TROY — The Monadnock Regional School District learned Monday of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the Troy Elementary School population, Superintendent Lisa Witte announced in a letter posted on the district’s website the same day.
This marks the first known COVID-19 case in a primary/secondary school in the Monadnock Region, though there has been one in Milford, according to the COVID-19 Schools Dashboard, which is operated by the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services. Both of the residential colleges in the area, Keene State College and Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, have reported a handful of cases since they began reopening their campuses in late August.
Witte’s letter does not specify whether it was a Troy student or staff member who tested positive for the viral respiratory illness.
“Troy is a small school, and we are doing our best to protect the privacy of those involved while also protecting the health of the entire community, following the guidance of DHHS,” Witte wrote in a follow-up email to The Sentinel Monday afternoon.
Troy Elementary enrolls about 175 students in preschool through 6th grade and has about 30 staff members, according to the school’s website.
The school will remain open, based on guidance from the state health department and the district’s decision matrix, the criteria the district uses to help determine if and when it should change from its current hybrid schooling model, Witte wrote in the letter. The building was closed over the weekend, and the person who tested positive for COVID-19 was not in school Monday, she told The Sentinel in her follow-up email.
The state health department has requested that the Monadnock district provide contact information for anyone who had close contact (defined as being within 6 feet for longer than 10 minutes) with the person from Troy Elementary who tested positive. The department will contact those people, or their parents or guardians, with information on how to self-quarantine at home, according to the letter.
“Those families and staff will be directed to get tested and keep themselves or their children quarantined until 14 days following their last possible exposure,” Witte wrote.
Families and employees instructed to quarantine will need to complete the entire two-week period, even if they test negative for the novel coronavirus.
“This is because the maximum amount of time from being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 and testing positive is 14 days,” Witte wrote. “Therefore, even if your child tests negative today, they would need to quarantine until they reach the 14th day following exposure.”
Witte did not say how many people will need to quarantine as a result of the COVID-19 case at Troy Elementary. If any students need to quarantine, the district will offer them remote support, she added.
According to the Monadnock School Reopening Concept, remote support is “an independent, self-paced model” in which students access lessons and assessments through district-provided online platforms. Under the remote support model, students can also participate in video check-ins with their teachers and classmates on Fridays, when all students and staff in the district are remote.
Students in the Monadnock school district attend school in person two days per week and do remote learning the rest of the week. Families also have the option for their children to learn through the remote support model full-time.
In Witte’s letter, she also reminded staff and families to keep their kids home from school if they experience any COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, chills, respiratory illness, aches or change in taste and smell. All students and staff in the Monadnock district are required to complete a daily health screening before they enter any school building.