Coronavirus green

Someone connected to Symonds Elementary School in Keene tested positive for COVID-19, Principal Richard Cate wrote in an email to families and staff Monday afternoon.

Students at the school have been learning remotely since Nov. 30, but the building has been open for staff. The building will remain open because more than 48 hours have passed since the person who tested positive for the viral respiratory illness has been in the school, Cate wrote.

Cate did not specify how the person who contracted COVID-19 is connected to Symonds.

“We recognize and understand that hearing of a positive COVID-19 case within our school community is concerning and may cause many of us to want to ask more questions and seek additional information,” he wrote. “Please understand that we are obligated to protect the privacy of this individual, but stand committed that the safety and well being of our students and staff is our top priority.”

Symonds staff have been working with the state health department to identify anyone who was in close contact with the person who tested positive for the coronavirus, Cate added, and he said all of those people have been contacted as of Monday afternoon.

Students in N.H. School Administrative Unit 29 — which covers Chesterfield, Harrisville, Keene, Marlborough, Marlow, Nelson and Westmoreland — are scheduled to return to a mix of in-person and remote classes when they get back from winter break on Jan. 4.

This is the seventh known COVID-19 case in Keene schools this year, following previously reported infections at Keene High School, Keene Middle School, Fuller Elementary School and Wheelock Elementary School.

Jack Rooney can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1404, or jrooney@keenesentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @RooneyReports.