After analyzing this week’s pooled testing results and in consultation with the Health Advisory Team, Masters will continue with an in-person return to school on Monday, Jan. 10. There will be a snow day on Friday, Jan. 7, and classes will not be held.
In an email from Head of School Laura Danforth, it was announced that the pooled testing results from Monday, Jan. 3 and Tuesday, Jan. 4 came back with nine positive cases. Community members who tested positive for Covid-19 over the break were not included in the pooled testing. In the email, Danforth encouraged students to remain cautious and upgrade masks, as well as taking other safety measures to avoid contracting the virus.
According to the School’s New York State COVID-19 Report Card, 73 positive cases have been reported over the past fourteen days from students, faculty and staff, as of Jan. 6, 2022. That breaks down into 56 students, 10 staff members and seven teachers who reported contracting Covid-19. This community surge mirrors current trends around the globe, as the Omicron variant spreads, one that has been found to be less lethal but highly transmissible.
Locally, hospitals are filling up once again, with several in Westchester County reaching beyond 70% capacity. Other private schools in the area saw a spike in positives during their pooled testing cycles, and are deciding how to proceed. Hackley School in Tarrytown saw 47 positive/inconclusive tests during this last round of testing, but moved forward with in-person learning and students were brought back on campus this Thursday. Masters has implemented many of its old protocols in order to ensure a safe return to campus, including rearranging the schedule to accommodate two lunch periods and de-densify the Dining Hall, re-installing plexiglass dividers at lunch tables and keeping all-school gatherings like Morning Meeting remote until further notice.