The New Hartford Central School District is the latest to switch back to virtual learning, at least for this Friday, November 13th. The day started with one positive case and a plan to remain open, but plans changed by later in the day. The district also suspended all extra-curricular activities until further notice.

The first announcement came early in the day on Thursday stating someone at Perry Junior High had tested positive, but, because they had not been in the school since November 5th, Perry would remain open. The letter from Superintendent Robert Nole implied that the district had the spread of the virus under control and they were following advice from the Oneida County Health Department. However, later in the day in another letter from Superintendent Nole, the school district had changed their decision and decided to go completely virtual for Friday classes, in all of their buildings.

"Today, we learned that two individuals within our district have tested positive for COVID-19.  We can confirm that these individuals have more frequent contact with students and staff in their respective buildings," said Nole in a letter to students, families and staff. "Given our connected campuses as well as the shared faculty throughout the district, we must take immediate action. To protect the health and safety of students, staff, families, and our community, we will place our district on a fully remote status for Friday, November 13, 2020." The letter went on to say that the community will be updated if there are any changes to scheduling beyond Friday.

Nole's added that "another individual positive for COVID-19 was last present at the Senior High School on Monday, November 9, 2020. If the Department of Health has determined that anyone was in close proximity to the individuals who tested positive, and may in fact be impacted, they will be notified by health officials. Such officials will provide further guidance if necessary."

Meanwhile, this news comes on the heels of the district negotiating with teachers to strategize bringing all students, kindergarten through 2nd grade, back into the classroom 100-percent, as discussed at Tuesday's board meeting. The board opted then to delay a vote on returning those students K-2 beginning November 30th, but talks have continued.

Oneida County's Unprecedented  Spike

All of this comes as there is a spike in new COVID-19 cases in Oneida County. There have been 292 new cases since Sunday, 144 of those have come in the last 2 days. There are now more than 600 active cases in the county, the most since the pandemic began in March.

COVID-19 Numbers for Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020 in Oneida County

  • 70 new positive cases, 3,312 total.
  • 607 active positive cases.
  • 1 new COVID-19-related death (nursing home resident), 135 total.
  • 23 patients are hospitalized in Oneida County (all at MVHS).
  • 6 patients are hospitalized out of county.
  • 2,570 positive cases have been resolved.
  • 250,435 total negative results.
  • 253,747 total tests conducted.
  • 607 in mandatory isolation.
  • 1,296 in mandatory quarantine.

New Hartford Schedule for Friday

Elementary students will access asynchronous learning materials from their Google Classrooms. Secondary students will attend classes as they customarily would on a remote day. District faculty and staff will work from home on November 1 3, and building principals will provide any necessary updates. All custodians should report to school at their scheduled times to conduct a deep cleaning of our facilities.