image_pdf
Nishuane
Nishuane School. PHOTO BY ADAM ANIK

By ERIN ROLL
roll@montclairlocal.news

A staff member at Nishuane School has tested positive for COVID-19, district officials said today, Nov. 9.

Nishuane is projected to open for in-school learning on Nov. 16.

“Close contacts within the school have been notified and are in quarantine,” Superintendent Jonathan Ponds said. “This quarantine period will be over before schools are scheduled for hybrid opening Nov. 16. Cleaning and disinfecting of all exposed areas will be completed.”

Ponds said the district is working closely with the district physician and the Montclair Health Department, and following all state and local guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is unknown if the person who tested positive is a Montclair resident or what their position is.

“As always, we appreciate our community’s support and cooperation. You can assist us by remaining vigilant. but sensible in your approach to dealing with this global health concern,” Ponds said.

It is the second positive case reported in the schools which have remained closed this fall. A staff member at Watchung School tested positive on Oct. 28.

The elementary schools are scheduled to reopen for hybrid learning on Nov. 16. The middle and high schools are expected to reopen on Nov. 30.

The announcement comes as New Jersey is seeing a rise in cases and hospital patients, as the state enters the second wave of COVID-19. Since Nov. 5, New Jersey has seen 9,524 new cases as of today, Nov. 9, with a record high of 3,027 cases reported on Nov. 7: a number not seen since early May. State health officials reported 2,075 new cases and 11 new deaths today, bringing the totals to 256,653 cases and 14,650 deaths.

The state’s northern counties, including Essex County, are among those reporting the greatest numbers of new cases.

Montclair has also seen a rise in cases, with 71 new cases reported since Nov. 3. The township has seen a total of 745 cases since the start of the pandemic, and 57 people have died.

As of Thursday, Nov. 5, state health and education officials reported that there were 36 school-related outbreaks with 146 individual cases around the state. None of the outbreaks are reported to be in Essex County.

Of New Jersey’s more than 700 school districts, just over 500 are currently operating on a hybrid schedule, according to the Department of Education. However, some districts that began the year with hybrid learning, such as Clifton, have opted to return to remote learning until later in the school year, while West Orange, which was scheduled to start hybrid learning today, opted to delay its hybrid plan for the time being.