FAIRFIELD, CT — Last week, coronavirus cases at Fairfield Ludlowe High School spiked after numerous parties were attended by students. This week, pick-up ball games are to blame, according to the superintendent.
As of Wednesday, 19 Fairfield Ludlowe students had tested positive for the virus, an increase of 14 cases compared to the same day last week, Director of Communications Andrea Clark confirmed.
Due to the continual rise in positive tests, the Fairfield Ludlowe building is closed Wednesday and Thursday, with students learning remotely. The school had briefly reopened Tuesday, after it was shuttered for two days last week. The district will consider extending the closure, “if the current situation changes,” Superintendent Mike Cummings said Wednesday in a community message.
“For the second week in a row, we find ourselves having to deal with the consequences of our students participating in weekend activities without masks and without appropriate social distancing,” Cummings said. “In this case, it wasn’t parties, but seemingly innocent activities like playing pick-up football or basketball, or any sponsored event.”
Those who contract the virus are contagious two days before showing mild symptoms, according to Cummings, who added the district expects to see more cases as students continue to be tested.
“So there are no ‘safe’ activities without masks and social distancing,” he said.
While the school district ensures students wear masks and socially distance at school, Cummings said students’ activities outside of school significantly impact the district’s ability to safely keep its buildings open.
“We understand that we are dealing with young people,” he said. “We understand how important it is for them to be with their friends. But we are dealing with a global pandemic and we cannot put all of our students and staff at risk because of the actions of a few.”
The district has not reported cases at any schools other than Fairfield Ludlowe, but as of Wednesday, 77 students and four staff members were in quarantine district-wide, according to the district website. Quarantines were affecting Fairfield Ludlowe and Fairfield Warde high schools, Roger Ludlowe and Tomlinson middle schools, and Osborn Hill and Riverfield elementary schools.
More than two dozen people outside the district, all of whom are in quarantine, had also been identified as close contacts of students who tested positive for the virus.
Cummings reminded parents Wednesday to keep students home if they have coronavirus symptoms or are awaiting test results, and to provide accurate and complete information if contacted by a member of the health department’s contact tracing team.
“The more they know the better decisions we can all make,” he said.
This article originally appeared on the Fairfield Patch