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Falconer Moves To Remote Learning For Grades 3-6

FALCONER — The Falconer Central School District has gone to full remote learning for students in grades three through six after another student tested positive for the coronavirus.

District officials said students in those grades will learn from home until at least Tuesday, Oct. 13. A student at Fenner Elementary School reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday; the student was last in class Wednesday.

“The biggest thing is trying to monitor the health and safety of all of our kids after the positive cases that were brought to our attention,” Superintendent Stephen Penhollow told The Post-Journal. “We also had another one that was brought to our attention (Sunday) afternoon and in working closely with the health department, in the middle school as well as in our elementary school and with 36 students under isolation, we felt for the health and safety it was the best decision and most prudent situation to go fully remote.”

Last week, the school district noted that two students — one going to Fenner and the other at Falconer Middle School — also had tested positive for the virus.

Penhollow said that he felt the district was adequately prepared to handle positive cases.

“It’s one of those plans that youre prepared for, but you hope you don’t have to use,” he said. “When it became evident at about 2 p.m. Sunday that something we had all feared would happen, it looked like we were going to move to a different phase. We believe our kids are still healthy and safe, but at the same time, we needed to go into that remote mode for a period of two weeks to make sure that this process had its time to go through and make sure our kids were safe and healthy.”

He added, “You plan to work together with your community and our goal is to do what’s best for kids and to keep our kids safe is our utmost concern. A close second is the instructional process. The plan we put in place is as good a plan as can be put out there. We hope that this eventually comes to some kind of conclusion here soon, but it appears that we’re all going to be facing more of these concerns as we move forward.”

The district noted in its message to the school community: “The Chautauqua County Department of Health has been notified and is taking further steps. The affected individuals have been isolated. The DOH is identifying and contacting those individuals identified as close contacts by the DOH.”

“We are working with the health department and are taking all the recommended steps to ensure the safety of our students and staff. These individuals and any others identified by the health department as being close contacts will be expected to follow the DOH’s quarantine/isolation guidelines. They will not return to school until they have completed the quarantine/isolation procedures for COVID-19, as directed by the Chautauqua County Department of Health.”

8 NEW COVID CASES REPORTED

Eight new cases of COVID-19 were announced Monday by the Chautauqua County Health Department. Over the weekend, there were 12 others.

Currently, there are 33 active cases with the 20 cases since Friday including: seven from Fredonia; four from Dunkirk; four in Jamestown; two in Falconer; one in Kennedy, Brocton and Mayville. There are 272 cases under quarantine/isolation orders by the Public Health Director and being monitored. In addition, 33 are under domestic traveler quarantine for having arrived to Chautauqua County from a state listed on the New York state travel advisory. One person is hospitalized as of Saturday.

To date, there have been 611 recovered cases; 10 deaths; 654 total confirmed cases; and 44,053 negative test results.

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