School No. 29 in Rochester reopens after COVID-19 outbreak forces closure

Education

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — School No. 29 in the Rochester City School District is reopening on Thursday after a COVID-19 outbreak forced its closing last week.

The outbreak resulted in eight positive cases and also took the life of one employee there.

According to the district, the Monroe County Department of Public Health has completed all contact tracing for the school.

MORE | Rochester School No. 29 closes temporarily amid COVID-19 outbreak

The district waiting eight days to reopen out of an abundance of caution. During that time, health officials conducted contact tracing and determined there is no risk to students and staff returning to the building. The district originally planned on reopening this past Monday, but Superintendent Lesli Myers-Small announced they would wait a little longer.

According to BENTE President Dan DiClemente, a janitor at the school was diagnosed and on a ventilator for sever COVID-19 symptoms. That employee later died.

The contact tracing determined that in school transmission may have occurred in one incident while no children were present. Three staff members testes positive in connection to that. additionally contract tracing of five other employees who tested positive at the school indicates they were not exposed to COVID-19 in the school.

All of those testing positive cases were placed into isolation and any close contacts outside of the school were notified and placed into quarantine.

President of the Rochester Teacher’s Association Adam Urbanski said more caution should have been taken when it comes to this outbreak. He said the school should implement a policy that requires a school to be closed for a full 14 days after an outbreak, instead of eight.

“I believe that we are witnessing School No. 29 is an omen of things to come,” Urbanski said.

“I don’t think School No. 29 is the only school we will be seeing outbreaks. I believe the district has to adopt policy whenever there is an outbreak they would move to remote learning for at least 14 days that’s the right thing to do.”

The district said here will be social and emotional support sessions offered to students and staff at this time while they grieve the loss of the employee.

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