SOUTHWICk –Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School District Superintendent Jennifer Willard announced via email Oct. 12 that a member of the Southwick Regional School community tested positive for COVID-19.
The email came just three days after the district’s first COVID update on its website, which reported zero positive cases as of the Oct. 9 posting.
Willard’s notice Monday did not give specifics about who tested positive – a student or staff member – but said that anyone receiving that email had not been in close contact with the individual.
“Though we cannot provide specific information about our school community member who tested positive, your child was not a close contact (defined as being within 6 feet of the person for at least 15 minutes) of the affected school member. Please continue to monitor your child for symptoms and keep your child home if he/she/they shows any symptoms or is not feeling well,” states the letter. “Parents of students who were in close contact with the community member will be notified privately. All close contacts should be tested but must self-quarantine for 14 days after the last exposure to the person who tested positive, regardless of test result. We are also following all Department of Health protocols, including collaborating with our local board of health to complete contact tracing. Additionally, we are asking those parents whose students are tested for COVID-19 to please report the results to the school nurse. We are working hard to understand the impact of the virus on our school community and this information is a critical piece of that puzzle.”
Willard said the district has a plan in place for sanitizing affected buildings and informing families of students who were at risk of exposure. She assured families that “our student body and staff have been closely adhering to the safety protocols including mask wearing, hand washing, and physical distancing. We are grateful to our families for their continued efforts to keep students home at the first sign of symptoms. These measures, taken in combination, greatly reduce the risk of additional transmission.”
Willard said the Southwick Regional School was sanitized thoroughly with a focus on the areas the affected person frequented. Remote learning is provided for all students required to quarantine at home to “continue to provide instruction, structure, and an emotional connection to the classroom during a time that we know will be challenging for those children and families involved,” Willard wrote. Remote learning options were given to students in advance of the first positive case.
“We are committed to continuous communication with and support of our families. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact your child’s school nurse. If there is additional transmission as a result of this case or a separate case, we will send out another message immediately. Thank you for your continued support,” Willard said.”