MONTCLAIR, NJ - A Renaissance Middle School teacher has tested positive for COVID-19, officials announced via email on Wednesday.

Interim Superintendent Nathan Parker buried this information within his ninth email to parents. No additional information was given regarding whether or not the staff member had contact with students. 

At the end of his message, he does indicate that district officials will be notifying those who were in contact with the individual and considered at-risk.

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He wrote, "If you are not contacted, you are considered to be at low-risk for infection." Assumably, this could extend to the school community that the individual also made contact with beyond the March 13 professional development day.

He stated that the staff member had been present for the professional development workshop on March 13, but stopped short of indicating whether this person had contact with members of the school community, the day before. 

Parker stated, "Today I learned of a positive case in our school system. A teacher at Renaissance (RMS) who was present on March 13 during Professional Development has tested positive."

He continued, "We cannot share any further details in order to protect the privacy of individuals."

Parker went on to express in italics that the school community needed to "...take responsibility for physical distancing...

Parker wrote in italics, "However, please know that unless you take the responsibility for physical distancing, community spread will escalate."

He concluded his message saying, "If you are not contacted, you are considered to be at low-risk for infection."

Thus far, Montclair Township has confirmed four cases on Tuesday. Montclair State University has confirmed three among their staff and the YMCA has confirmed one among their members.

It is not yet known whether these cases all overlap, whether the reported cases only include individuals living in and not working in Montclair or whether or not the reported cases only pertain to what township the people reside in. We have reached out to Montclair Township officials for clarification and will update as appropriate.

He followed this brief paragraph about the positive reading, with suggestions from the Montclair Department of Health:

Confirmed Case in our District
We, like all communities, will continue to hear about new cases, and today I learned of a positive case in our school system. A teacher at Renaissance (RMS) who was present on March 13 during Professional Development has tested positive. We cannot share any further details in order to protect the privacy of individuals. However, please know that unless you take the responsibility for physical distancing, community spread will escalate.

Recommendations from the NJDOH:
https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/documents/topics/NCOV/COVID19_schools_FINAL_updated_3.17.2020.pdf

From the Montclair Health Department
Persons who have been identified as a close contact with the staff member (within 6 feet for 10 minutes or more) will be contacted directly by the Health Department where the staff member resides. If you are contacted, self-isolate for 14 days. Self-isolation is a public health strategy where individuals who are sick and exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case are separated from well persons. People who are asked to self-isolate should stay in a separate bedroom and, if possible, use a separate bathroom and have minimal contact with other persons and pets in the home.  It is important that anyone who is in self-isolation should monitor symptoms in case they worsen. It is recommended that people take their temperature with a thermometer at least twice per day. If the symptoms become worse, let your health care provider know. If you go to a medical facility, be sure to call ahead and wear a face mask.  Monitor yourself for symptoms. Mild symptoms may occur within 2 to 14 days. Mild symptoms do not need further attention (or testing). However, if symptoms worsen, call your health care provider. If you have trouble breathing, go to a hospital.

If you are not contacted, you are considered to be at low-risk for infection. Continue to follow the safe guidelines as outlined by the CDC during this health emergency.

Click here for a PDF of this email 

Related Articles:

Montclair Township Confirms Fourth COVID-19 Case

Montclair State University Confirms Three Among Staff

Montclair YMCA Immediate Closing After Member's Positive COVID-19 Result