COVID case closes Joel Barlow High School

Photo of Katrina Koerting
Joel Barlow High School, Redding, Conn, Saturday, March 9, 2019.

Joel Barlow High School, Redding, Conn, Saturday, March 9, 2019.

H John Voorhees III / Hearst Connecticut Media

REDDING — Students at Joel Barlow High School will be closed through Thursday due to a COVID-19 case, Superintendent Rydell Harrison said in a letter that was shared Tuesday on the town’s Facebook page.

The person was last on campus, which serves students from Redding and Easton, last Wednesday, Harrison said.

“As mentioned in previous messages, each positive case presents unique challenges and we are currently contact tracing in collaboration with our local health director to determine the level of exposure for students and staff,” he said in the letter.

The temporary closure is in place so officials can identity and communicate with all close contacts, which is defined as anyone who spent at least 15 minutes within 6 feet of the confirmed case or had direct exposure to droplets within 24 hours, officials said.

“During this short-term closure, Joel Barlow High School will switch to a Distance Learning Platform for all students,” Harrison wrote. “It is anticipated that school will resume for cohort B and cohort D students on Friday.”

Harrison also urged the school community to “remain vigilant” as the number of positive cases increase and follow a variety of practices to stay safe.

These include avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose; wear a face covering whenever there is a likelihood of being near others, maintain social distancing, wash your hands and avoid coughing or sneezing into your hands or in the air. Parents should also monitor their children’s symptoms and notify the school if they exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms.

These symptoms are fever, chills, an uncontrolled cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, nausea, vomiting. or diarrhea. Anyone showing these symptoms should call their medical provider before seeking in-person care, the letter said.

“The safety of our communities is our top priority,” Harrison wrote. “We will continue to monitor our local health data and take the necessary steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”