Coronavirus News: East Brunswick schools announce positive COVID case, several students in close contact

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EAST BRUNSWICK, New Jersey (WABC) -- A school district in New Jersey has announced a positive COVID case and that several students were in close contact.

East Brunswick School officials were notified on Thursday that several students, representing several schools, were close contacts to one student who tested positive for COVID-19 outside of the school.

According to school officials, the student who tested positive was in the building on Sept. 4, while the students who were in close contact attended school on Sept. 8, as part of hybrid learning, before the school learned of the positive test.

Eyewitness News is told the positive test involved a 9th grade student from the vocational school, but the public high school is also tracking a case from outside the school.

East Brunswick public schools remain open despite the positive case, while the vocational school is shut down and will continue with online learning for 14 days.

As a precaution, those students, who were in close contact, and their siblings will quarantine for 14 days and participate in classes virtually.

Officials say that one of the students came in contact with the person who tested positive, during a Labor Day weekend party.

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Superintendent Victor Valeski said those students must remain symptom free before returning to school.

"At this point none of these students have tested positive for COVID-19," Valeski said. "They are being treated as close contacts. According to the Middlesex Department of Health, any potential for COVID-19 transmission is mitigated by the precautions we have in place - wearing masks, six feet of distancing and frequent cleaning."

The Superintendent says that cleaning and disinfecting of all exposed areas have been completed.

He urged the community to remain vigilant in dealing with the health concern.

"We do not have any immediate cause for concern but I thought it was important that you hear the precautions we are taking directly from me," Valeski said.

Parents are aware of the contact case and believe the district has done well getting the word out and keeping people safe.

The vocational school is run by a different superintendent, who shut down classroom instruction after hearing about the positive COVID test.

"In this case, circumstances have made it challenging to trace all those in our school community who came in close contact with this one confirmed case," said Diane Veilleux, Superintendent of East Brunswick Vocational and Technical Schools.

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