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After School Testing, Covid Numbers Look Good

Fri, 12/18/2020 - 08:06
Testing programs in East Hampton School District are turning up good results.
David E. Rattray

In partnership with the Suffolk County Department of Health Services, the East Hampton School District has continued to test its students and staff members for Covid-19, turning up zero positive cases out of what are now 290 tests.

The first 207 tests, conducted on Dec. 5, were for staff members and John M. Marshall Elementary School students. Since then, there were about 40 tests done at the East Hampton Middle School and just under 50 tests at East Hampton High School.

"This has been a collaborative effort from everyone," Richard Burns, the district superintendent, said during a school board meeting on Tuesday. "People have really been going the extra mile."

There have been 52 cases of Covid-19 since the start of school in East Hampton, though the state's database indicates there may have been two more, up to 54. Mr. Burns said the high school has had 31 confirmed cases of Covid, including four that are active right now, and 16 students and staff members now in quarantine. At the middle school, he said, there have been four cases total, including one active case, and five in quarantine. At the elementary school, there have been 17 since the beginning of the year, one active case now, and 12 individuals in quarantine.

In other South Fork schools, the Amagansett School shifted to remote learning Tuesday and Wednesday this week. There have been four students there diagnosed with Covid-19 so far.

The Wainscott School, after learning a third staff member had tested positive for the virus, quarantined nine first-grade students through Monday, Dec. 21, and put its kindergarten, second, and third-grade students on remote learning for three days last week; those grades returned to school on Friday.

The Montauk and Springs Schools have now had 13 cases each. The Sag Harbor School District has had 14 cases and Southampton 21. The Bridgehampton School District shifted to remote learning after three more cases were detected, bringing it up to 12, and 19 staff members and 21 students are in quarantine. The Sagaponack School has not reported any cases. 

Heading into the winter break next weekend, "social gatherings with families and travel are two areas of concern" for East Hampton amid the continued resurgence of Covid-19, Mr. Burns said. "We want to make sure everybody stays safe," he said. "Please be very careful. . . . We know there will be social gatherings. Please do your best to limit those types of situations."

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