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Fewer Students Quarantined by Covid

Thu, 10/14/2021 - 11:03
David E. Rattray

Of the 281 cases of Covid-19 reported by East End public schools from the start of the school year through Oct. 8, about 81 percent have been diagnosed in students, according to the School Covid Report Card, an online database that tracks cases in schools.

However, some school officials reported this week that there is no evidence that those students are contracting the virus in the classrooms, cafeterias, or hallways, and that the local communities’ vaccination rates, which are higher than in other parts of Long Island, are having a noticeable impact.

In the East Hampton School District, there have been 14 cases of Covid-19 since school started, nine of them in students.

“I’ve only seen kids get it from family members,” Adam Fine, the district superintendent, said yesterday. “Hey, we are really lucky. All our protocols that are in place are being followed by our kids and community. We’re open. We are running our activities. . . . We’re very much in the full swing of things.”

He said that the low case numbers right now are similar to the numbers seen this time last year. Most secondary students at that point were on hybrid learning plans, spending only two or three days in school each week. The district is waiting to see what the upcoming fall and winter holidays bring; last year, cases spiked dramatically after Halloween.

About 85 percent of East Hampton’s 506 employees are vaccinated, he said, and the ones who are not have been undergoing weekly surveillance testing at a kiosk operated by Stony Brook Southampton Hospital in the parking lot of East Hampton High School. The vaccination rate among students is lower, Mr. Fine said.

One thing is for sure, though — far fewer students are being quarantined. Mr. Fine attributed that not only to vaccinations, but also to students’ compliance with masking rules. There are also new rules about who has to quarantine after exposure to someone who tests positive.

“Our community has been very supportive of the masking,” he said. “We have not had those fights or pushback” that other school districts have been seeing.

 


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