MERIDEN — City schools were notified by local health officials Thursday morning that a Lincoln Middle School student tested positive for COVID-19.
Parents on social media Thursday shared notices they received from School Superintendent Mark Benigni, saying the student was being tested but was sent to school while awaiting results.
“Immediately, the student was sent to the school’s isolation area. Despite all health guidance, the parent sent the child to school while waiting for test results. Not only does this impact this family but also this classroom of students. If not for our strict cohorting model, many other students could have been impacted,” the notice stated.
Benigni released a video Thursday announcing the news and the steps the school is taking. All students in the cohort group are asked to remain at home for 14 days while the city’s Department of Health and Human Services conducts contact tracing.
Only students in this child’s cohort are required to stay home for 14 days, Benigni said. There are no plans to close the school. The city’s middle schools require that students remain in one classroom throughout the day and the teachers rotate among classrooms.
“At this time, teachers are not being asked to self-quarantine,” Health and Human Services Director Lea Crown said in an email. “Those parents/guardians of students who rode the bus with the positive individual have also been notified by our office and given quarantine guidance.”
In addition to fellow bus travelers, the health department is also tracing students who participated with the student in extra-curricular activities, officials said.
“I can’t emphasize enough, how important it is we all work together,” Benigni stated in the video. “If your child is not feeling well you must keep your child home. If your child is being tested for COVID-19, they may not return to school until you receive notification your child does not have COVID-19.”
Meriden health officials are reaching out to all families whose children are considered a close contact of the student that tested positive, Crown said.
A spokeswoman from the Community Health Center, 134 State St., contacted the Record-Journal to make sure concerned parents were aware that free drive-in, walk-up testing is available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on site and at 10 other locations statewide. Test results take two to three days to come back. Participants don’t have to be patients of the center.