Two schools in the Sewanhaka Central High School District are experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak, causing them to have remote learning until the holiday break.
Due to faculty and staff members who are quarantined, Floral Park Memorial High School and H. Frank Carey High School were having classes via Google Classroom on Tuesday and Wednesday leading up to the holiday break, the school announced on its website.
According to the district’s calendar, the holiday break lasts from Dec. 23 to Jan. 3. All other schools in the district, including Elmont Memorial, New Hyde Park Memorial and Sewanhaka High School, will remain open for in-person learning until the recess.
According to the district’s confirmed COVID-19 case report for the school year, during the week of Dec. 13, Floral Park Memorial High School had 41 students and 11 faculty contract the virus. For H. Frank Carey School, 20 students and nine faculty members reported new cases.
Superintendent James Grossane said at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting too many staff members either have COVID-19 or are awaiting results to have in-person learning this week.
“This is due to the high number of faculty and staff in quarantine for either being positive, being symptomatic and awaiting results from a PCR or determining to be close contact to someone with COVID-19,” Grossane said.
Among students, the overwhelming majority of cases are being contracted outside district grounds, he said.
“The percentage of students in quarantine for positivity or being in close contact is at 3.5 percent districtwide,” Grossane said. “That equates to 291 students for the five buildings out of 8,400 students in attendance. Contract tracing continues to tell us that 90 percent or more of cases are contracting the virus at events outside the school.”
The superintendent said that health is the number one priority and that he hopes to return to in-person learning for the two schools after the holiday break.