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First infection is reported by NCCS

OBSERVER File Photo Among the area coronavirus spike is a student enrolled at NCCS, who last was at school Oct. 16.

A first COVID-19 case has been reported by the only Catholic school in Chautauqua County.

School Principal Andrew Ludwig confirmed the positive infection of a student in an e-mail sent to parents of the school on Thursday. Ludwig said in the e-mail the student has not been in the school building since last week.

Here is the email in its entirety:

“Good Afternoon Families of Northern Chautauqua Catholic School.

“It is important for you to know that early this morning officials at Northern Chautauqua Catholic School were notified that an NCCS student, who has not been in school since Oct. 16 and was exposed to COVID outside of school, has tested positive for the coronavirus. As directed by the Chautauqua County Department of Health and as a precautionary measure, the class was isolated and parents of all students in the class were called to take their children home to quarantine. This quarantine has been backdated by the CCDOH to Oct. 16 and is at this time reported to be in place until Oct. 30. As presently stated by the CCDOH, these students and their teacher will not be allowed to return to NCCS until Nov. 2. Only this small group of students will be affected by this action.”

“NCCS remains quite safe. Masks, social distancing and other safety protocols have been carefully followed for the seven weeks of school that we have been in session. As stated, the infected child has not been in school since Oct. 16 and the building is cleaned and disinfected daily. … Anyone uncomfortable about attending one of the Open Houses or the scheduled Parent Teacher Conferences, should please stay home and reschedule your conferences.

“NCCS students are scheduled to be off from school … (today) so that teachers can finish up conferences and enjoy some comp time for the extra hours put in on Thursday night. School will resume for all students, except those children in the affected classroom, on Monday, Oct. 26. When school resumes on Monday, mask wearing, table dividers, social distancing, proper ventilation, proper sanitation and cleaning will continue. These precautionary measures are effective in keeping kids safe and continue to be of vital importance. Following these safety protocols remains a priority, because we do not know when an asymptomatic contagious period may be for a person may end. By strictly following the safety protocols we have put in place, we are preventing potential exposures. The mandatory quarantine that the CCDOH is imposing is basically being extra cautious, but if we continue to run things smoothly and safely, kids at NCCS should be at no risk of infection, even if they are unknowingly exposed to the coronavirus.

“Please pray for the good health of our infected student. Please pray for the good health of this family. Please pray for the good health of our students and our teacher in quarantine. Please pray for the good health of our school family, our community, our state, our country and our world. Prayers are never wasted.”

Through Thursday afternoon, the number of COVID-19 cases for area districts according to the school report card through New York state was at 26.

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