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Springs School to Conduct Covid Testing

Mon, 01/25/2021 - 13:18
Springs School will test students and staff for Covid-19 on Feb. 3 and Feb. 10.
Durell Godfrey

Two days of Covid-19 testing are on the horizon for students and staff members at the Springs School. The announcement was made Saturday following the school's shift to all-virtual classes that Friday.

On Wednesdays, Feb. 3 and Feb. 10, when Springs students are on a remote learning schedule, the district will administer tests between 10 a.m. and noon and between 1 and 3 p.m. in the gymnasium.

"We are not seeing evidence of Covid spread in our school, mainly because students and staff continue to wear masks, social distance, keep windows open, and wash their hands," Debra Winter, the Springs School superintendent, said in a letter to families on Saturday. "According to the New York State Department of Health, 74 percent of cases in New York State that have been investigated have shown they were transmitted in small group gatherings outside of school. That said, we continue to work on ways to provide additional layers of safety in our schools."

The hamlet of Springs, which has had one of the highest rates of Covid-19 infections on the East End, lacks a regular testing site for the general public. A mobile testing clinic was set up at a church for a single day on Dec. 28 through a partnership between Suffolk County and Organizacion Latino-Americana of Eastern Long Island. Appointments for that testing date had all been scooped up five days prior, OLA said at the time on Facebook.

Springs was on a fully virtual schedule on Friday because so many teachers and staff members were required to quarantine, Ms. Winter said. The school reopened on Monday. The superintendent confirmed Monday that an elementary school class and one section of one middle school cohort, plus "several" staff members are in quarantine right now.

Families who previously indicated their willingness to participate in testing will receive more information in the days leading up to the testing, according to a school announcement.

The School Covid Report Card, a state database that is updated daily, shows that there have been 33 cases of Covid-19 among Springs students and staff since the start of school in September. The database shows six of those cases were reported in the seven days leading up to Jan. 24.

"Taking care of one another and working together as partners is the best way to make it through this challenging time," Ms. Winter said in her letter. "When we can finally put all of this behind us, it will be the stories of how we coped, helped one another, and stayed strong that we remember."

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