JOHNSTON, R.I (WPRI) — Winsor Hill Elementary School was closed on Tuesday after it was learned that a staff member tested positive for the coronavirus.
Dr. Bernard DiLullo, the superintendent of Johnston Public Schools, said they decided to close the school in order to safely and accurately complete contact tracing.
At this time, there is no plan to keep the school closed, according to DiLullo.
Johnston isn’t the only school district reporting positive COVID-19 cases.
Gary Jerejian tells 12 News his children were back at Classical High School for one day before he was notified that another student had tested positive.
“They went back to school Sept. 9 and we were getting emails Sept. 10,” he said.
While all Rhode Island students, teachers and staff are required to wear face coverings while inside school buildings, Jerejian said he’s still concerned for his kids.
“It’s a little congested, when you come in the morning and the afternoon you’ll see just how congested it is,” he said. “It seems like they could do a little bit more with social distancing inside the school and inside the classroom.”
Parents of students in Warwick, Barrington, Johnston, Providence and Bristol have told 12 News they’ve all received emails notifying them of positive cases or close contacts.
Providence Teachers Union President Maribeth Calabro said citywide, about a dozen students have already had to quarantine because they’re considered a close contact to someone who tested positive.
“We need to keep our eye on that and make sure we don’t have any outbreaks,” she said.
Calabro said while they are seeing cases, the numbers are lower than what they were seeing last year, but the union has requested the city provide teachers with a distance learning plan in case of an outbreak.
Jerejian agrees and said with cases of the delta variant on the ride, every school should be prepared to learn remotely if need be.
“They should have had some contingencies in place going forward knowing that we’re not near the end of this,” he said. “Everything is spiking and it’s better to be safe then sorry in my opinion.”