2 Westchester districts close schools amid coronavirus outbreak
Two Westchester school districts have closed their classrooms because of coronavirus scares — in an “an abundance of caution” as a local outbreak that has seen at least 10 confirmed cases.
The Hastings-on-Hudson Union Free School District and Mount Vernon City School District both announced late Wednesday that all their schools would be closed for the rest of the week.
Mount Vernon said its decision came after an alert that two students from the same family had been “quarantined for possible exposure” although had “not shown any actual symptoms at this time.”
“Out of an abundance of caution, the district has closed all school buildings and offices effective immediately and the schools will be completely cleaned and disinfected,” the district announced on its website, with an “anticipated” reopening on Monday.
The quarantined students — one a pupil at Columbus School and one at Rebecca Turner Elementary School — “will not be attending school for at least the next two weeks,” the statement stressed.
Mount Vernon also suspended its perfect attendance incentives “so that we are not indirectly encouraging students to attend school when they are ill.”
Hastings-on-Hudson told parents that its shut-down stemmed from a parent having been “present in a location that is closed due to a confirmed case of the coronavirus.”
“It is our understanding that people who have been present in that location have been asked to self-quarantine,” the statement added.
The district schools — include Hastings High School, Farragut Middle School and Hillside Elementary School — will be closed to be “thoroughly” sanitized, the district said.
“At this time, the District does not have any confirmed cases among any of its students, parents, or staff, and has made this decision out of an abundance of caution,” the district stressed in its statement.
Both districts neighbor New Rochelle, where a lawyer — identified by sources as Lawrence Garbuz, 50 — was the first identified out of at least 10 people to have passed the virus among themselves, including his wife, Adina, and his two children.
Garbuz — who commuted from Westchester to his law firm in Manhattan — is hospitalized at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia Medical Center in stable condition, Gov. Cuomo said earlier Wednesday. The others tied to his outbreak are well enough to stay home.
The first of New York’s 13 confirmed cases is a 39-year old health care worker who is recovering in her Manhattan apartment after returning home from travel in Iran.
Two more COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the Big Apple Thursday — a man in his 40s and a woman in her 80s, Mayor de Blasio said.
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