Region 16 closing Long River after students test positive for COVID-19


By Elio Gugliotti, Editor

PROSPECT — Region 16 officials have closed Long River Middle School until Oct. 21 after two students tested positive for COVID-19.

Superintendent of Schools Michael Yamin said officials learned of the positive tests on Thursday. The students are in different cohorts at the school, he said.

Yamin said a middle school teacher may also have coronavirus, but it had not been confirmed it as of Friday.

The middle school was in session Friday, but Yamin said the students that tested positive and those associated with them were not in school.

Middle school students will remote learn at home from Tuesday through Oct. 20. Region 16 schools are closed Monday for Columbus Day. Staff and students will return to in-person learning at the school on Oct. 21.

Yamin said the decision to close for more than a week was made in consultation with administrators, school nurses and public health officials.

“This was the best decision based on the physical and mental health of students and staff because that is our highest priority,” Yamin said.

All before and after-school activities and weekend events at the school are canceled during the closure.

Families can still pick up meals for students at the school on Oct. 13, Oct. 15 and Oct. 19 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The closure is the first time the regional district, which is comprised of Beacon Falls and Prospect, has closed a school this school year due to COVID-19.

This week also marked the first time that middle school students had in-person classes four days a week since school started in early September.

Middle school students were following a hybrid model that divided them into two groups. Students attended school in-person two days a week and remote learned at home the other days.

Woodland Regional High School students are still following the hybrid model, while elementary school students attend in-person four days a week.

All students in the region remote learn at home on Wednesdays, which are half days.