More than 400 students throughout North Shore test positive for coronavirus

Robert Pelaez
More than 400 students throughout the North Shore tested positive for the coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic as of Wednesday. (Chart by Robert Pelaez)

The number of students who have tested positive for the coronavirus in public schools across the North Shore has risen to more than 400 since the beginning of the pandemic, according to state Health Department figures.

As of Tuesday, 406 students on the North Shore had tested positive since the beginning of the school year. The increase of 66 confirmed student cases is the third most over a one-week period since schools began, according to state data.

Public school districts that were analyzed included the Port Washington school district, Roslyn school district, Sewanhaka Central High School District, Mineola school district, East Williston school district, Floral Park-Bellerose school district, Manhasset school district, New Hyde Park-Garden City Park school district, Herricks school district, North Shore school district and Great Neck school district.

The three school districts with the most cases among students are Great Neck, with 66, Sewanhaka, with 65, and Port Washington, with 60.

Great Neck schools conducted a total of 812 PCR tests on students and staff members last week due to Gov. Andrew Cuomo designating the peninsula as a “yellow zone.” On Tuesday, Great Neck Superintendent Teresa Prendergast informed the community that every test came back negative.

“While this news is reassuring, we cannot let our guard down,” Prendergast said. “Keeping our schools safe and open requires a constant commitment from all our students, families, staff, and faculty. Please remain vigilant and follow health and safety guidelines at all times, especially during this holiday season. Our community’s actions over the recess will have a direct impact on our ability to continue in-person instruction in January.”

An additional 45 cases were found in North Shore Hebrew Academy (25), North Shore Hebrew Academy High School (14), Silverstein Hebrew Academy (4), and North Shore Hebrew Academy Middle School (2), all located on the Great Neck peninsula.

Chaminade High School in Mineola also had 29 positive cases as of Wednesday, an increase of eight over the past week.  Saint Mary’s High School in Manhasset had four cases and Saint Mary’s Elementary School had three as of Wednesday.

Efforts to reach representatives from the private schools were unavailing.

In Port Washington, Guggenheim Elementary School has spent this week learning remotely due to understaffing, according to Superintendent Michael Hynes.

In a letter sent to parents and community members, and posted to Facebook by the Guggenheim Home School Association, Hynes said that what was “happening across Long Island regarding the increase in people testing positive for COVID-19 is now directly impacting our district.”

“An increasing number of our staff members have either tested positive, or have been identified as close contacts in out-of-school scenarios, and have been ordered to quarantine,” Hynes wrote. “With an additional three staff members who have tested COVID-19 positive, we have close to 20 percent of Guggenheim’s staff needing to quarantine. Unfortunately, even with the several additional staff members hired this summer, this is resulting in the district being understaffed at Guggenheim Elementary School.”

In Sewanhaka, 51 of the 65 total positive student cases were on-site, while the rest were off-site, according to state figures.

The North Shore school district, with 53, the Mineola school district, with 42, the  Roslyn school district, with 34, and the Manhasset school district with 34, were the only other districts with 30 or more confirmed student cases. The East Williston and Herricks districts combined for 37 student cases, with East Williston having 21 and Herricks having 16.

Despite being surrounded by areas with a high number of confirmed cases outside the classroom, schools in the New Hyde Park-Garden City Park and Floral Park-Bellerose school districts had a combined 15 cases. New Hyde Park-Garden City Park had 10 cases, while Floral Park-Bellerose had five.

For more information on how school districts and their schools are faring with the coronavirus, visit https://schoolcovidreportcard.health.ny.gov/#/home.

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Robert Pelaez

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