An outbreak of the new coronavirus at the Paterson school district headquarters has grown to four cases on Wednesday, prompting superintendent Eileen Shafer to have almost all employees work remotely for the next 14 days.
Shafer said she made the decision after consulting municipal health officials. Shafer had quietly closed some offices on the first floor after three cases were reported.
Shafer said central office employees will work remotely from October 22 to November 4. She said the superintendent, deputy superintendent, and their “limited” staff will continue to work out of the building.
“The building will be sanitized tonight for us to return tomorrow morning and it will only be a limited amount of us, four individuals who will be here, because continuation of instruction needs to happen,” said Shafer on Wednesday night.
Shafer did not mention the fourth case during the announcement at the school board meeting.
School officials did not publicly mention the cases at 90 Delaware Avenue until the Paterson Times contacted them for comments about the cases on Tuesday.
Shafer’s spokesman Paul Brubaker then issued a press release about the outbreak with a timeline. First infection at the district headquarters was reported on October 13.
Shafer and her staff have been working out of the central office during much of the pandemic. She said her staff has been working on a hybrid schedule since Tuesday, where half the staff report to the building on Monday and Wednesday and the other half on Tuesday and Thursday. Her staff work remotely on Fridays.
Schools in Paterson have been holding virtual classes since March. That is expected to continue through mid-January.
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