PORT CHESTER, Westchester County (WABC) -- Thousands of students in one Westchester County village headed back to the classroom Tuesday for the first time in two months after becoming an orange zone amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Port Chester Public Schools returned to hybrid in-person attendance after going fully remote in November amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in the town.
Because the district is now conducting state-required COVID tests on 20% of students and staff every month, in-person learning can resume.
At King Elementary School, there were big hellos and temperature checks for students.
Jordan Allen said her 2nd-grader was excited and looking forward to returning to the classroom.
East student there will get 2.5 hours of in-person education each day. The back and forth will be challenging for everyone, but the principal said he's glad learning is happening at school again.
"It has been an adjustment, absolutely, the students have been remote for two months, we did feel an eagerness both on the part of students and staff to get back in the building," King Elementary School Principal Sam Ortiz said.
The county executive said he's committed to helping schools get the necessary COVID tests they need so schools can focus on teaching, not testing.
"I'm encouraged when schools remain open, I'm encouraged the testing will show hopefully the level of infection remains below a serious level and that more children can make more progress in their grade studies," County Executive George Latimer said.
Still, school officials urged anyone who has recently traveled to observe the mandated New York State travel quarantine guidelines.
Anyone who traveled to another state or country for which New York State requires a mandated self-quarantine period is obligated to report it.
Anyone with questions about necessary quarantine guidelines is urged to contact their child's school nurse.
Anyone with questions about a child's schedule should contact their building principal or teacher.
Parents and students are urged to continue to observing health guidelines to keep their family and the community safe and well.
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