Positive case of COVID-19 confirmed at Newington High School, in-person classes to continue today

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NEWINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — In a letter sent to parents in the Newington Public Schools system over the Labor Day Weekend and posted to the district’s website Wednesday, a “member of the Newington High School community has tested positive for COVID-19.”

The letter sent to about 90 students and parents Sunday from the office of Newington Public Schools Superintendent Maureen Brummett, Ed.D says:

All staff and students who were in the same room with this individual have been personally notified. The positive news is that both Dr. Doug MacGilpin, Town Medical Advisor, and Charles Brown, Health District Director, concur that since all our mitigation protocols were solidly in place and followed, no further action is needed. The individual who tested positive will need to quarantine for 10 days.

Maureen Brummett, Ed.D, Newington Public Schools Superintendent

It is unclear if the person who tested positive was a student, teacher, or staff member at Newington High School. The superintendent is keeping their identity private as they recover.

Superintendent Brummett told News 8 Wednesday, “With the information we were able to gather determined that anywhere that person was, masks were worn and six feet social distancing was in place, the cleaning protocols were followed…After all of that investigation it was determined that that we didn’t need to quarantine anyone but that individual as a courtesy and just because it was our first case we decided to call any students we believed was within six feet of this person.”

The school says anyone who was in contact with the individual who tested positive was notified and the instruction model, at this point, will not go fully remote.

The school is on a hybrid instruction model as a result of the pandemic response effort. So, one group of students is in the building on Mondays and Thursdays, and the other group is in class Tuesdays and Fridays. Wednesday all students learn from home.

News 8 caught up with students outside of Newington High School Wednesday who say they’re shocked classes are still operating in person.

Senior Isabella Falk said, “When I first learned about the COVID case, I believe it may be a faculty member. When we first heard about it, I was pretty freaked out.”

While some families opted to keep their kids home as a result of the new test result this week, the superintendent tells News 8 the number one priority for the district is safety.

“Families need to know that we will never put their child in jeopardy,” she said. “So if we feel that the teaching environment for whatever reason is becoming unsafe, then we will make different decisions. We do believe that they’re the best when they’re with us and I’d like to keep the program going for as long as we can.”

Students at the school just hoping for the best during an uncertain start of the school year.

“I’m hoping that things get under control and either go fully online or continue the hybrid so it stops and I hope COVID goes away. I want a normal school year and this stresses me out,” Falk added.

Again, at this point, the superintendent tells News 8 there is no reason to suspend all in-person instruction and move to virtual learning. But the district is monitoring the situation and will make the necessary shift if needed.

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