CONNECTICUT Teachers’ unions across Connecticut are urging government officials to come up with specific policies for dealing with coronavirus cases in schools. Most schools in the state have returned for full personal or hybrid instruction and there have been more than a dozen reports of coronavirus cases.
School districts have treated the reaction differently. Some were closed for a day or two, others had self-quarantine classes and others did contact tracking for people who were in close contact with the infected person.
School districts have also released different levels of information. Some have provided specific information on whether a staff member or student has tested positive, while others only identify the person as a member of the school community.
“While we understand that each school district is unique, the state should provide specific protocols that districts should follow when someone tests positive for the virus, including providing detailed information to parents and teachers,” said the President of the Education Association in Connecticut, Jeff Leake. “The lack of consistent guidelines and adherence to protocols is evident in many districts, such as the lack of quality approved PPE and CDC disinfection and cleaning equipment. Without state mandates, transparency and open communication, districts are endangering health and safety. of whole school communities “.
Governor Ned Lamont said Monday that schools will usually not have to close to learn in person if there is a single case of coronavirus, especially at K-8 level where class coordination is possible.
“If it happens that there is an infection in that class, it is only those who know 20 students and that teacher who should quarantine, not the whole high school or not the whole school,” he said in an interview with WNPR.
As of Monday, 32 positive coronavirus cases had been identified in school communities ranging from about 600,000 to 700,000 students, teachers and staff members.
AFSCME 3194 Local President Stacie Harris-Byrdsong said teachers are seeing red flags across the state.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve heard people say we’re in this together,” she said. “This is true and this is why our unions are calling for sustainable procedures across the country and transparency. We need to make sure parents, the public and all school communities know the procedures and what is being done when a right COVID-19. “
Local administrators should not make indiscriminate decisions once a positive case has been identified, said West Haven teacher president Kristen Malloy-Scanlon.
“Parents need to be part of the process and be valued when situations arise that require action. Anything less is not just disrespectful, but is completely dangerous,” she said.
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