RI has identified 19 positive COVID-19 cases since schools reopened


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ It’s been three days since Rhode Island students went back to school, and since then, the state has identified 19 coronavirus cases in students and staff members.

In her weekly briefing, Gov. Gina Raimondo said the state’s school-specific sites have swabbed about 300 people so far, eight of whom have tested positive. The other 11 positive cases, she said, were people who were tested elsewhere.

Among those eight cases are two student teachers in East Providence, according to Superintendent Kathryn Crowley.

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Crowley said Wednesday those student teachers ─ one at Whiteknact Elementary and another at Hennessy Elementary ─ recently tested positive for the virus.

Since the students at Hennessey weren’t back in person yet, Crowley said only two staff members there were told to quarantine.

At Whiteknact, Crowley said they had to quarantine an entire class of students and three staff members. All of the students will be learning remotely while in quarantine, she said.

At Anthony Carnevale Elementary School in Providence, the principal and vice principal were put in quarantine for two weeks after a staff member tested positive, though the school remains open.

The Lincoln School, a college preparatory school in Providence, confirmed Tuesday it has had two students test positive in its upper school and has opted to cancel in-person learning for those students for the remainder of the week.

Two schools, Blackstone Valley Prep and Ponaganset High School, each had a staff member test positive and have been working with state health and education officials to conduct contact tracing.

Prior to the first day of school, a Bristol-Warren Regional School District staff member tested positive for the virus. The positive case led to the quarantine of eight other staff members and a lawsuit against the state to stop the reopening of schools. That lawsuit has since been denied by a judge.

Providence College is also dealing with nearly two dozen positive cases among students living off campus. The college reported Wednesday that 22 students and one staff member tested positive, though these are not factored into the cases announced by Raimondo Wednesday.

As a result, PC has asked all students living off-campus to learn remotely until they produce a negative test result, and to only visit campus as instructed for testing.

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RI Coronavirus Hotline: (401) 222-8022 | Work-Related Questions: (401) 462-2020 | Mental Health Assistance: (401) 414-5465

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