Another COVID-19 case in Ridgefield schools sent 34 students, 8 teachers into quarantine

East Ridge Middle School has has its second case of a COVID-19 exposure this school year.

East Ridge Middle School has has its second case of a COVID-19 exposure this school year.

Macklin Reid / Hearst Connecticut Media

RIDGEFIELD — A new case of COVID-19 at East Ridge Middle School has resulted to another 34 students and eight teachers being required to quarantine.

That brings the number of people asked to quarantine due to exposures in the Ridgefield schools to 108 — 95 students and 13 staff members — by Hearst Connecticut Media’s count.

The person who tested positive was in East Ridge Middle School and considered possibly infectious on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, according to school officials.

The latest case was announced in an email sent to school families and staff by Superintendent of Schools Susie Da Silva around 5:15 p.m. Saturday.

It represents the second COVID-19 case at East Ridge Middle School this school year. Two people tested positive at Ridgefield High School, and members of the RHS girls soccer team were exposed to the virus while at an away game.

In her email to families Saturday, Da Silva forwarded a message from Aaron Crook, the school system’s COVID-19 health and safety compliance liaison coordinator of nursing services.

“Late this afternoon, we learned that a member of the ERMS community tested positive for COVID-19,” Crook wrote. “This individual was in the ERMS building and considered to have been potentially infectious on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

“We have consulted with Dr. James Ahern and Mr. Ed Briggs Town of Ridgefield Health Department director and have begun the process of contact tracing. We will be making calls to 34 students and eight teachers who will be required to quarantine until Nov. 3.”

Previous cases

Before Saturday’s email, the school district announced COVID-19 exposures in the Ridgefield Public Schools Oct. 21, Oct. 16 and Oct. 5. All involved either the high school or East Ridge Middle School.

Da Silva sent students’ families and staff an email Wednesday, forwarding a communication from Crook, saying that an individual from the RHS school community has tested positive for COVID-19, and had sat for the PSATs at RHS on Oct. 17. School officials determined nine students and one teacher would be required to quarantine for 14 days due to the exposure.

School was dismissed early on Oct. 16, because a member of the RHS community had tested positive for COVID-19.

Later that Friday, school officials announced they had become aware of potential exposure of members of the RHS girls soccer team at an away game earlier in the week.

The Tigers played at Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk on Oct. 13, according to the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference website. Norwalk has been labeled a “red zone” town by state officials due to an increase in novel coronavirus cases there. Ridgefield High then hosted Staples on Oct. 15, and traveled back to Norwalk to play Norwalk High on Oct. 22, according to the CIAC site.

Ridgefield schools’ first incident was announced Oct. 5 and school officials said that working with health authorities, they had determined the person had not been in school when contagious, so building closures and contact tracing were not deemed necessary.

The next day, they announced the school involved was East Ridge Middle School.