ROXBURY, NJ – Confirmed cases of people dealing with COVID-19 have been found in Roxbury High School and Eisenhower Middle School.
Parents of students at the schools were notified about this Saturday through messages from school district officials. The district posted no public notifications on its website as it did last week when it announced that an employee at the Lincoln-Roosevelt School had tested positive for exposure to the virus.
The number of Roxbury residents confirmed to be dealing with COVID-19 stood at four on Saturday, according to Roxbury Health Officer Mark Caputo. He provided no further information.
It is not known whether the COVID-19 sufferers at Roxbury High School and Eisenhower Middle School are township residents. Caputo said the patient who works at Lincoln-Roosevelt School was not a resident.
The township’s public health nurse is charged with reaching out to those who possibly come in contact with people with confirmed cases of the disease caused by the new coronavirus, according to Caputo.
Continuing 'Virtual Interaction'
In a message sent to parents Saturday, Roxbury High School Principal Dominick Miller said the person at the high school who tested positive for the disease did so “several days after our schools were closed” on March 13.
“So that you know, we have communicated with the individual who has the virus,” Miller wrote. While he did not say it, the principal’s message seemed to indicate the person is a teacher.
“The individual conveyed that his/her symptoms are mild and that he/she plans on continuing virtual interaction,” Miller wrote. Roxbury teachers have been providing virtual (remote) instruction to their students since the schools were closed.
“As a district, we are proud of this person for coming forth and notifying us,” Miller added. “It is evident that this person cares deeply about all the stakeholders of Roxbury High School and hopes that we will not be providing information that will violate HIPAA laws.”
HIPAA is the acronym for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, a law that includes guidance about protecting privacy rights related to medical records.
Eisenhower Middle School Principal Paul Gallagher sent a message Saturday informing parents that a staff member at the school tested positive for COVID-19. He said parents of students thought to have “close contact” with the staffer were contacted directly in a separate message.
As of today, there were 64 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Morris County and 1,327 statewide, according to the state Department of Health (DOH). The DOH said 16 people in the state have died from the disease.
Confirmed case numbers are expected to increase as more tests take place. Officials are setting up more COVID-19 testing centers including one at County College of Morris in Randolph.
On Saturday, Gov. Phil Murphy moved to shut down most businesses, ban social gatherings and require the majority of the state’s 9 million residents to work from home in what amounts to a large - but not complete - statewide lockdown.
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