Updated at 9:10 p.m.
WESTFIELD, NJ — Westfield High School is switching to all remote learning for the next 14 days after six high school students tested positive for coronavirus, the superintendent said Wednesday.
The students contracted the virus as a result of exposures outside of school, and none of the cases appear to be connected to each other, Superintendent Margaret Dolan said in her update addressed to the school community.
“The health department is continuing to contact trace and any individual who is identified as a close contact to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be contacted,” Dolan said. “I am grateful that the families with positive cases were proactive in following health guidelines, keeping their students and siblings home and quarantined for the health of the community.”
Sports and extracurricular activities have also been suspended, she said.
The district plans to resume in-person, hybrid instruction on Oct. 1, Dolan said. The district’s nine other schools will continue to operate on their existing schedules, she said.
On Tuesday, Mayor Shelley Brindle had reported 11 new coronavirus cases in Westfield within the past week.
In a Facebook post Wednesday evening, following publication of this story, Brindle said that two of the 11 cases in her Tuesday report were among the six students with coronavirus and explained why the other cases were not reflected in that report.
“The health department at times receives confirmation of cases from health providers — particularly when rapid COVID tests are involved — prior to when those cases come through the official reporting system from the state, which is the source of the town reported data,” Brindle said.
A spokeswoman for the town did not return two emails on Wednesday seeking additional details on the 11 cases.
Brindle said the student cases, which were there result of contacts outside of school, are an indication that community spread of the virus is increasing.
“Once again, we are reminded that the best way to keep our schools and businesses open is to comply with face coverings and social distancing — because these measures are effective,” she said.
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