BRISTOL – New cases of covid-19 have been reported at Bristol Eastern high School, Northeast Middle School, Hubbell Elementary School, and now the Bristol Early Childhood Center.
As with previous cases, Superintendent Catherine Carbone said the affected individuals have been instructed to remain home and quarantine. Anyone who was considered a “close contact” with them was contacted by the school or local health officials and provided with instructions on the appropriate steps to take. Enhanced cleaning procedures have been implemented throughout each school.
On Nov. 5, the state moved Bristol into Red Alert status due to the rising number of covid-19 cases here. As of today all Bristol public schools have moved to full remote learning for two weeks. Carbone said the decision was made in consultation with Marco Palmeri, Bristol-Burlington Health District director.
Some classrooms at several schools had already been doing remote learning. On Monday, Dec. 7, the lower grades are expected to return to in-person learning four days a week, while the middle and high school grades are expected to return to the hybrid model.
“We will continue to monitor the public health data for the City of Bristol and Hartford County through December 6, 2020, and communicate any changes as needed,” Carbone wrote in her weekly letter to parents and guardians. “As the holiday recess approaches, I recognize that many people will travel out-of-state or host guests from out-of-state, which will undoubtedly contribute to the potential of increased covid-19 infections. Once again, I highly encourage our BPS community to practice safe measures (e.g., no nonessential travel, no indoor or outdoor gatherings of 10 or more people, etc.) while at home,” she wrote
Carbone said she understands the importance that in-person learning has on students’ “academic, social, emotional, and physical well-being,” and disrupting that with quarantines and temporary school closures can be very stressful.
“I want to assure you that the health and safety of our students, teachers, and staff will always remain our top priority and continue to drive our school-specific and district-wide decisions. Thank you for your continued patience as we manage and adjust to the changing dynamics of covid-19 infection rates,” she wrote.
Carbone reminded parents and guardians that during the temporary closure, multi-day pre-packed meal packages will be available for pickup at Bristol Central and Bristol Eastern high schools on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 8 to 9:30 a.m.
Starting the week of Nov. 30 until further notice, meal pickup at the high schools will be Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 8 to 9:30 a.m. and 1 to 2:30 p.m.
The superintendent also noted the Bristol All-Heart Hotline, 860-584-6253, is available for city residents without family or others to assist with social services or additional support during the public health emergency.
“The hotline is for residents confined to their home, residents who are elderly or at risk, residents with transportation issues, families who cannot reach the school food distribution sites, and other situations. Individuals under these circumstances can call and leave a message with their full name, phone number, email, and their specific need. Issues will be reviewed and if applicable, will be matched with a volunteer to assist,” she wrote.
The city has a list of volunteers that offer assistance, she continued, “however, it should be noted that since late August, many volunteers have returned to school and/or work and volunteers are limited.”
Carbone suggested anyone interested in volunteering can email their name, address, phone number, and available days/hours to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information on what to do if someone has possible symptoms, a diagnosis, or exposure to covid-19, Carbone advised visiting https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html.
Susan Corica can be reached at 860-973-1802 or email@example.com.