WESTFIELD – Westfield High School Principal Charles Jendrysik sent a letter to families Oct. 26 informing them of a positive COVID case in the school
“For confidentiality reasons, we cannot provide information about the person who tested positive. Staff members and parents of children who were in close contact were notified privately and are in quarantine,” Jendrysik wrote.
“This evening, we have deep cleaned and sanitized the school with a focus on the area frequented by the affected person. We will continue to follow protocols and ensure that
Westfield High School is a safe learning atmosphere for everyone,” Jendrysik added.
On Tuesday morning, Superintendent Stefan Czaporowski explained the protocol for a positive test in a school. He said as soon the district is notified, they contact the Board of Health and contact tracing begins. People in close contact are asked to self-quarantine for 10 to 14 days.
“We just have to recognize people’s confidentiality or privacy rights, but we are committed to being transparent with our families and staff. When there is a case, everybody in that school is notified,” Czaporowski said.
Czaporowski said anyone who was in close contact is notified by a Board of Health nurse or school nurse that they have to quarantine before they come back to school. “If it’s a staff member, they will teach remotely. If it’s a student they will learn remotely. It’s important to continue the educational process.,” he said.
This is the third positive test in Westfield schools since opening in September. Czaporowski said they will continue to go case by case, incident by incident. “There might be a point if there’s a situation at one school, that one school would go remote for two weeks or more. We just have to keep on top of it,” he said, adding, “Our top priority is the safety of our staff and students. We have been planning for this scenario, and have a comprehensive plan to keep our schools clean.”
Czaporowski said both the staff and students in all the schools have been adhering diligently to safety protocols, wearing masks, and washing hands, which has been helping to keep the risk of additional transmission down.
Currently, the City of Westfield is considered to be a red zone. If that situation continues for four weeks, then the district will evaluate the situation, and consult with the Department of Health and the local Board of Health, he said.
As of right now, however, Czaporowski said, plans will continue to move forward. “We’ve only had three cases (in the district) all school year. Unless we see a substantial increase, I think Nov. 2 we will move forward with Phase 3,” he said.