Fairfield superintendent: students who travel for holidays must quarantine before returning to school

Teacher Sean Patrick, right, teaches Social Studies outside during the first day of school at Fairfield Ludlowe High School in Fairfield, Conn., on Tuesday Sept. 8, 2020.

Teacher Sean Patrick, right, teaches Social Studies outside during the first day of school at Fairfield Ludlowe High School in Fairfield, Conn., on Tuesday Sept. 8, 2020.

Christian Abraham / Hearst Connecticut Media

FAIRFIELD — Families who travel during winter break must quarantine before returning to school, officials say.

In a Tuesday afternoon message to families and staff, Superintendent of Schools and COVID-19 Health And Safety Compliance Liaison Angelus Papageorge urged people to follow the state travel advisory implemented on Dec. 18.

“Anyone traveling into Connecticut from a state or territory, other than New York, New Jersey, or Rhode Island, or from a country other than the United States, is directed to self-quarantine for a 10-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state or country,” a district summary of the advisory says.

The district pointed out that individuals can test out of travel quarantine and all tests - with the exception of COVID-19 antibody tests - can be used.

“Testing may happen 72 hours prior to leaving the travel destination or upon arrival in Connecticut,” it said, later adding that documentation must be provided to the state. “You cannot test out prior to leaving Connecticut if your trip to an affected state is less than 72 hours and more than 24 hours.”

School officials also urged people to stay home if they are waiting for test results, have been in close contact with a positive case or have any symptoms on the daily checklist.

“If you are unsure about whether to send your child to school, please check with your school nurse before sending your child,” they said.

People can call the Fairfield Public Schools hotline at 203-255-8785 to leave a message and notify the district of a positive test result over the winter break.

“Please help ensure a safe return to school for all our students and staff,” officials said.

The officials also said four more cases of coronavirus were confirmed within the school system on Tuesday. This includes two people at Fairfield Ludlowe High School and two people at Fairfield Warde High School.

“In-school contact tracing has been confirmed and any close contacts are now in quarantine,” they said. “If there is a need for anyone else to self-quarantine, they will be contacted directly by a member of the Fairfield Health Department Contact Tracing Team. No building closures are indicated.”

As of Tuesday, the district reported 22 students and six staff member to have confirmed positive cases of the virus. It also reported 162 students and 33 staff in quarantine.

“The safety of our community is our priority,” the officials said. “We are monitoring this situation very closely and will keep you informed of any changes or additional information.”

In a message to families and staff Wednesday morning, Cummings said he wished the school community a restful and healthy winter break.

“2020 has been a source of continual challenges. A new year offers hope. This year, our hopes are perhaps greater than ever before even as we acknowledge the persistence of those challenges,” he said. “Our collective gained knowledge and experience will serve us well in the coming months as we continue to adapt and move forward.”

joshua.labella@hearstmediact.com