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Westchester School District Takes Precautionary Steps After Positive Coronavirus Test

New Rochelle High School.
New Rochelle High School. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

The New Rochelle City School District is taking extra precautions after a local resident became the second person in New York State to test positive for the novel coronavirus.

The New Rochelle resident, a man in his 50s who works as a lawyer in midtown Manhattan, is in serious condition at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center after contracting an apparent case of “community spread” COVID-19. His family has also been quarantined in their home.

In an email to the community, New Rochelle Schools Superintendent Laura Feijóo attempted to assuage parents’ concerns, noting that there have been no identified cases of coronavirus in any schools or administrative buildings.

“We have in place a number of cleaning measures aligned to the guidance provided by the Westchester Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” she said. “As always, our buildings are cleaned thoroughly every evening with state-of-the-art procedures and products that maintain clean, healthy environments for our students, staff and the general public.”

Feijóo noted that before the virus spread as swiftly and far as it has, the district proactively ordered 140 cases of hand sanitizer with 60 percent alcohol, which is effective in preventing the spread of the virus. All classrooms have also been supplied with hospital-grade disinfectant wipes, which are being used by faculty members and the custodial staff.

“A building-wide disinfection program is conducted every Tuesday and Thursday evening in all facilities as a part of our regular practice,” she added. “As an additional precautionary measure, we will add another day of disinfecting in all buildings. 

"This will include high-frequency touchpoints such as railings, doorknobs, and drinking fountains.”

The superintendent went on to assure the community that a plan is in place in case coronavirus spreads in New Rochelle.

“In the event a school student or staff member is diagnosed with coronavirus, we have a plan," she wrote. "The community will be informed. The school will be closed to everyone and completely disinfected. 

"Students and staff will be permitted to return once the cleaning has been completed. We are ready to respond as needed.”

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