The Passaic County Technical Institute (PCTI) is ceasing in-person classes for 14 days because of a coronavirus outbreak.
School officials told parents and teachers on Tuesday night the vocational high school in neighboring Wayne, attended by a large number of Paterson students, will hold remote classes for the next 14 days.
School officials had learned on Friday that an asymptomatic student tested positive for Covid-19. Health officials said dozens of people were likely exposed as a result. Those who came in contact with the infected student were told to quarantine for 14 days. School officials had the school deep cleaned and disinfected during the weekend.
Late Tuesday, school officials learned a staff member, who was out for several days, tested positive for the virus.
“Our priority is the health and safety of our students and staff, and we will continue to abide by all state and county guidelines. Our dedicated teachers are prepared to deliver a quality education using our remote system of on-line learning until school can reopen for on-site instruction,” said Diana Lobosco, chief school administrator at the Passaic County Technical Institute. “Our thoughts and prayers are with those individuals who have tested positive for the virus.”
Passaic County Technical Institute is following the New Jersey Department of Health’s guidelines, said spokeswoman Sandra Woods. If a school identifies two or more cases within a 14-day window across multiple classrooms and a clear connection cannot be established among the cases, the school should close for 14 days, according to the guidelines.
“The District is coordinating closely with public health officials and following CDC, state, and local health department guidance in order to assure the health and safety of our community,” stated a message sent to parents and teachers on Tuesday night. “The school is taking precautions to prevent the introduction and spread of viruses and other germs and is cleaning frequently.”
Passaic County Technical Institute has been operating on a hybrid model. Students at the school have been receiving a mixed of virtual and in-person schooling. Approximately 30 percent of students had to come in for in-person learning on their assigned days. Students receive two days of in-person instruction and three days of virtual learning, according to a July memo issued by the school.
The high school has almost 4,000 students.
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