Hadley-Luzerne elementary school closes for a week after fifth coronavirus case in district

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LAKE LUZERNE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Hadley-Luzerne Central School District learned of three new COVID-19 cases in their school buildings last week. Two of those came from the elementary school building, which will now be devoid of students for the next week.

Those cases totaled up to five to appear in the district since their school year started on Sept. 14.

“At this time, we feel that it is in the best interest of our Elementary School students and staff to close the SMTES building to students for the upcoming week of September 28- October 2, 2020,” said the district in a posting on their website. “Students will attend classes virtually during those school days.”

Further information was relayed directly to parents. School superintendent Beecher Baker was not available Monday for comment on how a sudden transition to all-online learning affected students and staff.

Four of the school’s five cases came from the elementary school. The one high school case and two elementary school cases were confirmed last week; Sept. 21, 24 and 25, respectively. The high school remained open as of Monday.

The district started the school year on Sept. 14, welcoming students back in-person with daily coronavirus screenings.

Families with students at home are able to pick up a set of four bagged breakfasts and lunches for students from the school, according to the district’s Facebook page. Pickup times were between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. on Monday, or between 9 and 10 a.m. Tuesday.

The district was also delivering learning materials and devices to students’ homes in a midday run Monday. The district teaches 672 students in grades PK-12.

Hadley-Luzerne is a district crossing the county line, merging the communities of Lake Luzerne, in Warren County, and Hadley, in Saratoga County. Both county health departments are working with the district on contact tracing efforts.

New York’s guidance on reopening schools does not include precise numbers on what percentage of a student body should justify closure. Instead, the state Department of Education advises school districts to work with local or county health departments to establish their own parameters.

Anyone in the district at risk of coronavirus contact from the school cases will be contacted directly by either Warren or Saratoga counties.

The district asks parents to keep an eye on students in the week at home, watching for any coronavirus symptoms and getting them tested as needed. The district is home to Hadley-Luzerne Student Health, a Hudson Headwaters location that offers coronavirus testing.

The school also has parking spots marked as remote learning locations with wifi hotspots, for those unable to learn completely from home.

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