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UPDATE: No Students Will Quarantine in Montauk School Covid Case

Tue, 10/06/2020 - 21:07
The Montauk School will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday.
Carissa Katz

Update, Oct. 7: The Montauk School announced late Wednesday afternoon that the county's Health Department investigation has concluded that no students need to quarantine. School will still reopen on Friday, according to Jack Perna, the district superintendent.

"I would like to thank the school nurse, Karen Theiss, for her skilled handling of this situation," Mr. Perna said in a statement. "I would also like to thank our custodial staff for their hard work today, and tomorrow, for the thorough cleaning of the building. Of course, thank you all for your patience and your understanding. Be safe and stay healthy!"

Originally, Oct. 6: The Montauk School will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday after a teacher was identified Tuesday afternoon as having contracted Covid-19.

Jack Perna, the district superintendent, confirmed the case and school closure to The Star on Tuesday night. The Suffolk County Department of Health Services is investigating, Mr. Perna said.

"We are waiting on further direction if needed," he said Tuesday night.

The Montauk School is the fourth public school on the South Fork, and fifth local school over all, to bump up against Covid-19.

The John M. Marshall Elementary School in East Hampton has had three cases, including in a prekindergarten student, a first grader, and a second grader. The school closed for the day on Sept. 30 after the second grader tested positive; that class and its head teacher are now in quarantine. After the prekindergartner tested positive the district had all students and staff in its morning prekindergarten quarantine and canceled all prekindergarten classes on Monday. The Springs School and the Southampton Elementary School have each had one case. The Ross School in East Hampton also investigated a case of the virus in a boarding student.

The Montauk School was among the first districts on the South Fork to have laboratory-reported positive Covid-19 cases in a school-age child based on residential address, but that child was not a student at the school. "They must have been summer residents who put down Montauk as their address," Mr. Perna said in an interview last week.

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