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Additional COVID-19 Case at Hall High School Impacts Football Program

Hall High School "H." Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

There are now five positive COVID-19 cases among students or staff of West Hartford Public Schools.

West Hartford Public Schools COVID-19 dashboard, Sept. 28, 2020.

By Ronni Newton

West Hartford Public Schools’ COVID-19 dashboard indicated Monday that there are four positive cases as well as 43 individuals in quarantine, but Assistant Superintendent Andy Morrow said Monday afternoon that there is now another case, this time involving someone who participated in football practice last week.

A positive COVID-19 case at King Philip Middle School was indicated on the dashboard for the first time Monday.

In order to protect the privacy of those who test positive or are in quarantine, the district is no longer indicating whether those impacted are students or staff. All who have tested positive have been directed to remain at home in isolation.

According to Morrow, the latest Hall High School individual who received a positive test result was last in classes on Sept. 18, but participated in football activities last week.

In a letter to the school community, Morrow said that contact tracing has been initiated through the West Hartford-Bloomfield Health District to identify students and staff who may have had close contact with the positive individual and will need to quarantine. Close contact is identified as being less than 6 feet away for at least 15 minutes.

In addition, all players and staff involved with the football team who had close contact and may have been exposed have been identified by the Health District and coaches, and have started a 14-day quarantine.

“Those individuals who have been identified as close contacts are being quarantined and we do not believe it will extend past that,” Morrow told We-Ha.com. He said further details could not be provided due to confidentiality. 

“The Health District and our nursing staff will follow up with parents this week and monitor students for any signs of illness,” Morrow said in his letter to the community. 

While 11-on-11 football will not be taking place this fall, teams have continued practices in accordance with Department of Public Health recommendations. Some districts, however, had been considering participating in club football activities.

“We’re not taking part in any private football league,” West Hartford Superintendent of Schools Tom Moore said last week.

Hall High School, like all of West Hartford Public Schools, undergoes deep cleaning and disinfecting every night.

Schools were closed on Monday due to the observance of Yom Kippur, but are expected to open Tuesday morning according to the regular schedule.

Morrow also reiterated that families have a responsibility and need to continue to adhere to the district’s health protocols and check every morning that:

  1. Your student does NOT have a fever greater than 100 degrees OR lower if your child is not feeling well.
  2. Your student doesn’t have other signs of illness. 
  3. No one in your household has a fever or sign of illness.
  4. Your student has not been in close contact (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) with anyone confirmed with COVID-19 within the last two weeks.

“If the answer is YES to any of these questions, DO NOT send your student to school. Instead follow quarantine protocols for your child and contact your healthcare provider as well as your school,” Morrow said, thanking the community for “cooperation and support in maintaining our community’s health and reinforcing the measures that we have put in place.”

He also thanked families for their cooperation and support.

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