Two Vermont K-12 schools reported positive COVID-19 cases after the conclusion of the first week of classes.
“This is not unexpected,” Health Commissioner Mark Levine said during the state’s COVID-19 press conference on Sept. 15. By Sunday, Sept. 13, both schools had engaged the Vermont Department of Health for oversight and contact tracing.
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Duxbury school closes
Two cases were found in Washington County at Crossett Brook Middle School in Duxbury. Contact tracing showed 23 individuals had been in close contact with the infected, Levine said. As of Tuesday morning, Sept. 15, all 23 had been contacted and advised to quarantine.
The school ultimately decided to close the facility for the week of Sept. 14, not at the direction of the Health Department, but due to other factors including staff availability, said Dan French, secretary of education.
Hartford High School stays open
There was one confirmed case at Hartford High School in Windsor county which caters to technical students in both Vermont and New Hampshire.
Levine said the investigation is continuing at the school, but that no close contacts have been identified there.
After families were notified, the school reopened for classes Monday, Sept. 13.
French said the flexibility for how districts apply statewide guidance “can explain why it played out differently in these school districts” and why the superintendents made different decisions regarding closure.
School data to be available soon
French said he expects COVID-19 school level data to be available very soon on the Department of Health’s website. Positive cases of COVID-19 at schools will be reported that way. Student and faculty/staff case numbers will be combined to protect the identity of those who are infected.
Cases in schools with a total of fewer than 25 students or staff will not be reported in the dashboard graphic. However, Levine will communicate them as an instance of “less than 6” cases.
Contact April Barton at [email protected] or 802-660-1854. Follow her on Twitter @aprildbarton.
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