As reported last night, the District has a positive Covid-19 case with a staff member at J. William Leary Junior High School. Upon investigation, it has become clear that there are a greater number of staff contacts than originally identified. Given the number of staff who will be quarantined by St. Lawrence County Public Health and mindful of the safety of our students and staff, the Junior High School will be moving to all remote instruction starting Tuesday, November 10th through Friday, November 20th. Other than those staff members who have been contacted for quarantine, the remainder of the staff can report to work for implementing remote instruction.
We know there will be questions and concerns and while we cannot share details identifying the positive individual, I can assure you that if you came in contact with the positive individual, you will be contacted directly by the St. Lawrence County Department of Public Health.
As many of you are aware, St. Lawrence County declared a state of emergency today due to the continued spike in COVID-19 cases around the county. It is expected that the County will issue a public statement later today about this decision. In a meeting with regional superintendents this afternoon, leaders of Public Health and county administration did not ask school districts in the region to close unless cases in their schools warrant this decision.
In Massena, we will continue to monitor local cases and make decisions on school closures based on the facts of each case and in collaboration with Public Health as we did with Madison Elementary last week and the Junior High this week. We will also encourage people to follow the safety protocols of staying home when sick, wearing a mask, social distancing, avoiding large gatherings, and washing hands frequently. According to Public Health who investigates all cases, it is the lack of adherence to the these safety measures that are leading to a rise of the virus and putting at risk the health of our communities and the functioning of our schools.