WEST MIDDLESEX – In what the district superintendent said was an abundance of caution, West Middlesex high school students are being taught remotely for two weeks caused by a chain of events after one of its teachers contracted COVID-19.
In an email to parents on Thursday, West Middlesex Area School District Superintendent Raymond Omer said district officials made the decision after they conducted contact tracing among its teaching staff.
The contact tracing revealed a number of the school’s teaching staff had close contact with the affected teacher, requiring all of the people contacted to quarantine along with what Omer called a “small number’’ of students.
No in-person teaching will be conducted until Nov. 5, Omer said in the email.
Two messages left for Omer at his office on Friday weren’t immediately returned.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a 14-day quarantine if someone comes into close contact with an individual infected with COVID-19. Close contact is considered being within 6 feet of someone with the coronavirus for 15 minutes or longer.
Further in the email, Omer said extracurricular activities will continue as normal.
“Students that participate in athletics and are required to quarantine are being contacted and will not participate in any extracurricular activities,’’ he said. “All others determined not to have had direct contact with the positive case are still permitted to compete/participate in accordance with the PA Department of Health mandates and WMASD (West Middlesex Area School District) Health and Safety Plan policies.’’
In sports, West Middlesex is set to play Eisenhower High School Friday in the District 10 football playoffs at that school in Warren County, and the West Middlesex boys and girls cross country teams will compete at the Ed Myer Complex in Titusville for the D-10 championship Oct. 30.
No teachers or students were identified in the email. Federal law prohibits employers and public officials from releasing medical information about employees, including teachers, and students.