A fifth positive COVID-19 case has been confirmed at the high school. Officials said the person who tested positive has not been at the school since Tuesday.
While contact tracing is underway, Superintendent Jody Monroe said the the Albany County Health Department has linked at least two cases to a party that took place outside of the school. In addition, the superintendent said parents are allowing students to socialize with each other without regard to COVID-related safety protocols.
Monroe also said the health department’s investigation has faced challenges because some students and parents have not been “truthful or forthcoming about their activities outside of school and/or who they have been in contact with.”
As a result, the county has placed 65 students and eight teachers in precautionary quarantine in their homes. Teaching and learning for the quarantined individuals will be virtual.
The high school will remain open for in-person learning, but it will be closed on Saturday for deep cleaning. The ACT exam scheduled for Saturday has been moved to the middle school.
In a letter, the superintendent said in-part:
“Clearly, the impact of relaxed COVID precautions outside of school and questionable decision making can be far-reaching. Dozens of students and teachers will now be displaced and forced online. Other students will lose their in-person teachers to quarantine. And further disruption or quarantine could put our entire reopening plan in jeopardy. Most importantly, the health and safety of students and staff, and their families, have been put at risk.
As I mentioned in my letter on Thursday, students have been doing an outstanding job of following our COVID safety protocols while at school. It is imperative that students understand when they leave school, these protocols need to continue. Parents, too, must be aware that their role in ensuring our school community remains a safe place is one we take very seriously. Health and safety is a shared responsibility and I am asking for your help in making sure we keep our students, staff and families as safe as possible.”BETHLEHEM CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT JODY MONROE
There are currently no positive cases at any other schools in the Bethlehem district.
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