Monday, March 01, 2021

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COVID Case Closes Valley Regional High School

While Region 4 schools have been able to limit impacts of a positive COVID test to a realtively small cohort in the past, a recent single positive case led the district to switch to fully remote learning at Valley Regional High School (VRHS).

Superintendent of Schools Brian White informed the school communities of the Regional 4 School District by email on Jan. 14 that an individual from VRHS had received a positive COVID-19 test result. The individual had last attended school on Jan. 8, according to the email.

“This case impacts 56 students and 9 staff members at Valley Regional High School,” said White.

After consultation with the local health departments, VRHS students went to remote learning for Jan. 15 “due to multiple quarantines requiring a large percentage of staff members to be out of the building,” according to White.

VRHS students are expected to resume in-person classes on Monday, Jan. 19, which is the next school day.

Disclosure of the latest case of COVID-19 in the Regional 4 School District comes as the Connecticut Department of Public Health released its COVID-19 Alert Map on Jan. 14 showing Chester, Deep River, and Essex in the red zone alert level.

There were 166 of the 169 towns and cities in Connecticut in this level, the highest of the state’s four alert levels. The red zone indicates an average daily COVID-19 case rate of greater than 15 per 100,000 population in the last two weeks.

The state’s weekly expanded COVID-19 data report from Jan. 14 shows the average daily rate of COVID-19 cases in each of the towns, not counting any cases in nursing homes or other congregate housing settings, for the two week time period from Dec. 27 to Jan. 9.

Chester had an average daily rate of 52, with 31 cases in the two-week time period. Cumulatively, from the start of the pandemic through reporting on Jan. 14, there have been 151 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 4 probable cases in Chester, according to the state’s report.

Deep River had an average daily rate of 62, with 39 cases in the two-week time period. Cumulatively, from the start of the pandemic through reporting for Jan. 14, there have been 188 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 15 probable cases in Deep River, according to the state’s report.

Essex had an average daily rate of 77, with 72 cases in the two-week time period. Cumulatively, from the start of the pandemic through reporting for Jan. 14, there have been 263 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 19 probable cases in Essex, according to the state’s report.

In Middlesex County, there have been 7,577 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 464 probable cases, according to the state’s Jan. 14 COVID-19 data report.


Elizabeth Reinhart covers news for Chester, Deep River, and Essex for Zip06. Email Elizabeth at e.reinhart@shorepublishing.com.

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