New Paltz staff member tests positive for COVID-19 as district prepares for re-opening
A staff member at Duzine Elementary School in New Paltz tested positive for COVID-19, more than two weeks before the district plans to re-open its elementary schools.
According to Superintendent Angela Urbina-Medina, the individual was at the district building last on Oct. 2, prior to presenting symptoms. In a letter to families she said the staff member was wearing a mask and socially distanced while in the building.
The district plans to begin is hybrid model for elementary students on Oct. 26. Middle school students will return to school on Nov. 2. It plans to keep high school students in full-time remote learning until further notice.
"The facility has already undergone extensive cleaning per our current heightened cleaning protocols," Urbina-Medina said. "Given this discovery, however, additional care will be given to further ensure these locations have been thoroughly sanitized."
She said the staff member gave an account of where they were in the building, and the individuals they came in contact with. The Ulster County Department of Health was notified of the incident, and will contact those with any risk of exposure.
According to state COVID-19 data, six of the 16 school districts in The Journal's coverage area have reported at least one positive case of COVID-19 to a student or staff member. Those that have seen positive cases thus far include, Arlington, Hyde Park, Spackenkill, Wappingers, Marlboro, and New Paltz. Highland Central School District had a student show symptoms of the virus, but, as of Friday the district has yet to report a positive case.
In her letter to families Urbina-Medina stress the importance of taking the necessary pre-cations and self-isolating if COVID-19 related symptoms arise.
"Thankfully our colleague is only experiencing minor symptoms," Urbina-Medina said. "I ask you to join me in wishing this individual a speedy recovery."
Katelyn Cordero: firstname.lastname@example.org; 845-437-4870; Twitter: @KatelynCordero.