Climbing COVID-19 crisis leading to closures, quarantines for schools in Orange County
The COVID-19 crisis is shutting down some schools in Orange County and causing students and staff to quarantine.
Eight teachers at Heritage Middle School in the Newburgh Enlarged City School District were put in quarantine this week after a student tested positive.
A total of 879 students have tested positive for coronavirus in the Mid-Hudson region since the start of school, according to New York state – and the numbers continue to climb.
In Orange County, state data shows the top four school districts with the most COVID-19 cases among students by ZIP code are Kiryas Joel, Monroe-Woodbury, Newburgh and Middletown.
Kiryas Joel is a state-designated red zone, where private schools are remaining open against executive order. District Superintendent Joel Petlin says two of the cases are public students, and that the rest go to private schools, adding, "57 positives would translate into an infection rate of less than one half of 1%, far below the 9% regional threshold for closure previously set by the governor."
In the Monroe-Woodbury Central School District, Superintendent Elsie Rodriguez is now confirming that North Main Elementary School is in the state's yellow zone and will switch to full remote learning as of Tuesday, rather than test students and staff each week – as would be required by state law.
Rodriguez said by statement, "The increasing number of positive COVID-19 cases in Orange County serves as a strong reminder that we are still in a pandemic. In order for this to work, all communities have to be united in the common goal of maintaining a safe and healthy environment."
Additionally, the Valley Central School District now confirms that district schools will temporarily switch to remote instruction on Friday, after three students there tested positive.
Total student COVID-19 cases in Orange County school districts, according to New York state data:
Kiryas Joel 57
Pine Bush 5
Highland Falls 4
Valley Central 4
Port Jervis 3
Greenwood Lake 1