Naugatuck High to reopen after student tests positive for COVID


By Andreas Yilma, Staff Writer

NAUGATUCK — Naugatuck High School will reopen Monday after closing earlier this week due to a student testing positive for COVID-19.

Superintendent of Schools Christopher Montini announced the decision to reopen in a letter to parents Friday.

“NPS (Naugatuck Public Schools) will continue to work hard to implement strategies to safeguard the health of our students and staff and will keep health and safety at the forefront in all that we do,” Montini said in the letter.

School officials learned of the positive test Wednesday and said the student, a senior who doesn’t ride a school bus, was last in the high school on Tuesday. Naugatuck High dismissed early Wednesday. The high school turned to distance learning for all students and postponed before and after-school activities.

School officials worked together with the Naugatuck Valley Health District to conduct contact tracing and do a deep cleaning of the building.

Carissa Caserta, acting director of the Naugatuck Valley Health District, said officials investigated who the student had been in contact with and reached out to those people. She said anyone who was within 6 feet of the student for more than 15 minutes will have to quarantine for 14 days, and distance learn, before returning to school.

Caserta said the contact tracing found others that have to quarantine. She declined to say how many.

“We’ll take every case, case by case, and work with the school as much as we can to keep the community safe,” Caserta said.

Board of Education Chairman Jeff Litke said he’s confident the school can reopen safely.

“Everyone should know that the health and safety of our students, parents, faculty, staff and the community is our top priority,” Litke said.

Naugatuck started the school year Sept. 2. Naugatuck schools are following a hybrid model for now that combines in-person instruction and remote learning at home. High school students are divided into two groups. Students attend school in-person two days a week — either Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday — and distance learn at home the other days.