Superintendent reports low COVID numbers to School Committee

Westfield Public Schools Superintendent Stefan Czaporowski. (THE WESTFIELD NEWS FILE PHOTO)

WESTFIELD -Westfield Public Schools Superintendent Stefan Czaporowski reports there have been 51 COVID-19 in the district since Sept. 14.

Czaporowski said counting all of the staff and students in the district, there are 6,200 members in total. Since Sept. 14, there have been 51 COVID cases among them, however, only 15 of the individuals were in school at the time. The individuals in the other 36 cases were either fully remote, or weren’t in school when the case was reported.

He said the total number amounts to a 0.865 percent positivity rate in the population, but looking at the cases where the individuals were in school, the rate is 0.242 percent.

“I believe this is a number that our district can be proud of. Our schools have been the safest places to be over the last few months,” Czaporowski said, adding, “This is a tribute to the leadership of our administrators, cooperation of all our staff and students, and the terrific work of our school nurses and custodial staff.”

He said that the low numbers are due to contact tracing, work with the health department, the custodians who have been doing a great job, and staff and students who are following the guidelines.

“It’s a tribute to everyone doing what they’re supposed to, whereas some districts around us have had to close,” he said.

Czaporowski said the families and staff are notified by their school when there is a positive case. “We send a letter out to the families and the staff in the affected school whenever there’s a positive case. There are two letters – if you’re a close contact, you get notified by the nurse by letter and a personal phone call. The letter to everybody else says if they had been in close contact, they would have been notified by the health department or school nursing department,” he said.

He also acknowledged the reality that there were 117 new cases in Westfield last week and the state is averaging 4,000 plus new cases per day. “Eventually, we will be more affected. But I at least wanted to share what we have been able to accomplish so far,” he said, adding, “We’re going to continue to monitor the cases, and if we see an uptick in either a school or a district, we will pivot to full remote.”

The superintendent said that people are concerned about what’s happening around the region, but right now the staff for the most part is happy to have the kids in the schools, and so is his team, for as long as they can.

“The students are very happy to be in school. I got a card from a student right around Thanksgiving, thanking me for having them in school,” Czaporowski said.

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