COVID outbreak sends 2 remote kindergarten classes amid vaccination campaign for children – NBC New York


What there is to know

  • Two Kindergarten Classes at Long Island’s Hiawatha Elementary School Have Been Completely Separated Amid COVID Outbreak; officials say 33 positive cases (students, teachers, staff) have been confirmed since November 1
  • The superintendent says they will stay away while the rest of the district continues in person with heightened precautions; this is a New York elementary school passed away a day ago for similar reasons
  • Nationwide public health experts are warning of a possible winter resurgence of COVID, but it is unlikely to persist as long or be as damaging as the current level of protection did not exist at that time. ‘last year

According to a letter to parents obtained by News 4 on Thursday, two kindergarten classes at a Long Island elementary school went completely remote on Monday due to an ongoing COVID outbreak and will remain outside the classroom while face-to-face learning continues for others with increased caution. .

It comes a day after an elementary school in New York City was forced to move away completely for 10 days due to a spike in COVID among students and teachers there – and as experts in public health warn of a possible push towards Thanksgiving.

The decision to continue in-person learning for all kindergarten classes at Hiawatha Primary School in Lake Ronkonkoma except the two most affected was made in consultation with the Suffolk County Department of Health District Superintendent Dr Christopher Pellettieri said in a letter to parents dated Nov. 12. 9.

And it was done as the elementary school continues to fight a COVID-19 outbreak that has seen at least 33 positives affecting students, teachers and staff in the past 10 days alone, Pellettieri confirmed to News 4 Thursday.

The school’s website has confirmed 44 positive cases, including 26 of these students, since September 13. According to News 12 Long Island, 70% of these cases occurred in the last week. It is not known how many of these cases were linked to the two kindergarten classes.

Pellettieri explained the situation to parents in his letter earlier this week.

“As I’m sure you already know, Hiawatha is in the middle of a two week period where we have seen many positive cases of COVID-19 for students and staff,” he wrote in part. . “Please be assured that we have spoken with the Suffolk County Department of Health on each of these cases.”

“Last week, as a precaution, we worked with the SCDOH to place two Kindergarten sections on distance learning due to cases that affected students and staff. Unfortunately, we continue to have an increase in cases. to Hiawatha, ”the letter continued. . “After further consultation with SCDOH today, it was decided that we should continue with in-person schooling for now.”

It is not known how long the two kindergarten classes should stay apart.

Pellettieri has promised a strengthened protocol, including daily deep cleaning and repeated disinfection of high-contact areas, supervised mask breaks and greater awareness of social distancing and hygiene a few times a day.

He chose to postpone an arts in education program until after Thanksgiving in an effort to limit larger gatherings of students and staff as well.

And based on recent comments from some public health experts on the national climate, that might not be a bad idea. A number recently told NBC News that a new wave of COVID-19 cases are expected to hit the United States around Thanksgiving.

They say it is not likely to last as long or be as damaging as previous waves of COVID, as the current level of protection through vaccination did not exist around this time last year. From now on, kindergartens, such as those at Hiawatha Elementary School, are also eligible.

The White House said on Wednesday that nearly one million American children in the newly eligible group had been vaccinated so far. In New York City, home to the nation’s largest public school district, more than 31,000 children aged 5 to 11 were vaccinated last week alone, since the CDC released its recommendations.

This represents 4.5% of all children in the city in this age group, according to officials, and the number is expected to increase as the week-long school vaccination campaign continues.

COVID-19 in New York City Public Schools

This map shows all known cases of COVID-19 in New York public schools. It is updated Sunday through Friday at 5:30 p.m.

Building that has been closed
One or more classrooms have been closed
A member of the school community has tested positive but the school community has not been exposed

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