Superintendent of Schools Thomas Scarice today issued the following update to school families:
Dear Westport Families and Staff,
This evening we were made aware of two individuals at Staples High School who tested positive for COVID-19. The affected persons will be excluded from the school environment and have been instructed to quarantine at home.
Upon learning of the positive COVID-19 case, the Westport Public Schools conducted initial contact tracing. Those determined to be “close contacts” are defined as individuals who were within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes over a 24 hour period, starting from 48 hours before the person began feeling ill or 48 hours prior to a positive test of an asymptomatic individual. It has been determined that there were staff members and multiple classes within Staples High School needing to quarantine. Others who have been identified as close contacts outside of school have been notified, and contact tracing will continue through the Westport/Weston Health District.
The school district administration is required to comply with all applicable laws and regulations regarding student and employee confidentiality and privacy. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) precludes sharing the identity of an individual, with the exception of sharing the individual’s identity with a public health agency (e.g., Westport/Weston Health District). In addition, the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) prevents the school district from publicly sharing personally identifiable information derived from student education records.
In light of these confidentiality and privacy protections and our related legal obligations, as well as the need to protect the health and safety of the school community, we will continue to adhere to the appropriate means of notifying the school community of possible exposure to COVID-19 on a case-by-case basis.
Thank you for your understanding and continued support as we navigate schooling through this difficult time.
Mr. Thomas Scarice
Mr. Stafford Thomas Jr. JD