Middle schoolers sent home after secondary students held in place due to Covid-19 case


Tommy Roche

Pelham Middle School students evacuated to Ingalls Field.

Pelham middle and high schools were held in place due to a positive Covid-19 case “reported this morning at the secondary campus,” the Pelham Union Free School District said in a statement made Friday via text and email. In a later email to middle school parents, Pelham Middle School Principal Lynn Sabia confirmed that a middle schooler who tested positive was last in the school building Thursday.

All PMS students were sent home Friday at staggered intervals from from 10:15 a.m. to 11.:15 a.m., starting with seventh graders.

PMS was closed “due to the need to adequately disinfect the building and allow time for appropriate contact tracing,” Sabia wrote. “Because teachers will also need to vacate the building, live virtual instruction for Cohort A students will be discontinued for the day.”

The original hold-in-place notice said that all live virtual classes were discontinued “for the moment” and additional information would be provided as it becomes available. High school virtual classes continued after the shelter-in-place drill ended.

The hold in place was announced at 8:44 a.m., and within the next thirty minutes the seventh grade was evacuated from the building onto Ingalls Field. Around 9:50 a.m., an announcement said high school students would proceed to their third period classes shortly, and at 10:07 a.m., the hold in place was ended.

According to Sabia’s email, the district is working with the Department of Health to perform contact tracing and notify exposed individuals who now must quarantine for 14 days. The district cannot reveal any personal information about the student who tested positive.