manhasset school
Courtesy Manhasset Public Schools Facebook page

At least 38 students at Manhasset Secondary School have tested positive for Covid-19 after a social gathering became a superspreader event, according to a letter from Dr. Vincent Butera, superintendent of Manhasset School District.

As a result, the school will move to fully remote learning and cancel all extracurricular activities through at least Friday, Feb. 26. District officials will reassess when the school can reopen in-person as they monitor new cases. Butera urged any student who attended a party or gathering in the past 10 days to get tested for Covid-19.

“These disconcerting actions by members of our community continue to put our entire school community at risk and cause a heightened sense of fear and anxiety,” Butera wrote in the letter, which was posted on Tuesday. “As we have communicated in the past, events like these impact the entire community resulting in potentially serious illness for students, their families, and our faculty and staff.

“Many of the students who have tested positive have been asymptomatic causing a false sense of security,” he added.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Nassau County Department of Health notified the school district of the superspreader event after contact tracers determined that was where the virus spread. The health department also recommended that the school halt in-person classes for the week of Feb. 22. Students are home from school the week of Feb. 15 for winter break.

Manhasset students who test positive for Covid-19 during the break are asked to report the case to the Nassau County Department of Health at 516-227-9570 and send an email to Allison Rushforth at allison_rushforth@manhassetschools.org.

Manhasset Secondary School will have testing available for students on Sunday, Feb. 21 from 5 to 7 p.m., the letter says. Students must register in advance for a test. 

During a news briefing in Hicksville on Wednesday, reporters asked Nassau County Executive Laura Curran for her comments on the outbreak. She said the health department continues to investigate the super spreader event.

“I have to commend the school district — they’re following the protocols, they’re doing the right thing,” she said. “And I will challenge our parents, you know, it’s those social events where the spreading happens. It’s not happening in the schools, it’s not happening on the field while under supervision.

“I feel sad for the kids, I feel sad for the community,” she added. “Now they’re back to remote learning, and they don’t have the sports. It’s really tough. It’s a really tough time for kids who need to be social and need to be active.”

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