COVID Strikes High School In Time For Reopening


Local church also reports priest tested positive for COVID-19

In what most feared would happen when schools reopened this fall ultimately happened at New Hyde Park Memorial High School when an employee of the school tested positive for COVID-19 on Sept. 6.

“It was confirmed by the Nassau County Health Department that a staff member at New Hyde Park Memorial High School has tested positive for COVID-19,” Dr. James Grossane, the Superintendent of Schools of the Sewanhaka School District, said in a statement. “As a result of the positive diagnosis, a full investigation, which included contact tracing, was completed by the Nassau County Health Department. This investigation determined that nine additional staff members were considered a close contact (defined as within six feet for a prolonged period of time—for 10 minutes or more) and thatthere were no additional exposures to staff other than those contacted by the Department of Health.”

According to the guidelines from the New York State Department of Health and the Nassau County Health Department, the individual who tested positive for COVID-19 will not be allowed to return to school for 10 days and after a negative test result has been provided to the district. The staff members who had close contact with the individual who
was diagnosed with COVID-19 will be required to quarantine for 14 days.

“We were advised by the Nassau County Health Department that no additional testing or quarantines are necessary for any other individuals, including staff who attended Superintendent’s Conference Day activities on Sept. 2 and 3,” Grossane continued. “We
will continue to work closely with the Commissioner of Health and the Nassau County Health Department and take all necessary precautions to ensure the health and safety of our school community. The building, especially the rooms the staff member attended meetings in, will all be cleaned and disinfected. The Department of Health has advised us that after that cleaning, the building is safe to reopen.”

The high school opened on Thursday, Sept. 10 for its first day of school.

Even with one positive case from the high school, do parents feel comfortable enough to actually send their kids to school?

“Absolutely do not have any reservations,” Floral Park resident Lorraine Lubicich said. “Kids need to be in school. This is a virus that is not as deadly as it was in the spring (and did not affect children in any great numbers). We have to move on, learn to live with this and not deprive kids of a proper education and normal socialization. Thank you to SCHSD for
not delaying the opening for a couple of cases—this was the smart thing to do. I am hoping for five days a week as soon as it is possible.”

High schools aren’t the only places that have had a recent positive COVID-19 case. Father Rafal Borowiejski, a priest at Our Lady of Victory church in Floral Park, also tested positive for the virus.

In a letter to parishioners, the church urged people to get tested if they were at the 10:30 a.m., 12 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. Mass on Sunday or at any of Borowiejski’s daily masses on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of the week of Aug. 30.


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