Van Buren Elementary student tests positive for COVID-19


UPDATE: On Monday afternoon, the Baldwinsville Superintendent issued an updated statement saying that the Onondaga County Health Department says only staff and students that had close contact with person who tested positive for COVID-19 had to quarantine.

The Health Department said it is not requiring the family members of exposed children to quarantine for 14 days.

BALDWINSVILLE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — A student at Van Buren Elementary School has tested positive for COVID-19 after attending class on Sept. 9, the first day of school.

Superintendent Matthew McDonald says the student developed symptoms after school and stayed home for the rest of the week.

The district was notified by the Onondaga County Health Department around noon on Saturday.

McDonald says the protocol for students with COVID-19 will be a case by case basis. In this instance, the teacher and other students in the class are required to quarantine for 14 days out of an abundance of caution.

“The next case may be at one of my secondary schools where kids are moving right, and it could be where I have to close the whole building,” said McDonald.

The full letter reads:

Dear Baldwinsville families and staff,

The District was notified by the Onondaga County Health Department that we have a student at Van Buren Elementary School who has tested positive for COVID-19. I was made aware of this information at about noon on Saturday, September 12, 2020. District officials in conjunction with the county Health Department immediately began its investigation, which is ongoing.

The student impacted was only in attendance on Wednesday, September 9, 2020. The county Health Department is in the process of notifying individuals considered to be close contacts of the student who tested positive. As per the county Health Department, the investigation resulted in the classroom teacher and students within the class – and their families — being required to quarantine for 14 days. This decision was made out of an abundance of caution. Principal Cronin has reached out to the families of these students.

I hope you understand that we can’t provide any additional information about this student due to confidentiality and privacy constraints. News like this can be tough to hear as we have students who are starting their first day of school tomorrow. We have implemented numerous health and safety protocols in all of our school buildings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In addition to our regular cleaning and sanitizing, the District brought its custodial staff in today to deep clean the impacted classroom and the surrounding areas. The transportation department has also brought in a crew to conduct an additional deep clean of the school bus.

Out of an abundance of caution, we ask that families please keep an eye out for signs and symptoms as it takes 7 to 8 days after exposure. The District is taking precautions to protect the health and safety of its students and employees. We will continue to closely monitor this situation and communicate updates, if necessary.

This is the first positive case of a school-aged child in Onondaga County since the start of school. Accordingly, the county Health Department and District are taking extra precautions to make certain all our staff, students, and community members remain safe.

We appreciate your support and understanding on this matter. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out.


Matthew J. McDonald
Superintendent of Schools

NewsChannel 9 has reached out to the school district for further comment, but has not heard back.

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