Bristol Warren school employee tests positive for COVID-19

East Bay

BRISTOL, R.I. (WPRI) ─ A Bristol Warren Public Schools employee has tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Bristol Warren Educators Association Co-President Michelle Way DaSilva.

In a statement to 12 News, Way DaSilva said she could not discuss the specifics of the case, but called it “a sign of things to come.”

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“Once schools open up with any form of in-person teaching, we expect to see many more cases and more disruptions to our district schools because of it,” Way DaSilva wrote. “This particular incident is an example of why we have advocated all along for a full distance-learning start and a very gradual phase-in of in-person education—only when it’s safe.”

“We believe that our district administration has been doing a lot to protect students and staff to the best of their ability,” she continued. “However, we continue to stand by our position that students and staff should not be expected to be in our schools until there’s indisputable proof that every precaution has been taken in every classroom throughout the district. Such proof should be inclusive of evidence that all plans are feasible when our buildings are filled with students and staff. To accomplish this enormous task, our school committee needs to acknowledge that our students are children, and will therefore behave as children do; generally, children are often unpredictable and are not always cognizant of the potential consequences of their actions. It is the job of every adult to do what we can to protect them, starting with the school committee.”

Way DaSilva said a notice was sent out Friday notifying families and staff of the case.

The Bristol Warren School Committee plans to further discuss the reopening of schools during a Zoom meeting on Wednesday.

All but two school districts in Rhode Island were given the green light last week by Gov. Gina Raimondo to fully reopen for in-person classes on Sept. 14.

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