MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — A recent visitor to Middletown High School tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a letter sent to parents.
Superintendent Rosemarie Kraeger told her school community the R.I. Department of Health (RIDOH) informed the district Wednesday afternoon that the visitor was at the high school March 11. That was two days before Gov. Gina Raimondo ordered the state’s schools to be closed.
“We will be providing the RIDOH with a list of individuals who came in direct contact with the visitor,” Kraeger wrote.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), direct contact involves “respiratory droplets” from coughs or sneezes. Contaminated surfaces are also a concern.
After someone is confirmed to have contracted the virus, they are interviewed by RIDOH to develop a list of people they came into contact with during a certain period of time.
In other cases during the crisis, anyone who came in direct contact with an infected individual was asked to self-quarantine for 14 days at their homes in an area away from other family members. They were also asked to be monitored for virus symptoms.
Family members and others who live with the quarantined are allowed to leave the home at their own discretion, but that can change if symptoms develop.
As of Wednesday, there were 33 confirmed cases and more than 3,000 people instructed to self-quarantine across Rhode Island.
School communities in Pawtucket, Cranston and Barrington have also been exposed.
In Cranston, about 1,700 people were told to self-quarantine.
RIDOH is not revealing the cities or towns where the infected individuals live. Health departments in Massachusetts and Connecticut have been releasing the counties where people with confirmed cases live.
Officials in Westerly did report two children who live in that town have the virus, and the Cranston School Department informed residents a Cranston West student has it.