WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — West Haven High School announced Monday that two students have tested positive for COVID-19.
“We were made aware yesterday of one positive case where the student had been in school. We also heard of – it was reported to us – that there was one of our kids involved with outside activity also positive,” said Superintendent Neil Cavallaro.
Two positive COVID-19 students forced the district to act fast.
“It got very complicated,” Cavallaro explained. “So we thought ‘OK let’s close the building at the recommendation of our health department.'”
Principal Dana Paredes sent a message to the West Haven High community Monday morning confirming at least one student-case of coronavirus within the school. She continues to say all athletic activities have been canceled Monday and Tuesday and in-person classes will resume this coming Wednesday.
We have been made aware of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in our school community. The student was last in school on Friday, September 11th. In order to deep clean, and to allow the Department of Public Health to appropriately contact trace, West Haven High School will operate on a Distance Learning Schedule for Monday, September 14th, and Tuesday, September 15th.
All students will learn from home. An email will be sent this evening with specific times students should log in to Google Classroom. All athletic activities are canceled for both Monday and Tuesday. Regular in-person classes will resume on Wednesday, September 16th.– Principal Dana Paredes/West Haven High School
The school is currently closed for deep cleaning and they are conducting contact tracing and will use the distance learning schedule for Monday and Tuesday.
It’s a transition a lot of school across the state have had to make in the past few days.
Cavallaro said, “In my wildest dreams I would have never imagined that we’d be doing contact tracing, distance learning – all new terms, by the way. Six months ago we didn’t even know what they were.”
While the specific procedures vary between districts, one thing remains the same: a COVID liaison. For West Haven school district that’s Marissa Acampora.
“I kind of think of myself in the middle of a Venn diagram of all of these intersecting pieces,” she explained. “I’m kind of at the center of it. So there’s the community, and there’s the staff, and the students in buildings, and the administrative piece, and all of those pieces are dependent on having this center.”
And at the center of it all she communicates with everyone, sorting out all of the moving parts. She tells News 8, dealing with their first positive case of COVID-19 has taught them one thing already: they need to contact trace faster.
“When you ask contact tracers who aren’t familiar with our buildings in our classrooms and the way things flow they’re really doing a lot more guesswork than they have to,” she said.
By getting their own district workers involved rather than Department of Public Health workers, that’ll speed things up.