File photo: Denise Civiletti

A Riverhead High School staff member has tested positive for COVID-19, the school district announced today.

The non-instructional staff member notified the district of their positive test, according to a letter from the interim superintendent posted on the district website.

The staff member is required to quarantine pursuant to the Suffolk County Department of Health Services guidelines and will not return to school until the district receives clearance from the SCDHS, Interim Superintendent Christine Tona wrote.

The high school principal and his staff are directly notifying families of students who were in contact with the staff member and informing them that the students must be picked up from school and remain in isolation, Tona said.

There were 21 students in contact with the staff member, Tona said in an email this afternoon.

If the SCDHS determines that these students are not required to quarantine, the district will contact the families and allow the students to return to school, she wrote.

This case is similar to the case that occurred at Riverhead Middle School earlier this week, the interim superintendent said. Those students were permitted to return to school as per SCDHS following their investigation, she said.

“The district is grateful for the assistance that the SCDHS has provided as we are in regular contact with them for guidance and we fully cooperate with them in their investigations. The district reports information through the SCDHS portal on a daily basis and reports all positive COVID cases of which the district becomes aware,” Tona wrote.

“We are closely monitoring the high school situation and will provide you with updates as we learn more. As always, the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff is our priority,” she wrote.

Editor’s note: This story was amended post-publication with additional information later obtained from the school district.

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Denise Civiletti
Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.