Two more individuals at H.B. Whitehorne Middle School have tested positive for COVID-19, according to an email sent by Verona’s superintendent, Dr. Rui Dionisio, last night. The email said that the two cases have been confirmed to be household transmissions and not school transmissions.
The new cases bring to four the number of confirmed COVID-19 positives at the middle school. The first case was The first case was reported to the public on October 12 and the second on October 15.
The only people in the middle school now are administrators, teachers and custodians, along with a small number of special education students. But at the Board of Education meeting on October 13, the school district announced that the return of other students to HBW would be moved forward to Monday, October 26, from November 9. Students are to report in small cohorts and not entire classes.
The email sent by Dionisio said that there is no need to close school because of the two new COVID-19 cases. Verona’s number of positive cases has been rising since August when there were 12 new positive cases. There were 18 new positive cases in September and, for the first three weeks of October, there have been 36 new positives. Verona’s deaths from COVID-19 remain unchanged at 14.
The email said school district is working closely with public health officials and following health and safety guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and state, and local health departments. Any individual who was identified as being a close contact with the positive individual has been notified to self quarantine and monitor symptoms. All exposed areas in HBW school have been disinfected and cleaned, the email said; all schools are disinfected on a daily basis.
October 26 is also the date for bringing fourth graders back into the elementary school buildings. Pre-K, kindergarten and first grade students have been in the elementary schools in small groups since the beginning of the school year. Verona High School students are to return to limited in-person instruction on November 9.