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100 High School Students to Quarantine in Sag Harbor

Thu, 01/28/2021 - 10:15
Pierson Middle and High School is located in Sag Harbor.
Christine Sampson

One hundred students at Pierson Middle and High School have been told to quarantine as a result of positive Covid-19 cases diagnosed in two staff members this week.

Jeff Nichols, the Sag Harbor School District superintendent, reported Thursday that there is actually evidence of school-related transmission in these two cases — an unusual finding given that that has not been the case in most other school districts on the South Fork.

The district already had a handful of students in quarantine ahead of Wednesday’s announcement. The 100 students now have to stay home for 10 days, and afterward will have to monitor themselves for symptoms.

The school has not had to switch to all-remote classes for the time being, but Mr. Nichols said “we're pretty close to getting there,” adding, “It sort of changes every week.”

The two staff members who contracted Covid-19 are full-time employees, he said. One was teaching both middle and high school classes because of a shortage of staff who usually teach those courses. While it’s too early to tell whether the two staff members impacted this week are symptomatic, Mr. Nichols said, “we’ve had staff members who have been seriously ill, and thankfully, to date, everybody has recovered."

The announcements came two days after the superintendent said the district would not be opting into high-risk athletic programs, specifically basketball and wrestling, because of the ongoing threat of the virus’s transmission.

“Independent of yesterday’s developments, I thought that the science and the current conditions in our community did not justify opting into high-risk sports,” he said on Thursday. “Yesterday’s cases, from my perspective, just point out that we are still in the throes of a pretty serious time with the virus.”

According to the School Covid Report Card, an online New York State database that is updated daily, the Sag Harbor School District has had 23 confirmed cases of Covid-19 among students and staff members since the start of school in September.

Through Wednesday, the East Hampton School District has reported 137 cases among staff and students. The Bridgehampton School has reported 27 cases, the Springs School 36, the Montauk School 19, the Amagansett School six, and the Wainscott School four. The Sagaponack School has not reported any cases.

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