More than 200 North Shore students test positive for the coronavirus

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Nearly 250 students in public school districts throughout the North Shore had tested positive for the coronavirus as of Tuesday. (Chart by Robert Pelaez)

The number of students who have tested positive for the coronavirus in public schools across the North Shore has risen to nearly 250, according to state Health Department figures.

As of Tuesday, 246 students on the North Shore had tested positive since the beginning of the school year. The increase of 50 confirmed student cases is the second-most over a one week period since schools began, according to state data.

Public school districts that were analyzed included the Port Washington school district, Roslyn school district, Sewanhaka Central High School District, Mineola school district, East Williston school district, Floral Park-Bellerose school district, Manhasset school district, New Hyde Park-Garden City Park school district, Herricks school district, North Shore school district and the Great Neck school district.

The three school districts with the most cases among students are Great Neck with 48, Sewanhaka with 47 and Port Washington with 40.  Each of the three districts had an increase of 10 from the prior week, accounting for 60 percent of the total increase in the analyzed school districts.

With the Great Neck peninsula’s seven-day positivity rate at 3.09 percent, according to state figures, schools in the district are permitted to remain open with 20 percent testing of in-person students and staff within one week from Monday.

“This situation remains fluid, and I appreciate everyone’s patience and cooperation as we work with our health and education partners to develop a plan to meet State requirements. I will share an update when more information is available,” Great Neck School Superintendent Teresa Prendergast said in a statement last week.

An additional 35 cases were found in North Shore Hebrew Academy (19), North Shore Hebrew Academy High School (11), Silverstein Hebrew Academy (3), and North Shore Hebrew Academy Middle School (2), all located on the Great Neck peninsula.

Efforts to reach representatives from the private schools were unavailing.

In Sewanhaka, 37 of the 47 total positive student cases were on-site, while the rest were off-site, according to state figures.  Elmont Memorial High School was closed Tuesday and Wednesday due to more coronavirus cases being reported on school grounds, according to Superintendent James Grossane.

“In consultation with the Nassau County Department of Health, Elmont Memorial High School will be closed for at least tomorrow, Tuesday, December 1st and Wednesday December 2nd,” Grossane said. “All Elmont Memorial High School faculty and staff will work remotely during this time.  All instruction for students of Elmont Memorial High School will be conducted remotely as well. “

Port Washington Superintendent Michael Hynes released a statement last week that addressed the increase in cases in the Port Washington area.

“If new developments arise, our district will adhere to the expertise and any new guidance issued by our local and regional health departments, as well as the CDC,” Hynes said. “I am confident that the protocols our district currently has in place maintain a healthy and safe environment for our students and staff, but I implore the community to continue the same effort to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus in our community.”

He said: “I can assure you, everything we are doing within our schools is extremely effective. Our staff and students are doing such a remarkable job and I’m so proud of their hard work and diligence.”

The North Shore school district, with 28, the Mineola school district with 26, and the  Roslyn school district with 25 were the only other districts with 20 or more confirmed student cases. The East Williston, Herricks and Manhasset school districts combined for 46 student cases, with East Williston and Herricks having 16, and Manhasset having 14.

Despite being surrounded by areas with a high number of confirmed cases outside the classroom, schools in the New Hyde Park-Garden City Park and Floral Park-Bellerose school districts had a combined 10 cases. New Hyde Park-Garden City Park had seven cases, while Floral Park-Bellerose had three.

For more information on how school districts and their schools are faring with the coronavirus, visit https://schoolcovidreportcard.health.ny.gov/#/home.

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