After just two days of in-person instruction, the Riverhead Central School District has had its first two confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Two students at Aquebogue Elementary School have tested positive for the virus, Interim Superintendent Christine Tona notified district staff in an email late last night.
“The Suffolk County Department of Health has confirmed the cases and directed the teachers and students in the cohorts of those classes to quarantine for 14 days, effective immediately,” Tona wrote in the email.
The two COVID-positive students are siblings, according to the email.
“Per our protocols, we have temporarily closed off all areas of the building that the students used while in school so that we can thoroughly clean and disinfect the spaces,” the interim superintendent wrote.
“We are also in contact with the Suffolk County Department of Health and will take the steps necessary to protect the health of our students and staff.”
Tona said in the email the county health department notified the district of the positive cases “over the weekend.” It is not clear when the two students were tested. The district does not administer COVID-19 tests.
“Learning will continue remotely. We are also in touch with anyone who may have had even incidental contact with these students,” she wrote.
Last night’s email did not indicate when the two students were in the building, or what grades they are in.
Tona said this morning she cannot share any further specific information in order to protect the identities of the students involved.
Parents of students in same classrooms were already contacted, she said.The affected students will have remote instruction during the quarantine period.
“The district is doing everything it can to ensure the safety of our students, staff and their families. Their health is our number one priority,” Tona told RiverheadLOCAL.
Elementary students are divided into two cohorts, with each cohort attending school in-person two days each week. The use of cohort groupings limits exposure should there be a confirmed COVID-19 case among students, faculty and staff.
Under the its reopening plan, the district places siblings in the same cohort wherever possible.
Elementary school cohort one attended school in-person on Thursday last week; cohort two attended on Friday.
Aquebogue Elementary School is one of four elementary schools in the Riverhead district. It had 489 students enrolled in grades K-4 as of Thursday, according to data provided to RiverheadLOCAL by the district. Of those, 409 students were enrolled for hybrid instruction, attending school in-person two days per week. Eighty students were enrolled for virtual instruction.
We need your help.
Now more than ever, the survival of quality local journalism depends on your support. Our community faces unprecedented economic disruption, and the future of many small businesses are under threat, including our own. It takes time and resources to provide this service. We are a small family-owned operation, and we will do everything in our power to keep it going. But today more than ever before, we will depend on your support to continue. Support RiverheadLOCAL today. You rely on us to stay informed and we depend on you to make our work possible.