NEW LEBANON — The New Lebanon Central School District has had its first case of COVID-19.
Students will be learning remotely until Nov. 30 after the district announced a positive case in the transportation department Saturday.
“In these challenging times, rest assured that the district’s priority is protecting the health, welfare and safety of students and staff while complying with any government orders and guidance related to the opening of schools,” District Superintendent Andrew Kourt wrote in a letter to district families.
The district is cleaning and disinfecting both school buildings and any potentially impacted areas, according to the letter.
The district has been working with the Columbia County Department of Health. Anyone who was potentially exposed to the positive individual and who needs to be tested and quarantined were contacted.
Several members of the transportation department and about 25 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade have had to quarantine because of the positive case, according to a statement released by the district.
The district has an enrollment of about 400 students, according to its website.
Juniors and seniors who had previously been learning in person will be utilizing the district’s full remote plan starting Wednesday.
Students will be able to return to in-person classes after the Thanksgiving holiday break Nov. 30.
“We realize that the success of a fully remote program is contingent upon the availability of devices for every student,” Matthew R. Klafehn, principal of the junior-senior high school, wrote in a letter to families Monday. “Chromebooks will be available for student pick-up on Tuesday, Nov. 17, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the high school main entrance. We encourage families to make every effort to coordinate the receipt of these devices.”
Junior and senior high-school students will be attending live Google Meets set up by their teachers based on their schedule, according to the letter. Meet invitations will be sent out from teachers to student accounts.
Until the positive COVID case announced over the weekend, the New Lebanon Central School District had no positive COVID cases in the district.
Columbia County has six school districts. Since the beginning of the school year, the Hudson City School District has had two on-site staff members and one on-site student who have tested positive, according to the state’s COVID Report Card.
The Ichabod Crane Central School District has had a total of seven students test positive since the beginning of the school year. Taconic Hills Central School District has had one on-site student test positive.
Columbia County extended its declared state of emergency again Friday due to the rising number of COVID cases.
As of Sunday afternoon there were 111 active positive cases in the county. Twenty-seven of those are hospitalized and one person is in the intensive care unit, according to the Department of Health.
There are 139 people in the county in mandatory quarantine because of COVID-19.
Columbia County has had a total of 842 positive COVID cases since the beginning of the pandemic; about 28.1% of all cases have occurred in the last month.
In all, 43 people have died in the county from COVID-19. Six died in about the past month prior to Oct. 14. The county did not have any COVID-related deaths since June 9.
The Columbia County Office Building was closed last Thursday because an employee had potentially been exposed to a person who had tested positive. The employee has since tested negative for the virus.
The building was cleaned and disinfected and reopened Friday morning.
In all, the Department of Health reported more than 50,800 COVID tests were administered in Columbia County.
The department will be holding COVID-19 clinics at the former John L. Edwards Primary School on Tuesday and again Dec. 1 from 9-11 a.m. Each day is limited to 100 tests. Preregistration is not necessary for the clinic, but masks and a photo ID are required.