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Several Connecticut school districts delay, cancel classes amid staffing shortage

The issues come as the state is seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases. On Monday, the state's positivity rate was over 20%.

CONNECTICUT, USA — School districts across Connecticut are facing a second day of staffing shortages, causing delays and school cancelations.

Stonington and Torrington Public Schools are closed Tuesday, as well as Hamden High School. Shelton Public Schools are running on a two-hour delay, and Ansonia Public Schools are closed for the rest of the week. 

In a news conference Tuesday, Gov. Ned Lamont and other officials doubled down on in-person learning, and the Connecticut Department of Public Health released new guidance Monday in an effort to keep kids in school.

"Our schools are open. I think we got our schools open safely, but there are some kids now who are not coming into the classroom and that makes teaching complicated especially new material," said Lamont.  "A year and a half ago, we opened our schools, they opened safely, but we didn't have a third or half of our kids coming in. And you have to build confidence every to give teachers and parents the confidence that we're doing everything we can to make sure your school can open safely. You can see that we're making that our number one priority and I think we can succeed."

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RELATED: School staff unions call for increased COVID safety protocols

One of the updates stated that individuals who test positive for COVID-19 should isolate at home for at least five days, or longer if symptoms develop and persist. A mask should continue to be worn for an additional 5 days at all times when around others.

CT DPH also said unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals who are notified that they have had close contact with someone who has confirmed or suspected COVID-19 should immediately quarantine at home. The individual should test for the virus five days after their last exposure to the COVID-19 case.

"As we continue forward we're committed to this effort," said Acting Commissioner of Education Charlene Russell-Tucker. "Not only did we learn from our own assessments in Connecticut last year that school, in school, in-person learning, students learn best; but also schools provide critical support – mental health support, social-emotional support, nutrition, physical activity, and this support has grown even more important during this time and the challenges of the pandemic."

Testing lines and clinics across the state have been booked solid due to the rampant spread of the omicron COVID-19 variant. Officials encourage those to get a test only if they really need it.

With the COVID case uptick, Connecticut's COVID positivity rate reached 21.52% on Monday, with a total of 1,452 people currently in the hospital. The state said of those in the hospital, 999 of them are not fully vaccinated.

RELATED: Hartford reinstates mask indoor mandate through end of the month

Jennifer Glatz is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. She can be reached at jglatz@fox61.com.  

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