MERIDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A student and football player from Maloney High School in Meriden, who was in attendance at the “Let Us Play” rally at the State Capitol on Sept. 9, has tested positive for COVID-19.
The City of Meriden’s Strategic Communications specialist confirmed that the student attended the rally but was not symptomatic at the time.
On Friday, Sept. 11, Maloney High School Principal, Jennifer Straub, sent a statement that the student had tested positive. That note continued also specified that the student “did not report to school when symptoms developed.”
The city’s specialist said the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) “completed contract tracing over the weekend. All who were considered in close contact to the student were identified and notified.”
“An outdoor rally is going to be less risky than an indoor rally, no question, but even when you’re outdoors, the risk is not zero,” Dr. Anad Sekaran, MD. Division Head, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. “That’s where people get into trouble. They think, ‘Oh, I’m outside, therefore, I can be a little more liberal, and it’s absolutely not true.”
It has been proven that outdoor rallies do not create a spike in COVID-19. There have been a lot of rallies across the country that have been studied, and it just doesn’t create that kind of big wave or spike of COVID-19. However, people do have to take precautions, and players said they’re aware of that.
“We have been wearing our masks, staying 6 feet apart,” said Daniel LaRosa, who attends Haddam-Killingworth High School. “They are strict on us, you know. We want to play, we have to do this.”
“Masks are critically important to protecting ourselves and protecting each other,” Sekaran said. “You’ll see a lot of times of people have the mask low below the nose, but it is so important to wear the mask properly for it to be effective.”
The positive test at Maloney High School came on the heels of a student at Lincoln Middle School in Meriden who had tested positive for the virus on Thursday, Sept. 10.
Neither school closed following the positive COVID-19 tests, crediting their “cohorting” systems with preventing the spread of contact beyond each student’s immediate class grouping.