SOUTHINGTON — There is a confirmed case of COVID-19 at John F. Kennedy Middle School, according to school officials.
In a letter on Friday Superintendent Timothy Connellan said there is a “case” investigation at the school. He noted a “case” is an individual that has laboratory confirmed COVID-19. It was not noted in the statement whether the case involved a student or staff member.
“This morning, the District and the local Health Department initiated a Case investigation at John F. Kennedy Middle School including contact tracing activities to identify all individuals who may have been in close contact with the Case,” the statement from Connellan said. “Individuals identified as close contacts will be notified directly and advised of appropriate quarantine procedures.”
Connellan noted school district personnel are in collaboration with the local Health Department to ensure all contacts have information on how to protect themselves and others. He noted information related to case investigations is confidential.
“We are committed to maintaining a safe environment for students and staff and will proactively apply the appropriate response and mitigation strategies,” Connellan said in the statement. “Consistent with the state-wide protocol, quarantine strategies have been applied as appropriate in this situation and the appropriate families notified. This situation will be monitored closely in conjunction with local public health officials.”
He noted this will likely not be the last confirmed case in Southington and noted residents must implement the mitigation strategies from public health officials and medical professionals to keep everyone safe.
In a subsequent message sent several hours after the first notification, Connellan stated the district has been working with local health officials regarding follow-up protocols around the case.
At this point, local health officials did not recommend making modifications to the school day, Connellan wrote.
Administrators were notified of the confirmed case prior to the start of school Friday morning. District staff had already began contacting other individuals identified as “close contacts” to the confirmed case.
Those contacts were asked to quarantine, Connellan stated in a separate email to the Record-Journal.
He added testing is “always an option that should be explored.” However, Connellan noted, “Neither the school district nor the health department can mandate that someone is tested.”
Connellan, in his last update to families, explained that between the time the confirmed positive individual was last in the Kennedy building and when classes started today, the building had been cleaned and sanitized.
Connellan cited health and educational privacy laws as the reason he could not “discuss anything in any case that could place the district in jeopardy of breaching” those laws.