positive for COVID-19.

Marrero said that the staff member was last in the building on Monday, Nov. 30, and was in contact with at least six others at the school, none of whom were students or teachers.

Additional contact tracing is in the works by Principal Michael Hilderbrand and a staff tracking nurse. Anyone who may have been exposed will be alerted.

The staff member was one of the 20 percent of the in-school population that was randomly selected for rapid testing due to New Rochelle’s designation as a COVID-19 “yellow zone” micro-cluster.

Special education classes will continue to meet in-person while the rest of the district remains remote.

Students from pre-Kindergarten through third grade will return to the hybrid model on Thursday, Dec. 10, with learning hubs resuming. Students in grades 4 through 8 will return to hybrid on Jan 4, 2021. New Rochelle High School will remain all-virtual until further notice.

"School buildings had been tentatively scheduled to reopen to a hybrid model of learning this Friday after state-designated yellow zones went into effect on (Monday), Nov. 23," Marrero wrote to parents. "However, updated guidance from the New York State Department of Health that took the Thanksgiving break into account grants us an extension until December 9 to meet the requirement to test 20 percent of onsite students, teachers, and staff."

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