COVID case prompts early dismissal at Ridgefield High

RIDGEFIELD — Ridgefield High School was dismissed early Friday after someone there tested positive for COVID-19, district officials said.

School and medical officials plan to conduct contact tracing and launch a “deep cleaning” of the building.

The person who tested positive was in the school on Tuesday and some people who were in close contact with the individual will be asked to quarantine for 14 days, officials said.

Ridgefield High students who were in school Friday were told to avoid gatherings until Saturday when contact tracing was expected to be completed, officials said.

Superintendent of Schools Susie Da Silva said the quarantine request would not apply to all students.

“Quarantining only kids necessary to do so,” she said.

The statement released Friday by Da Silva and Aaron Cook, the school system’s COVID-19 health and safety compliance officer, said administrators had been working with health officials on their response to the situation.

“We have consulted with our Medical Director, Dr. James Ahern, and Ridgefield Health Department Director, Ed Briggs, to determine the next series of actions,” the statement said.

Da Silva said the high school was expected to reopen next week.

“We should be back Monday,” she said.

Earlier case

This is the second COVID-19 case discovered in the Ridgefield Public Schools community.

The first was announced Oct. 5, but did not result in any building closures. In that instance, school officials did not initially announce what school was involved, but said the next day it was East Ridge Middle School.

Almost 300 cases

According to the state’s COVID-19 data tracker, Ridgefield has experienced 294 “confirmed/probable” cases and a total of 45 deaths.

The number of Ridgefielders who have been tested is 7,259, according to the state data tracker, which was last updated Wednesday. That’s close to a third of the town’s roughly 25,000 residents.

The school’s system’s statement on the closing of Ridgefield High School offered the following list of COVID-19 symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for parents to check for: Fever of 100.4 degrees or higher, chills or shaking chills, uncontrolled cough, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath and loss of taste or smell.