Less than three weeks after welcoming high school students back to a full five-day-a-week schedule, the Sag Harbor School District saw its largest one-week total of positive coronavirus test results in the school since the pandemic began more than a year ago.
Last week, one elementary school student and 10 students in the Middle High School tested positive for COVID-19. On Monday, another two positive cases were identified in the high school, bringing the total to 12, and requiring 122 students and staff to quarantine.
In a letter that was sent home to families on March 19, Superintendent Jeff Nichols informed parents that contract tracing had been conducted and close contacts of those students who tested positive were told to quarantine. He pointed out that the surge in cases was the most significant the school has faced, and reminded parents to remain committed to mitigation measures.
“The uptick in cases is a reminder of how important it is to continue to follow the guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Suffolk County Department of Health,” the letter stated. “The core principles remain wearing masks, frequent hand washing and social distancing.”
There were rumors circulating on social media attributing the spike in cases to a party that was hosted by parents of a Pierson student over the weekend and attended by several other students.
When reached on Friday afternoon, Mr. Nichols said he was aware of rumors of weekend gatherings, but said he did not have any specific information about any parties that may have been the source of an outbreak, and said he would not proceed with any kind of inquiry or investigation about the source of the uptick in cases.