Outside cases keep some St. Lawrence County schools remote

Outside cases keep some St. Lawrence County schools remote

GOUVERNEUR, N.Y. (WWNY) - It was feared COVID-19 would spread in schools, shutting them down. But now, the COVID-19 threat is coming from outside.

St. Lawrence County had 83 new cases on Thursday.

“That’s what’s been very frustrating is the spread of this was not generated from students,” said Lauren French, Gouverneur Schools Superintendent.

Gouverneur Schools have been on all-remote learning since October. They planned to bring students back Monday, but so many staff are in quarantine at home that was impossible.

“It’s not sustainable. I don’t know where this will end. No one does,” said French.

As of Friday, 31 staff, 26 of them teachers, were in quarantine. Public Health officials have told schools where the cases are coming from.

“Most of the positive cases are coming from large gatherings, individuals who are coming to work sick or symptomatic, and of course now we have a third element which is holidays,” said Thomas Burns, St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES Superintendent.

Schools largely untouched before are now feeling the impact. Colton-Pierrepont schools now has its first case. Friday morning, students were sent home so it could be traced.

Ever since the pandemic began, health officials have been telling the public simple steps they can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Now, more and more school officials are doing the same.

“We have to remain masked. We have to wash hands. And we have to socially distance. We have to remain local,” said French.

Gouverneur Schools will be all-remote for at least one more week. However, students attending BOCES Tech or agriculture classes can continue with in-person instruction at those locations.

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