SWANZEY CENTER — Monadnock Regional Middle/High School will hold classes remotely on Tuesday and Wednesday, after high school students were sent home late Monday morning due to several COVID-19 cases.
Superintendent Lisa Witte said the school district was aware Monday of seven cases of the viral disease, six of them involving members of the high school community, though she said the district was also awaiting the results of outstanding tests.
The decision to dismiss high school students Monday morning was made “out of an abundance of caution,” said district spokesman Jordan Mayblum, after officials learned of three cases that morning, bringing the total to seven.
All seven cases are among students, including one who attends the middle school, Mayblum said Tuesday. Middle school students weren't dismissed early Monday because that case wasn't among the three that district officials learned of that morning, he said.
Those who have tested positive are currently isolating at home, Witte said. Extracurricular activities were also canceled.
Students are expected to return to in-person learning on Thursday, according to a news release from the district Monday. After over a year of hybrid learning, students at the Monadnock Regional School District just returned to full-time in-person learning earlier this month.
People who have been identified as close contacts of the individuals who tested positive will be contacted by the school district or public health officials for further instructions, Witte said in the release. Those who are not contacted do not need to quarantine, the release notes.
Witte urged students aged 12 and up, who are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine, to get the shot and said that all staff members who have opted to get vaccinated are fully immunized.
“Having a vaccinated student body is one of the biggest steps that we can take as a community to prevent further spread of COVID-19, which in turn will help to minimize disruptions such as this from occurring again in the future,” Witte said in the release. “All high school-age and most middle-school-age students are eligible to be vaccinated and I encourage them to take advantage of this opportunity to protect themselves and their classmates.”
Mayblum said the district does not believe the case increase is related to the high school’s prom, which was held Saturday under a tent in the back parking lot. He said all of the cases have been traced to contacts that occurred before Saturday’s event.
The school district continues to have a mask mandate in effect that applies to all individuals within the schools.
The release says district officials intend to monitor the situation during the next two days and will share new information when it becomes available.
This article has been updated with additional information from the district's spokesman.