CONNECTICUT, USA — We are closely monitoring a developing story in Meriden. A student who eventually tested positive for the Coronavirus was sent to school by the parent despite pending test results. Pop up infections at schools across the state have many parents wondering how many cases of COVID will it take to close a school? On Thursday Gov. Lamont said he was, "More confident in K-12 because people can cohort, especially K-8. No need to close down the school if there was any expose in a particular 3rd-grade class."
But back to Meriden, an entire class is now in quarantine at the Lincoln Middle School. Superintendent of Schools Mark Benigni said, "Despite all health guidance, the parent sent the student to school while waiting for the test results."
The result came back positive. The student was put in an isolation room. The superintendent says if not for cohorting, "Many more students could have been impacted."
It’s one of many stories across the state. The school districts of Newington, Stratford, Naugatuck, New Milford, CREC, Somers, Region 4, Windham, Glastonbury, and Norwalk are all dealing on some level with COVID related concerns for the start of the year. Fran Rabinowicz-who represents Connecticut school superintendents who says there needs to be more testing at the school level. "And not just one-time testing. One-time testing gives you a sense of comfort on Monday that everybody is clear but more importantly is the ongoing testing."
In Hartford, three staff members are now positive for the virus at the CREC Montessori School. Janine Evans sends her granddaughter there.
"Being that my grandbaby is only three years old it is very concerning. But she’s been practicing for months on putting her mask on."
In Stratford a staff member tested positive on the first day. Nancy Andrews is a Spokesperson for the Connecticut Education Association.
She claimed in a statement to FOX61 “...teachers don’t have adequate PPE, and have hand wipes, not disinfectant to clean down all surfaces.” But Michael Fiorello, the President of the Stratford Education Association followed up with, "Since then my understanding is there has been an attempt in the district to address it. Today was our deep cleaning day." The Stratford case was a staff member at the Second Hill Lane School.
And then there’s New Milford. The district may be closed until Monday in order to track down all the people that an infected person came in contact with.
Superintendent Dr. Paul Smotas said, "You start accumulating how many people that person was in contact with now you have to make a diary and we are working at that point and time with the Department of Public Health."
We’re told the person didn’t show any symptoms, but that their contacts include multiple students, staff, and bus company employees across multiple schools. The district, citing HIPPA laws, would not identify if the positive case centered around a student or staff member.