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Schools grapple with COVID cases

By Patricio Robayo
Posted 9/17/21

SULLIVAN — Schools across Sullivan County have started their fall semester amidst another wave of COVID-19 positive cases.

Schools that have already begun in late August in other parts of …

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Schools grapple with COVID cases

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SULLIVAN — Schools across Sullivan County have returned to in-person learning this fall amidst another wave of COVID-19 positive cases.

Schools that have already begun in late August in other parts of the country have shifted from in-person learning to remote because of positive COVID-19 exposure.

In Sullivan County, two school districts have already see COVID-19 cases in the opening days of school.

The Fallsburg Central School District (FCSD) saw a COVID-19 exposure between staff members before the semester had officially started. The school did not close due to no students being exposed.

However, in the days after school resumed, a Fallsburg Junior-Senior High School student tested positive. According to FCSD, since the student was not at the school, no contact tracing was done, and the school will remain open.

Soon after, two students at the Benjamin Cosor Elementary School (BCES) had tested positive and were in contact with students and staff members, forcing the school to close for a week.

According to a statement by FCSD Superintendent Dr. Ivan Katz, a potential of 96 people were exposed at BCES and added, “We expect there may be more.”

Katz went on to say, “This exposure involves two classrooms, a bus, and the cafeteria.”

BCES was closed for the week of September 13 and should return to in-person learning by Monday, September 20, according to the district.

Katz also said students exposed had to quarantine, and Sullivan County Public Health contacted them. If Sullivan County Public Health did not contact the student, Katz said they would be able to return to BCES on September 20.

In the Monticello Central School District (MCSD), an “individual” tested positive for COVID-19 and was at the Kenneth L. Rutherford Elementary School on September 13, according to the school.

MCSD Superintendent Dr. Matthew Evans said, “Rutherford ES administration determined this person was in contact with approximately seven others who, we believe, will most likely be quarantined by Sullivan County Public Health.”

Evans went on to say they have already identified who might have been exposed and are working with Sullivan County Public Health.

Moreover, MCSD said the says in-person instruction will proceed at the Kenneth L. Rutherford Elementary School.

Evans stated, “All areas of the school have been regularly disinfected, and we’ll continue to disinfect our schools consistent with our COVID-19 protocols.”

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