NEWINGTON – A member of the Newington High School community tested positive for the coronavirus and is now quarantining for two weeks.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Maureen Brummett was notified of the case Sunday and immediately notified families. She assured parents they needn’t worry; the school followed protocol put in place before the school year began. Students and staff members who were in the same room with the individual who tested positive have been notified.
“The individual has asked that we do not disclose their identity, so we won’t identify them as a staff member or a student,” Brummett told the Herald Tuesday. “We do not have any other known positive cases at this time. Due to mitigation protocols, only the covid positive individual needs to quarantine. Everyone else is back at school today.”
School officials consulted with Town Medical Advisor Dr. Doug MacGilpin and Central Connecticut Health District Director Charles Brown about the situation.
Brown is also working with school officials in Berlin, Rocky Hill and Wethersfield, the CCHD’s other member towns – on their covid-19 protocol in case students or staff at schools in those towns test positive for the virus.
“I think this is a real success story for the Newington school system,” Brown said. “They really followed their covid plan, bringing the issue to myself and their medical advisor. We reviewed who the individual had close contact with and identified those people who need to isolate. Since they followed the protocol so well it really did not have a serious impact.”
As the regional health authority, the CCHD is keeping a record of all cases in and outside of schools and leading contact tracing efforts.
“We have a team of volunteers doing the contact tracing identification,” Brown said. “Within the school setting, school nurses are responsible for doing the tracing. In this case, I think they did an outstanding job.”
Newington went back to school last Monday, utilizing a hybrid model. About 16 percent of the school population has opted to remain home and work virtually, at least for the beginning of the year. The rest of the school population is alternating between virtual and in-person classes throughout the week. Students are working in cohorts with their teachers to lessen their interaction with large groups.
Families can switch to the virtual or hybrid model at any time.
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at email@example.com.